Killings: We’ve lost confidence in FG’s security apparatus, says Taraba govt
Published March 31, 2018
Niyi Odebode, Friday Olokor and Olaleye Aluko
The Taraba State Government has said that it has lost confidence in the Federal Government’s security apparatus in the state, particularly the military.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Abu, who stated this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said that the state had not regained its confidence in the military in the state.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had through his Spokesman, Col. Tukur Gusau, told The PUNCH on Monday that Nigerians had been coming to report soldiers, who were accused of misconduct.
He said that such soldiers were undergoing disciplinary procedures, but stated that there was no complaint from Taraba.
But the state government on Tuesday said that the Federal Government was aware of security threats and soldiers’ misconduct in the state.
In the statement made available to The PUNCH, the state government cited instances where the Federal Government was informed about the security breach and soldiers’ misconduct.
In their separate reactions on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence and the Nigerian Army insisted that they had not received any letter from the Taraba State Government.
When contacted on Friday, the media aide to the state governor insisted that the state had lost confidence in the military in Taraba.
Abu stated, “As of now, the state is relatively at peace. Even with the relative peace in Taraba, we do not have confidence in the military that is there. We have lost confidence in the military and we have not regained it.
“We do not have confidence in the Federal Government’s security apparatus in Taraba. People are being disarmed. They are discriminatory in the way they are doing it. They invade people’s homes to seize machetes and kitchen knives and leave Fulani herdsmen that go about with AK 47.”
Abu had told The PUNCH on Tuesday that the state Governor, Darius Isaku, had in a letter, dated January 30, 2018, to the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), complained about the attitude of the Commanding Officer of 93 Battalion, Takum, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari.
He alleged that soldiers always looked the other way when the herdsmen militia killed people.
It was gathered on Friday that the state government in the last one year had written at least eight letters to the Federal Government on security threats and soldiers’ misconduct in the state.
It was learnt that the governor had on May 15, 2017, in a letter to the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, raised the alarm about criminal elements in parts of Donga and Bali local government areas.
Findings also showed that the governor in a February 14, 2017 letter, written to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, called for the establishment of a mobile police squadron in Takum.
It was also gathered that the governor on August 11, 2017, wrote the Office of the National Security Adviser complaining about the conduct of the commanding officer in Takum.
It was learnt that only the NSA and the vice-president replied the letters to them, out of the eight written to the Federal Government.
A source stated, “The killings are not being done by the Fulani we know. They are being carried out by the Fulani militias, who were being sponsored by the elite.”
When contacted, an aide in the Office of the National Security Adviser, said the ONSA could not comment on the phone, asking our correspondent to check back on Tuesday.
He said, “You may wait till Tuesday. The ONSA does not respond to inquiries on the telephone. The Special Assistant on Media will be briefed first and he can then get back to you.”