Governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has called on the Igbos living in Taraba State not to have any reason to be scared as the state is safe for them.
The governor said in a statement while expressing the State Government’s regrets over the recent communal clashes in Kwararafa (Dananacha) area of Gassol Local Government which resulted in loss of lives and properties.
An escalation of violence in the area led to the burning of shops belonging to Igbos. The governor sympathized with the Igbo community and other people in the area.
The statement, signed by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, added that “the state government took proactive steps, including the timely deployment of security personnel to the scenes of the clashes.
“This helped in minimizing the extent of the collateral damage that would have resulted from the fighting. “But the claim by members of the Igbo community that only shops belonging to them were targeted and attacked is untrue. Statistics available to government do not support that position. In fact, more of the vandalized shops actually belong to non-Igbo people.
“It is also untrue and grossly unfair for them to also accuse the state government of not doing enough to protect them and their properties during the clashes as they did recently in a petition to Ohaneze, the umbrella Igbo apex organization.
“The government did everything within its powers on that particular occasion to prevent the crisis from escalating, despite the fact that the fighting started in the night.
“The Government wishes to assure the Igbo, other non-indigenous ethnic groups and the entire people of Taraba State that they have no reason to fear as it will continue to do everything within its powers, and without discrimination, to ensure the safety of their lives and properties.
“The government also wishes to remind all people resident in the state that the state is passing through a period of unfortunate security challenges resulting from incidents of herdsmen attacks and killings in some parts of the state and kidnapping. “This will require the support and cooperation of all people in the state to tackle.”
The governor implored all residents in the state to be on the alert and to watch out for “strange elements” who may be on a mission to foment trouble and cause a breakdown of law and order.