The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has raised the alert that some disgruntle elements were plotting to cause violence in Taraba State following the prolonged absence of the Governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, from the state.
The Forum, which was reacting to the controversies generated by the absence of Governor Ishaku from Taraba State in the last two months, expressed concerns that some mischievous elements might capitalize on the situation to cause mayhem in the state.
National President of MBF, Dr. Bitrus Porgu, in a statement issued in Abuja however, called on the people of the state to support the state governor and shun baseless rumours aimed at endangering the state.
The Forum noted that “The concerns expressed in some quarters over the seeming absence of Governor Ishaku and linking same to a possible resurgence of violence in the state should serve as a wake-up call on security personnel, as there may be certain forces plotting to cause a breakdown of law and order in the state.”
Dr. Porgu added there are many states in Nigeria that have come under unmitigated attacks even when their governors were perpetually on their seats.
According to the statement: “The attention of the Middle Belt Forum has been drawn to concerns expressed in some quarters over the absence of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
“While some have alleged that such an absence is capable of impacting negatively on smooth administration of the state, others have also argued that it could lead to resurgence of violence that may culminate into a slowdown in the activities of government.
“As the umbrella organisation representing ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt Region, we wish to state that Governor Ishaku has been avowedly committed to the defence of lives and property as demonstrated by the state government’s act of embarking on development projects towards peace and harmony amongst the diverse ethnic groups in the state.
“Considering his performance profile, Taraba State has continued to enjoy relative peace and development despite intermittent outburst of violence that is not peculiar to the state.
“Despite incessant attempts by certain forces to destabilise some states of the Middle Belt Region, including Taraba, Governor Ishaku has remained committed to ensuring continued service, safety and development for his people.
“There are many states in Nigeria that have come under unmitigated attacks even when their governors were perpetually on their seats.
“The brief absence of the Governor has neither led to the abandonment of any key projects in the state nor impacted negatively on governance.
“The civil service and other arms of government have also not suffered in any way on account of Ishaku’s perceived absence.
“Those engaged in lamentations over the Governor’s absence are obviously inspired by negative political partisanship aimed at creating ripples of discord and mischief in the state.
“As a Forum, we understand that those opposed to the Ishaku-led government would not rest on their oars to spread dreadful falsehood in a bid to cause discontent and discredit the tranquility and development enjoyed by the people.
“To discredit Governor Ishaku who has done everything to safeguard lives and property in the state amounts to sheer wickedness.
“Therefore, the current attempt to spuriously discredit Ishaku by alleging that his absence could fuel insecurity in the state is not only malicious and unacceptable, but also a demonstration of the weakling state of mind those opposed to Governor Ishaku are suffering from.
“As a Forum, we commend the devoutness of Governor Ishaku in working for the good of the state. Vital projects critical for the development of the state are going on uninterruptedly. The brief absence of Ishaku in Jalingo has not stalled the development of projects in the state or caused a delay in the payment of salaries or execution of projects in the state.
“Governor Ishaku holds regular meetings in Abuja with various groups on a regular basis. Among some of his consistent guests are prospective investors who are being assured of the safety of their investments.
“What Taraba State people should be doing now is to support the state governor and shun baseless rumours aimed at engendering negative perceptions and and unnecessary concerns over perceived absence of the Governor.”