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  • Army blames politicians for Taraba violence
  • Acting General Officer Commanding, GOC, 3
    Division, Nigerian Army, Jos, Brig-General
    Benjamin Ahanotu, has called on politicians in
    Taraba State to be neutral, fair and just over the
    current crisis on the Mambilla Plateau.
    Ahanotu made the call when he addressed
    Chairman of Sardauna Local Government, John
    Yep, in Gembu, Taraba State, on Saturday.
    The violence on the Mambilla Plateau between
    Fulani and Mambilla tribes caused at least 18
    deaths, with many of them believed to be Fulani.
    The violence has been condemned by the Acting
    President Yemi Osinbajo who has deployed
    more security officials there.
    Fulani residents of the area had accused Mr. Yep
    of being one of the sponsors of the violence
    against them in a statement issued at the
    weekend.
    On Saturday, Ahanotu said from the briefs he got
    from the Brigade Commander of 23 Brigade,
    Yola, Bello Mohammed, prominent politicians
    from the area played roles that escalated the
    situation.
    He said the carnage being perpetrated in the
    area would not have escalated if the politicians
    had acted justly in dealing with the situation.
    He warned that soldiers deployed to the area
    should not be dragged into politics as they were
    only there to restore peace.
    Earlier, Bello Mohammed said officials of the
    local government were frustrating efforts of the
    Army to reach the hinterland where most of the
    havoc was being perpetrated.
    He also said in spite of the on-going crisis, no
    prominent politician had come over to the area
    to help calm the situation.
    “No member of the national or state assembly
    has come home, despite the fact that they would
    have assisted in controlling their people,”
    Mohammed said.
    Ishaku denies sponsoring killings of Fulani
    Meanwhile, Governor Darius Ishaku has denied
    sponsoring the killings of Fulani.
    The governor in a statement by his
    spokesperson, Emmanuel Bello, said claims that
    he gave the order for the extermination of Fulani
    ethnic group was untrue, adding that those
    spreading the falsehood were uninformed.
    He also condemned the ongoing fracas between
    Fulani herdsmen and farmers on Mambilla
    Plateau in Sardauna Local Government Area.
    According to him, bloodshed must be
    condemned wherever it happens, and not only
    when one group decides that it has been
    affected.
    The governor challenged those accusing him of
    instigating genocide against the Fulani to
    produce a memo, tape or video recording of
    how the directive was issued, adding that they
    were out for mischief.
    Describing the accusers as people displaying
    their inability to properly use the term, genocide,
    the statement read: “The accusers of Governor
    Ishaku are saying that he, at some point,
    actually gave orders by way of a broadcast or in
    some secret location that a certain ethnic group
    be wiped out of Taraba.
    “They must have a tape recording of such
    instructions or directives. They probably have a
    memo by the governor where he clearly gave
    the plans for eliminations, stating timelines.
    “They also probably know the armed militia he
    had planned with to carry out the dastardly act.
    Now, if they don’t have all of these, as I’m sure
    there is nothing like that, then, it is amazing
    how they could sit before journalists and tell a
    civilised world that a genocide has been
    planned against them.
    “If they want to see genocides, ample examples
    are there but certainly not in our dear Taraba
    State. We don’t profile people in this very lovely
    state or plan the eliminations of same. Life is
    sacrosanct here.”
    The governor wondered why the term genocide
    had not been used in other places where the
    country witnessed horrendous cases of crimes
    against humanity.
    “In Taraba State, all human lives are precious to
    us. That is why Governor Ishaku keeps pushing
    for peace. That’s even his mantra: he says,
    ‘give me peace and I would give you
    development’; he is too refined, too peace loving
    to engage in any kind of bloodletting or
    encourage such.
    ‘’The governor is a very civilised man of the
    world who has interacted with various
    segments,’’ the statement noted.

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