Tension in Taraba as Army Withdraws Troops from Crisis Areas

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Wole Ayodele in Jalingo

Palpable fear and tension has gripped residents of Takum and Donga local government areas as the Commanding Officer of 93 Battalion, Ada Barracks, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari ordered the withdrawal of soldiers deployed to enforce peace in the areas.

Chairman of Donga local government area, Nashuka Ipeyen who confirmed the withdrawal of the soldiers, said the withdrawal commenced 10.00 am on Saturday.

Ipeyen further told Journalists that when he contacted the Commanding Officer to ascertain the cause of the withdrawal, he was told that the soldiers would not be redeployed until the state government writes an undertaking to guarantee the security of the soldiers.

According to him “when I complained to him over the withdrawal of soldiers because we received information that some villages were going to be attacked, he told me he can’t risk the lives of his soldiers.

“He insisted that he was withdrawing the soldiers until the state government writes an undertaking that they will take responsibility if any of the soldiers is attacked or killed.

“I don’t know why the state government would have to do that for the soldiers when the attackers are killing civilian on a daily basis. Just a while ago, a Tiv man was shot dead in a village at the outskirts of Donga town here”.

Alternatively, Ipeyen disclosed that he has contacted the state Commissioner of Police whom he said has deployed three trucks of anti-riot policemen to the flash points to provide security for the people.