Taraba cleric urges FG, state govt to prioritize security
The Catholic Bishop of Wukari Diocese Most Rev Mark Maigida Nzukwein has urged goverment at all levels to prioritize security of lives and properties, saying it has claimed lives of many and rendered thousands homeless.
The cleric made this urge in a communique issued at the end of a one day interactive forum between the Bishop and stakeholders from the Three affected Local Government Areas at the instance of the Bishop.
The Bishop said it became necessary due to high level of insecurity in parts of Southern Taraba especially in Takum and Ussa Local Government and Yangtu Special Development areas, that have created serious instability, lost of lives and property.
The forum charged the state government and other political leaders to dispense their duties dispassionately, with fairness and justice as well as human face.
“Problems can not be solved by the same mindset that created them. We need to change our mindset of stereotyping, ethnic bigotry, lack of respect for human life, and work for the common good of all. We call on all stakeholders to make deliberate efforts to achieve this. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “those who love peace must learn to organize as effective as those who love war.” To this end, the forum resolved to continue to function as a committee to facilitate peace and reconciliation in the area under consideration.
“We call on the state governor and other political office holders to provide good governance by running an inclusive government, prioritizing security of life and property, paying attention on the welfare of workers, giving adequate attention to infrastructural development and creating job opportunities for our teaming youth. We equally call on the Governor to ensure the return of the displaced people especially in Central and Southern Taraba, some of whom have been away from their homes for over four (4) years.
“The role of the traditional institutions in peace building can not be overemphasized. However, the forum observed that the absence of a Paramount Ruler in Takum for over twenty six (26) years now is no longer appreciated by people. We call on all those who are saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the process of appointing Traditional Rulers in the State to do the needful by ensuring that there is no further delay on this matter.
“While we urge the civil and traditional authorities to be exemplary, honest, and to have the common good of the people at heart, we equally challenge the elites in the State to rise up and close ranks among themselves and contribute their quota in the peace building process. Their prolonged silence over security challenges and destruction of lives and property in Southern Taraba is no longer golden. Since some communities in Southern Taraba share borders with their counterparts in Benue State, we resolve to collaborate with the government and community leaders in Benue State through sustained dialogue in our collective quest for peaceful coexistence among the people of these two neighbouring States” the communique read in part.
Reports revealed that the Southern Taraba Zone have been facing insecurity and ehtnic crisis that have created tension, cost lives, led to the destruction of property and general instability in most parts of the zone in the last couple of years.
The forum have members drawn from among the clergy, traditional rulers and other leaders of thought from the affected area.