Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, representing Taraba Central in the National Assembly, has called for calm in communities where ethnic militias carried out attacks as the Federal Government has deployed more soldiers to the troubled areas.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had earlier ordered for an extra military battalion, police reinforcements and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to the areas affected which led to the withdrawal of the armed militia.
The Senator said “I call on my constituents to persevere, to learn to live together and have faith in our own Nigerian projects. We are doing all we can to bring everything under control. They should remain patient and not take laws into their hands and certainly we are going to have solution to this lingering issue that has been on for more than thirty years.”
He called on political leaders in the region to embrace dialogue as a way of resolving the lingering crisis in the affected communities.
According to him, “There is nothing better than sitting together discussing these issues to pacify our people, to tell them we have to live together as Nigerians and we have a right to own property and to live anywhere as enshrined in the constitution. We must sit down together as enlightened people, as political leaders who want development and good things for our people to discuss genuinely and honestly.”
On the number of casualties from the crisis, the lawmaker said so far, it had been difficult to get full details of damage suffered from the attack due to the nature of the terrain.
“There is no proper assessment at this point in time, the terrain is so difficult and not much press and media has gone there but from fillers there was a lot of carnage. About 17,000 heard of cattle have been killed overtime with a lot of people and houses burnt.”
Sardauna Local government of Taraba which is located in the central senatorial district of the state is where the Mambila Hydro Power project is situated and the Senator believes once the project is completed, it will have an impact on the country and even beyond.
“Mambila hydro as at today is ranked number 100 in the world which tells how important the project is. It is a project that will change the lives of not only Nigerians but the lives of our neighbors. For 34 years it has been a drawing board but now we want to give it the teeth so that it will go on,” he said.
Taraba state which is located in Northeast Nigeria has a predominantly farming population and was created in 1991 by the military government of Ibrahim Babaginda.