Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state has reiterated his earlier stance that all lives matter as far as his state is concerned. He said that as a father to all, he does not discriminate.
He stressed that his philosophy was to equate one life with all other lives and that the death of any one is injurious to him.
He said: “Perhaps I’m the only one who knows how deeply hurt I feel when I hear of the death of any Taraba citizen due to crisis or as a matter of fact, for any other reason. Of all the things Taraba people look up to me for, the preservation of their lives and property is number one. If I fail to protect them, then I’ve really failed. So that’s why I said I would give my life; I would rather be sacrificed than any Taraba person no matter their tribes, religion or status, who die because of any violence. It won’t happen under my watch and I mean it. I would not sleep until there is peace everywhere.”
Governor Ishaku made these assertions at a dinner in Abuja with some selected Editors of various media agencies across the country.
In his opening remarks, the Governor said the era of keeping the media out of government activities was gone, as the emphasis now was on partnerships.
“I am a beneficiary of the work of journalists especially in ensuring that people’s mandates are protected,” he said.
Mr Ishaku noted that the dinner was to foster better relations between the state and the media.
“I consider my self a friend of the media and have always sought a better relationship with the Fourth Estate of the realm. Back in our state, we are actively pursuing the digitisation project of our television and radio outfits. We now have 17 hours of television and the radio is also enhanced because we have phased out obsolete equipment. We are confident we will someday have 24 hours TV. We have a newspaper-the Sunrise newspaper, which has relapsed but we are working hard to revive it. What we did was to take the over 80 staff and subsume them into other ministries for the time being, so they conrinue to earn their salaries. When we are done digitising, we shall go back to the paper,” the Governor explained.
On the recent crisis that engulfed Sarduana local government in his state, Gov. Ishaku said at the heart of the problem was the issue of land, noting that it was neither ethnic nor religious, as was erroneously reported by some media outfits.
According to him, “the challenge now is how to solve the land ownership problem, which the government is looking into. The people with claims over lands would have to prove it”, stressing that “there is no policy to forcefully take land away from bonafide owners but justice must be done.”
Governor Ishaku said he would be willing to hear an alternative to ranching, as a way to stop clashes between herders and farmers.
“If there is a better option for good cow production or a better method to stop cows from destroying farmlands, please I would like to hear it. But for now, and I think all over the thinking world, this is what is practiced.” He concluded.