|Gov. Darius Ishaku|
The Taraba State governor, Arch. Darius Ishaku, has described as baseless, unfounded and malicious, allegation by a group called Taraba Elders, that he was behind the incessant communal crises in Wukari local government area of the state.
The governor, who was reacting to the allegation in Abuja on Monday, explained that the Wukari crises predated his administration and that he only inherited it on assumption of office on May 29 this year.
According to him, he has convened multiple peace meetings between the elders of the various communities of Wukari as well as the generality of the people, where various sub- committees were inaugurated up to the village levels in the bid to find lasting peace in the area.
Senior Special Assistant to the governor on media and publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, said in statement that the so-called elders only existed in the inauguration of the author of the mischievous article, Mallam Sanny Sule Sale, whom he accused of faning the embers religious division among the peace – loving people of Wukari for personal aggrandizement.
He maintained that Mallam Sanny who was a former resident of Wukari, since retirement from government services, had found for himself a new vacation of promoting religions diversity in the state instead of availing the people his wealth of experience in creating an atmosphere for harmonious co-existence.
He said as a responsible government, it could not shy away from maintaining peace and security as there would be no meaningful development in an acrimonious society.
He maintained that the state government was working round the clock to ensure that peace was not only permanently restored to Wukari, but the entire state, adding that the government quest to develop the state will remain a mirage if we fail to maintain the peace.
Mr. Giwa also cited the governor’s recent visit to the Federal University Wukari, during an award ceremony, where the governor challenged the people of the area to give him and he will give them development in return.
“My good people of Wukari, give me peace and I will give you development. Wukari is destined for greater heights but this will not be possible if the people cannot live peacefully together” he quoted the governor as saying.
Meanwhile, Wukari Progressive Forum (WPF), have chided those painting the town as a hot – bed of ethnic and religious intolerance to have a re- think as the inhabitants are followers of different religions who had lived peacefully with one another until the return to democracy.
Chairman and Secretary of the association, Mr. David Hikon and Alhaji Mohammed Danjuma, in a press release said the bad impression being created about the area to the outside world by some outsiders who do not understand the complexities of the inhabitants needed to end.
According to them, some settlers who had enjoyed the hospitality of Wukari have now turned against her through their divisive activities after losing out in the current political equation and therefore, have decided to ensure that there was no peace in the area.
They said it was unfortunate that in the struggle for political patronage once a particular group in Wukari which was known for using religion and ethnicity to dominate the political space loses out the town will not know any peace again.
They cited groups like Federation of Wukari Muslim led by a self – style Ustaz Sanny Sule Sale, Taraba Elders and a host of other individuals who are residing outside the town as those responsible for inciting the people against one another.
The association decried the excessive use of religion in the pursuit of personal political ambitions by politicians in the area, saying that it was now time for everybody to turn a new leaf so that Wukari can enjoy the peace it desired.
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