- Stakeholders of Sardauna LG have cried out over alleged bias treatment against them in the ongoing Taraba crisis
- The stakeholders claim that the Federal Government is taking sides with the Fulanis
- According to the Sardauna stakeholders, the FG is not doing anything to protect the Mambilla Plateau people.
Worried by the recent crisis rearing its ugly head in Taraba state between herdsmen and farmers on the Mambilla plateau, the Sardauna Local Government Stakeholders have come out with their side of the story in which the FG is accused of bias.
In a statement titled the "True state of the matter", the stakeholders claim that the need to set the records straight and seek for total justice has made them come out to alert the world.
The statement was signed by the trio of Muhammed A Tepsi, Marcus Bovoa and Ismaila Mbun, for and on behalf of Sardauna LG stakeholders.
They assert that the purpose of their writing is to set the records straight and alert the general public on how the FG is allegedly taking sides with the Fulanis to kill and maim the Mambilla Plateau people.
The group claimed they have no option than to tell the world about this open injustice.
Below are expects of the statement:
"We are disturbed by the sad events on the Mambilla plateau and condemn in strong terms the outbreak of communal unrest between graziers and farmers on Saturday, June 17.
It all started in Nguroje village area and spread to other parts of the Mambilla plateau, resulting in the loss of lives and properties.
It is well known fact that between 30 December 2001 and 2002, certain armed Fulani militia invaded the Mambilla villages Leme Yirima, Tunga Lugere, Damu etc where seven Muslims of Mambilla extraction were murdered in the mosque during morning prayers at Leme Yirima, and this attack escalated to other parts of the Plateau which resulted to wanton destruction of lives and properties.
That attack by the Fulani militia was an attempt to dispossess the Mambilla of their ancestral land. This attracted the attention of the State, Federal Government and the international community, particularly, the United Nations.
The crisis led to the flight of many people from the area to Cameroon and other parts of Nigeria as refugees.
This led to a fact-finding mission made up of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the State and Federal Governments in an effort to reconcile and resettle the refugees and internally displaced persons. Consequently, the UNHCR recommended that for a lasting solution to the graziers-farmers crisis, a peace and reconciliation committee made up of stakeholders of all the tribes on the Mambilla Plateau be constituted.
Accordingly, the then Governor of Taraba State, H.E Rev. Jolly Nyame directed the Local Government Council to constitute the said committee, which was headed by the then Local Government Chairman Transition Committee, Alh. Aliyu Jibo, a Fulani man.
The ten-member committee consisted of representatives of all the tribes. At the end of the committee’s meeting (which held from 7 - 8 June 2003), a communiqué which identified the problems and proffered solutions to the crisis was issued to the Government for implementation. The problems identified by the Committee were as follows:
“4.0 The Meeting identified the following as the major problems that militated against the peaceful coexistence
(i) Land conflict was identified as one of the major sources of conflict between the farmers and graziers
(ii) Improper allocation of land by the authorities
(iii) Illegal occupation of land by farmers and graziers
(iv) Tribalism, hatred, rumour-mongering, oppression and suppression by the rich
(v) Political differences/lack of justice
The meeting resolved and recommended the following as solutions for peaceful co-existence
(i) The State Government and Local Government should constitute a high-powered committee to revisit the issue of land allocation in Sardauna Local Government using the existing laws.
(ii) (a) All lands illegally occupied during and after the crisis should be vacated under the supervision of the Local Government.
(b) All lands properly allocated by the Local Government Land Committee should the upheld under the supervision of the Local Government.
(c ) All lands illegally occupied by both farmers and graziers before the crisis should be referred to the high-powered Committee for proper redistribution.
(d) All land matters should be handled by the high-powered committee and/or the Local Government instead of the military personnel
(e) In the spirit of give-and-take, those who have much land should give those in need (farmers and graziers)
(iii) the leadership of the Local Government, Village Heads, Religious leaders, Opinion Leaders etc should preach to their subjects against tribalism, hatred, rumour-mongerisn, suppression, oppression, political differences, and injustice and live by example as enjoined by the two holy books (the Koran and the Bible),
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(iv) Considering the population, terrain, land mass and the army of unemployed youth, there is the need to create more local governments, chiefdoms and districts from the present Sardauna Local Government.
(v) The meeting also resolved that the purported petition written to His Excellency by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association dated 1st June 2003 be disregarded by His Excellency as the contents were already discussed.
(vi) It was also agreed that from then henceforth anybody who breach the law, no matter his position, should be punished in accordance with the law to ensure justice to all.
(vii) In the spirit of give-and-take, the meeting agreed that all concerned should forgive each other and forget their past differences and live together in peace and harmony with each other as a family”.
Meanwhile, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has held an emergency meeting with Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba state and top security officials following recent killings in some parts of the state.
Osinbajo has also ordered deployment of military battalion, police reinforcements and other security officials to the areas affected, Premium Times reports.
The acting president in a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, on Thursday, June 22, condoled the victims of attacks in a number of communities in Taraba. Osinbajo condemned the acts of violence, noting that those who carried out the attacks would be brought to book.
“Acting President Osinbajo has therefore ordered the deployment of an extra military battalion, police reinforcements and also a deployment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to the areas affected.
“Equally the Acting President has ordered the provision of relief materials to be delivered to the affected communities in Toffi, Mayo Daga, Mayo Sina, Tamiya, Kwara-Kwara, Tungan Lugere, Timjire, Nguroje and other villages in the hinterlands of Mambilla Plateau,” the statement said.
The statement also said the federal government had put in motion long time solutions including mediation between opposing groups in the communal conflict.
Below is a NAIJ.com Tv production in which Nigerians react to the question of hope for Nigeria, especially with recent events unfolding.