Residents of Southern Taraba through their umbrella organisation, Jukun Development Association of Nigeria, have accused the state governor, Darius Ishaku, of abandoning them to the mercy of kidnappers and killers that have turned their lives into a living hell.
Passing a vote of no confidence on Governor Ishaku for his inability to address the raging crisis between the Jukuns, his kinsmen, and some Tiv militia groups attacking the Southern part of the state, the residents said the worsening and protracted insecurity in the region had led to the deaths of hundreds of persons and kidnap of scores others.
In a statement by its National President, Chief Bako Benjamin, and General Secretary, Bulus Abe, the Jukun Development Association of Nigeria said the vote of no confidence became necessary because the governor was missing from his duty post and had abandoned his people for a very long time.
The statement reads, “February 2019 was the last time Jukun people saw Governor Ishaku despite unprecedented killings, kidnappings and destruction of properties still ongoing in Southern part of the state which is his homeland.
“Jukun people were doing very fine with their small subsistence economy and sleeping well with our eyes closed before the coming of this governor.
“His coming to power has not only impoverished the Jukun people but also exposed us to ridicule as a people incapable of governing Taraba State well.
“Wukari and Takum is constantly under threat from some Tiv militia groups to the extent that Jukun people are wondering if the governor is not supporting the carnage against them.
“This is because he has been unable to provide security for the people despite almost N11bn security vote from the Federal Government and borrowing of additional N86bn since assuming office five years ago.
“Though Darius Ishaku is not a governor for the Jukun people alone, his seeming silence over the crisis ravaging his homeland and daily kidnappings ongoing in state capital, Jalingo, since he became governor was worrisome.
“The Jukuns are never in anyway the political power brokers in Taraba State and that is why in the 29 years of the creation of the state, the Jukuns in Southern Taraba are just producing a governor in Darius Ishaku.
“Yet, for reasons best known to the Tivs, they have insisted that the Jukuns have been the ones depriving them of all political privileges in Taraba State hence their unending attacks on Jukuns.”
A state official when contacted by our correspondent, said Governor Ishaku had not abandoned any group in Taraba and that he was doing everything possible to ensure the protection of lives and valuables in the state.
He said, “We understand the argument of the Jukuns but that is not to say Governor Ishaku has abandoned them in any way.
“The governor is a servant of every group in Taraba and shall continue to do his best to protect residents and their properties.”