Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Following the escalation of communal clashes in parts of Taraba State that have claimed hundreds of lives and caused destruction to property worth billions, the National Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA) in Taraba on Wednesday indicated the Taraba State Government of complacency in ending the crisis.
The Taraba State Chairman of NCDPA, Rev Fr Ephraim Sani, who gave a press briefing at the pastoral centre in Jalingo, said that the priests were saddened by the continued crisis in the state that has caused the death of thousands, including a priest, and the wanton destruction of property.
Sani said that it was crucial for the state governor, Darius Ishaku, with support from the Federal Government to invest more time and resources in the security of the state and to personally visit the affected areas in a show of solidarity with the people and to emphasis government’s seriousness about ending the crisis.
He regretted that the crisis has not only affected the social and religious life of the people but has also put a halt to farming, the mainstay of the people.
‘It is sad to say that the negative effects of this crisis on our people are better imagined than confessed. Human life has become so cheap that it takes no second thought to be wasted. Even the rules of engagement in wars are no longer observed. Innocent children and defenceless women have become primary targets of murderous acts,’ the reverend stated.
‘We call on the government under Darius Ishaku, with support from the Federal Government, to invest more time and resources in the security of the state. We appeal to his good conscience as the chief security officer of the state and to his paternal responsibility to visit and ensure adequate security is deployed to the affected areas. In truth, we believe that not much has been done and there is a feeling of abandonment of common people by the government.
‘Bandits, militias, are never beyond the military prowess of our security apparatus to contain the situation. Leaders should be nonpartisan, bearing in mind that they are elected to serve the good of all. Security personnel should demonstrate a genuine sincerity of heart and purpose, accompanied by a patriotic spirit of commitment which upholds the common good of everyone above sectional or vested interests.
‘We call on the leadership of the state CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) to play a more proactive role in bringing to fruition the prayer of for His followers that they may be one. CAN must not be seen to be active during elections. Let us hear and see more from CAN leadership in the state,’
Rev Sani called on the warring factions to sheath their swords and for all to embrace peace and to show respect for the sanctity of human lives as the crisis only leads to retrogression and unnecessary anxiety that ultimately works against the good of all people.