The governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, has stated that the calls for creation of more states in the country is unnecessary and should therefore, be discontinued to give way for the economic development of already existing states.
Governor Ishaku who stated this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP also said that many states in the federation are not viable and therefore, grapple with the challenge of paying workers, just as internally generated revenue of most states is not anything to rely on.
On whether more states should be created as advocated in several quarters, Ishaku said, “With the experience I’m having, I would say ‘no’. A state should be in a position to pay her citizens. Fortunately, I was one of those who wrote for the creation of Taraba State drew the map and one of the conditions then was that we should write down the justification that the state has enough resources to pay her citizens.
“But where I am talking from now as the governor, we are not collecting anything but we are paying the staff. The internal generated revenue (IGR) is very low; it is not that the state doesn’t have the potentials. We do have the potentials but there are so many things that are happening. There are too many leakages which burdens the state treasury. Then, the IGR is not properly driven. So, there is a lot of work to be done even in the IGR so that you can drive the state and then to prevent the leakages”.
On tackling incessant breakdown of security in the state as often witnessed among Fulani herdsman, the Tivs and Jukuns in the state, the governor said his administration is already taking necessary steps towards resolving ethnic conflicts in the state.
He said, “Yes, we have problem of security. It is not an issue of hoping to tackle them; I am already tackling them”.
He attributed the cause of ethnic clashes in the state to population explosion in the state and its neighbouring Benue State as a result of which there is encroachment on the use of land across the two states.
The governor, however, appealed to citizens of both Taraba and Benue States to sheathe their swords in the interest of peaceful coexistence, stressing that both sides can live peacefully.
“So, the land that belongs to us in Taraba is being encroached upon by those from Benue. So, it is a question of coming to understand one another and live amicably. We can all accommodate ourselves and give ourselves room to live peacefully”, he advised.