By Lawrence Olaoye
A group under the aegis of Taraba Justice Forum has condemned in its entirety what it described as the divisive, reckless statements and falsehood being peddled by some elements in Taraba State linking the state acting governor,Alhaji Garba Umar, with recent unfortunate killings and disturbances in Wukari and surrounding areas.
In a statement signed by Barrister John Ambulus, the group said the allegation is most uncharitable, baseless and contrary to known facts about the long history of conflict within Wukari region adding that it was a deliberate politicization of a most painful event which led to deaths and mass destruction of livelihoods of innocent residents of the ancient town.
It credited the unfound statements to a serving Senator described as a desperate power seekers who is ready to set the state ablaze in pursuance of his ambition. ‘’At a time many compassionate citizens are seeking for peaceful resolution, the Senator gleefuly alleged that perpetrators of the crisis do so with the intention of portraying the southern district as crisis-ridden with the overall mission to stall its plan to produce the next governor of the state”, the statement read in part.
The statement further accused the Senator of making false accusation that the state is broke and that the acting governor is looting the state treasury in preparation for 2015 governorship race.
‘’Nothing can be more deceitful as we are aware from reliable sources that Garba inherited a state account in debt up to the tune of 7 billion naira when he took over as the Acting Governor of the state. He paid up the debt and the state is now economically bouyant. Where was the Senator when the state account was in red under multiple loans? There is nothing wrong in taking loans for developmental purposes .Lagos state, acclaimed to be fast developing, is the most indebted state in Nigeria’’, the statement added.
The group also decried the statement made by the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Timothy Yahaya, who called for the impeachment of the acting Governor asking ‘’why should a religious leader become a political tool to be used to aid those seeking to destabilise the state?’’. It said the CAN chairman’s statement is not only irresponsible but an action worthy of investigation by security agencies.