From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
After several decades of ethnic rivalry between the Njole and Shomoh ethnic groups in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State that has defied all possible attempts at lasting solution and has claimed several lives and destroyed property worth millions, Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku has finally brought up a solution that is acceptable to the warring groups.
Deputy Governor Alhaji Haruna Manu, who read out the solutions to critical stakeholders from both sides of the divide at the weekend in Lau, said that the government has carefully examined the recommendations of the judicial commission of enquiry that was set up to look into the issues surrounding the persistent crisis and has approved some to ensure lasting solution.
Manu said that the government of the state was concerned about the incessant crisis in the area over a fishing pond and after looking at the circumstances carefully, has decided to take over the ownership of the pond.
“We are here at the instance of the governor, His Excellency, Governor Darius Ishaku, who is aware of the series of crisis between the Njole and Shomoh communities. This has been there long before the life of this administration but his drive to ensure relative stability all over the state has called for concerted efforts to be made to ensure that we bring a lasting solution to this issue.
“You will recall that a judicial commission if inquiry was set up to investigate and proffer lasting solutions to the lingering issues so that the two communities will continue to coexist peacefully. The committee has interacted with both committees and has submitted it’s report and a final white paper is issued and so I have come to inform you of the recommendations of the committee that have been approved by the state government for implementation.
“Since all other issues have been discussed at committee level, we may not have room for more presentations. After detailed consideration of the committee’s report, the state government has decided to take over of Marmari fishpond which has been the borne of contention and has approved the management of the pond by a committee Chaired by permanent sec ministry of agriculture.
“A boundary between the two ethnic groups will be clearly demarcated while police outposts will be set up at Dobeli, Shomoh Sarki and Njolemanga to improve security presence in the area.
“Similarly, the government has approved the supply of farm imputes and fishing gears for both communities and improvement of infrastructure such as schools and hospitals to enable the people to return home and build their lives once again.
“The state government has also directed that all confiscated lands and property of the Njole should be returned to the owners and, in line with the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, no tribe shall henceforth be regarded as outcasts. A peace accord will be drawn up and signed by the two communities to seal this deal.”
Mr Audi Indina and Dani Sadiq who spoke for the Njole community and Mr Bakari Muhammad and his second who spoke for the Shomoh tribes all hailed the state government for proferring a lasting solution to the lingering crisis and pledged to abide by the terms of the cease fire.
The Chief of Lau, Sadiq Danburam, in his speech commended the government of the state for a job very well done and “beg that feeder roads should be included in the infrastructural intervention that the government intends to bring to ease movement of the people and their farm produce.