… Calls for Commission of Inquiry into Crisis

By Femi Bolaji

Member representing Takum I Constituency in Taraba State House of Assembly, Hon. Garba Ajiya has raised the alarm over the sacking of 25 villages in his constituency by suspected herdsmen.

Ajiya Thursday at a briefing in Jalingo, the state capital said the current situation of the area is bad owing to the displacement of people.

He pointed that a misunderstanding between herdsmen  and farmers in January has resulted in a full scale invasion and displacement of communities.

According to him, “ In the last two days, Kpashimbe, Sabon-Gida Kpashimbe, Manya and Flash communities came under attack leaving two people dead and several others injured.

“Today, Tati, Gandum I &II, Muji 1 &II among several other communities along the Manya -Takum road have been deserted, while the Fulani herders now graze their cows freely on displaced people’s farms.

“Thousands of people who have been forced out of their ancestral homes into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps haveforced the closure of Markam and Fadama Primary schools and are using the schools’ classes as shelter.

“The general situation in the area is terribly bad and I want to thank the churches that have taken in some of the IDPs as well as other spirited individuals who now hosting thousands of otherIDPs in relatively safe communities in Takum town and its environs.”

He however called on the state government to set up a commission of inquiry to find a lasting solution.

He said, “While I commend the State government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs for the relief materials that were moved from Jalingo this morning to Takum for the IDPs and the role of security agencies in ensuring an end to the attacks and killings, more actions still need to be done in addressing the humanitarian situation of the IDPs who are mostly women and children.

“The over 120,000 IDPs are living in pathetic situation and lack access to health care, shelter, water and livelihood.

“The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and other local and international aid organizations should intervene in the IDPs situation in Takum, Ussa and Yangtu before the humanitarian situation these areas get out of hand.

“I want to call on the Taraba State Government to set up a commission of inquiry into this crisis with a view to unravel some of the facts and issues surrounding the crisis which many are tagging as politically motivated.”

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