No fewer than 67 persons have been kidnapped and several others killed in Taraba State between November 2018 and March 2019 in Lau, Jalingo, Donga and Takum Local Government Areas of Taraba State.
Caretaker Chairman of Takum Local Government Area, in a telephone interview said 35 people had been kidnapped in his local government area from November to date.
Also, Chairman, Donga Local Government Area, Nashuka Ipeyen, said nine persons were kidnapped in the area between January and March this year. It was learnt that six persons were reportedly abducted by gunmen in Jalingo Local Government Area within the period.
Though Jalingo Local Government Caretaker Chairman, Mr Abdulnaseer Boboji, told one of our correspondents that he would provide the official figure after cross-checking his records, he never did as of the time of filling this report.
However, a senior official in the council, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed that six people, including Chief Press Secretary to Governor Darius Ishaku; a prominent civil servant and immediate past Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Jalingo branch, were kidnapped in Jalingo.
In Lau Local Government Area of the state, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria in the area, Mr Sunday Muke, said 17 people were kidnapped from Lau between November 2018 and March, this year.
Some residents, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the wave of kidnapping and killing in the area, blamed politicians for the rising insecurity.
A resident of Takum Local Government Area, Mr Musa Tsokwa, lamented that if adequate measures were put in place after the kidnap and subsequent killing of a lawmaker, Mr Hosea Ibi, the problem would have been solved.
He said, “Other than tackle the issue and properly address it, the first high-profile kidnapping in the state (Hosea Ibi’s case) was shrouded in secrecy and a particular tribe was stereotyped as brains behind the evil when it was clear that other ethnic groups were also involved in the crime.
“Has anyone cared to know why all of a sudden kidnapping has become so lucrative in Taraba? Most kidnappings in the state go unreported and the state government has not done enough to address the issue.”
Taraba not silent over killings, kidnappings – Dan Abu
But Taraba State Government has denied allegations that it was silent over the killings and kidnappings in some parts of the state.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Mr Dan Abu, said the state government had done enough in ending killings and kidnappings in the state.
Abu explained that several meetings between Taraba State Governor, Mr Ishaku, and his Benue State counterpart, Mr Samuel Ortom, were held in Wukari with a view to finding lasting solutions to the problems.
He said, “Even now that Ishaku is out of the country, Deputy Governor, Mr Haruna Manu, is fully on ground and he is currently meeting with deputy governor of Benue State in Wukari to look into the crisis there.
“The two governors have taken the issue of security on the border of the two states very seriously and that is why during their last meeting in January over border security they both agreed to offer amnesty to criminals in Taraba and Benue to end trans-border killings and kidnappings.
“At the moment, documentation of those criminals willing to accept amnesty is going on. Government officials in the affected local governments have been directed to liaise with stakeholders on their localities for the documentation and once that is completed, amnesty will be given to repentant criminals.”