Press conference by tribal leaders in Taraba State

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TEXT OF A WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE LEADERS OF MUMUYE, FULANI, KUTEB AND TIV IN TARABA STATE HELD
ON 30TH JULY, 2020 IN JALINGO

LET US CORRECT THE INJUSTICE IN TARABA STATE

  1. Gentlemen of the press,
    It has become necessary for us to brief you on the following development in the state, especially as it concern the ongoing injustice meted on some of the major ethnic groups above in the state. We are grateful to God Almighty for still keeping some of us alive despite the efforts by some forces to eliminate or to truncate our existence completely from the state.
  2. It is no longer news that since 1996 when the stool of Ukwe Takum (a Kuteb chief) became vacant due to the demise of late Ukwe Ali Ibrahim Zorto, several efforts were made to install a new Ukwe but to no avail. This later culminated into series of crises in that area that consumed several lives and properties worth billions of naira. We also want to draw the attention of the world to an alleged devilish plan to appoint three third class chiefs in Takum town only which has never happened anywhere in the world, for three chiefs of high class to rule one town. Infact, as we are speaking the gazette to effect these appointments is alleged to have been drafted by a lawyer in Kaduna right now. Following these ugly developments, therefore, we wish to call on the state government as a matter of urgency to fill in the vacant stool of Ukwe from Likam ruling house, so as to avert further crisis in Takum within 30 days, knowing fully well that a house without a head will not stand.
  3. Similarly, The Mumuye in Jalingo, Lau and Ardo-Kola wish to draw the attention of the world also that the government has created chiefdoms and districts for most ethnic groups in Jalingo, Lau and Ardo-Kola without taking into cognizance the interest of the Mumuye, the largest ethnic group in these areas. In the light of the above, we wish to categorically state that chiefdoms should be created for Mumuye in Jalingo, Lau and Ardo-Kola for justice to prevail. However, we the Mumuye in these areas wish to emphatically state that we cannot be under the rulership of the Kona Chiefdom rather under the Muri Emirate Council.
  4. Gentlemen of the press, you may wish to recall that crisis erupted between the Jukun and the Hausa/Fulani in Wukari in 2014, where properties worth millions of naira mostly that of Hausa/Fulani were destroyed. In some cases, the said properties including land confiscated by the Jukun. We urge the state government to take proactive measures to ensure that the Hausa/Fulani go back to their land unconditionally and their property given back to them so as to allow peace reign in Wukari.
  5. You may also recall that, the Tiv people in Southern and Central Taraba State were attacked, killed, maimed and displaced by the Jukun since April, 2019 and their property worth millions of naira were destroyed in the crisis which would have been averted if justice would have on a play. On this note, we wish to call on warring factions to shield their sword and allow peace to reign and the government should urgently set machineries in motion to allow both sides who were displaced to go back to their homes to continue with their normal businesses unconditionally before the raining season ceases.
  6. Gentlemen of the press, you will further recall that the Lamdo of Bakudi Chiefdom in Bali has passed away for some times now without a new one being installed. In this, as a common saying goes. “justice delay is justice denied”, we therefore call on the government to install from the decease lineage without further delay just as done in Donga and other places in the state just as we earlier stated on the issue of Ukweship in Takum to allow permanent peace reign on the issue of vacant chieftaincy stools in the state.
  7. In another development, the creation of Yangtu Special Development Area by the Danbaba administration was a palliative measure to calm the nerves of the people of that area pending when boundary issue between Ussa and Takum would be resolved. But unfortunately, the state government has deliberately refused to address the matter. It is believed that the government feels the people are satisfied with the development. This action of government has disenfranchised the people of Kwambai, Jenuwa and Bika council wards as they do not vote in House of Assembly and local government elections. Their children are being denied employment, admission and other incentives from government because they do not belong to any local government in Nigeria. In the light of the above, we wish to call on the state government to scrap Yangtu Special Development Area so that the affected three wards remain in Takum according to their wish as provided in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  8. One of the injustices perpetrated on the people was the creation of some chiefdoms which were not qualified in the state, this should be urgently corrected. Some of these chiefdoms are; Kwararafa, Chanchaji, Chonku, Kona, Bakula, Bakin-Dutse, etc where major ethnic groups were denied their cultural and traditional rights of rulership by appointing a minorities to rule over the majorities.

We call on the state government to further consult widely to correct the ills done and also to create new more qualified chiefdoms to carry everybody or tribes along in order not to kill or terminate the culture and tradition of other ethnic groups.

Finally, the group wishes to express her unalloyed loyalty to the state government under the leadership of Arc. Darius Ishaku and urge all her members to remain calm and be law abiding while we wait as the state government corrects the pending injustices.

Thank you all.

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