From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
An elder statesman Mr Jacob Gbagede, and other groups have raised concern over recent attacks on farmers in parts of Taraba State that has claimed over 75 lives and the silence of the state governor, Darius Ishaku.
Gbagede, who spoke to reporters in Jalingo said the governor’s silence for over two weeks since the killings started is no longer golden.
He told journalists that Governor Ishaku ought to have empathised with the people and take concrete steps to address the killings before jetting out of the state for social functions.
He noted that the duty of every government was the protection of lives and property of citizens, noting that this responsibility can not be ignored by any leader.
‘Once you are a governor, you have the responsibility to protect not only your tribal people, but all citizens. For Ishaku to leave the state without taking steps to address the killings is most unfortunate and does not reflect the qualities of a good leader.
‘The life of a truck pusher and the life of a governor is the same before the Almighty God. It is very unfortunate for a govenor to leave his state and travel at a time his citizens are being killed and the state generally is on fire.
‘We are aware of the level of insecurity across the country, but we are concern by the reactions and actions of leaders in tackling these security challenges.
‘We need a leader in Taraba that can rule irrespective of his tribe or religion. We want leaders that we can hold in trust, because when people lose hope, anarchy looms,’ he said.
In a related development, the Taraba Central Concern Group have accused the governor of deliberate negligence by not doing enough to address the killings in the state.
The group said, ‘in Bali alone, 65 people were killed within three days. Four were killed Gassol, Five in Takum and one in Donga, bringing the total number of deaths to 75 in less than two weeks. In all these, we have not heard from our Governor. Other than condemn the killings and take steps to end the killings, he left for a wedding in Kaduna, leaving the people to their fate.
‘While in Kaduna, he issued a statement mourning victims of plane crash as if the lives of 75 killed in Taraba don’t matter,’ Mr Kefas Illiya said during the press briefing.
But in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Bala Dan-Abu, said the governor has been briefed and have taken steps in corroboration with security agencies to end the killings.
‘The governor has taken action but it’s not for public consumption. Concerted efforts are being made to address the killings and forestall future occurrences,’ Dan-Abu said.