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Published On: Mon, Jun 23rd, 2014

What Wukari crisis teaches us

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Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen Chris OlukoladeThe recent clashes in Wukari, Taraba state that left several dead are another pointer to the fact that a lot more needs to be done by the authorities to ensure a peaceful and harmonious coexistence between all groups in the country. We are glad though that normalcy has returned to that area in the hope that it will be long lasting this time around. With the nation already battling an unending insurgency, communal clashes being thrown into the mix can only make matters much worse.

Interestingly, the military authorities made a very significant intervention last week when they arrested some men who were disguised as Fulani herdsmen in Wukari to cause mayhem.  According to a statement by the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major General Chris Olukolade, members of the impersonating terrorist group were sighted in the course of air surveillance and later trailed to their camp where they engaged the troops in a battle clad in the usual pattern of dressing of their counterparts operating in Borno and Yobe states. The statement also said one of the apprehended armed men confessed that he had been fighting for the terrorist group in Borno and was recently brought to Wukari area in furtherance of their mission in Taraba state.

We urge the military authorities to step up their intelligence gathering so that they can easily nip the evil intents of the insurgents and other hoodlums in the bud before they wreak further havoc. As was pointed out in the past, there are many persons and groups that have been taking advantage of the insurgency to visit violence on innocent Nigerians. The arrest of these so called insurgents who went to Wukari to deepen the disaffection between the locals and Fulani herdsmen is a clear pointer to that.

Indeed many eyewitnesses in many parts of the country where attacks have been carried out of late have said that they saw men in military uniforms carrying out the attacks. These are clearly people who are bent on continuing to sow the seeds of disaffection among the peoples of this country to further their diabolical objectives.

It is disheartening that some groups in Taraba have already fallen for such tricks as they have been blaming the acting governor, Garba Umar, for supposedly being behind the Wukari crisis to further his political ambition come 2015. This is regrettable indeed as we fail to see why a governor could be behind the killing of his own people just so he can retain power. The governor now has a duty to prove to all the people of Taraba state that he is the leader of all by being fair and just at all times. He can start by ensuring the perpetrators of the recent violence are brought to book.

Security authorities must be vigilant at all times to ensure they discharge their duty of protecting life and property. We believe the ongoing war against insurgents can be won if a sincere and patriotic approach is adopted by all in fighting it.

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