- condemns traditional, community leaders role in Mambilla crisis
Brig.-Gen. Benjamin Ahanotu,, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos, has condemned the role of traditional rulers and community leaders in the crisis on Mambilla Plateau.
Ahanotu expressed the view at the palace of the Chief of Mambilla, Dr Shehu Audu Baju II, on Saturday.
He said that after visiting scenes of the killings that he was shocked by what he saw and likened the crisis to the activities of Boko Haram terrorists.
‘’Even Boko Haram did not slaughter women and children but here I saw young children and pregnant women’’ killed.
“We should know that the victims are fellow Nigerians and indigenes of this area who should be treated with dignity,” he said.
Ahanotu said that traditional rulers and community leaders failed to take proactive measures to prevent the crisis.
He said that throughout the crisis, Mambilla village heads and community leaders did not assist the wounded but watched them die helplessly.
“As elders, they did not also make any effort to convey the injured to hospitals, making the victim to lose confidence in the system and seek medical attention in neighbouring Cameroon Republic.
“As leaders of the people, you should be able carry everyone along, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation,” he stressed.
Ahanotu said that soldiers had been deployed to flashpoints across the Local Government Area and called on the Traditional Council to support them.
He called on the warring parties to embark on reconciliation and confidence building measures to ensure that the victims returned to their homes and resume their normal business.
Earlier, Baju expressed appreciation over the prompt intervention of the Army to quell the situation.
Baju, represented by the Madaki of Mambilla, Alhaji Isa Musa, commended the GOC for defying the rough terrain to access some of the affected areas in Mbamnga, Kwarakwara and Bang on a motorcycle.
He assured the GOC that all hands would now be on the deck to ensure the return of normalcy and peaceful coexistence among the tribes of the area.
Violent crisis broke out in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba on Saturday, June 17,leading to the destruction of lives and property. ( NAN)