By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna chapter of Jukun Development Association (JDA) has cried out over the increasing activities of kidnappers and armed robbers in the state.
At a news conference on Thursday in Kaduna, Chairman of the group, Mr. Timothy Usi Majinda, called on the federal government to take urgent steps to address the situation as farmers can no longer go to farm because of these criminal activities.
Majinda said in the last two weeks, about 16 people were abducted while armed robbers operated almost on a daily basis.
Taraba had been ravaged by conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
“We are appealing to the federal government to look at the security challenges facing Taraba state critically.
“Now you cannot drive from Kaduna through to Makurdi, Katsina Ala and Takum because the road is very insecure.
“Within the last two weeks about 16 people had been kidnapped. On Wednesday, between Takum and Wukari, four people were kidnapped. In the northern part of Taraba state, cases of kidnapping and armed robbery are rampant.
“People can no longer go to farm because of the activities of these criminals,” he said.
According to him, besides Benue State , Taraba is the second largest producer of yam and rice.
“If we want to make rice production sufficient, Taraba state has the capacity to feed the nation. But insecurity is a great setback to realising this agricultural potential of the state. Farmers will plant crops on their farms, only for the herdsmen to come behind them and harvest the farm produce or put their cows to feed on the farms and you cannot talk.
“If you talk the story would be politicised. We are pleading with the federal government to address the situation,” he said.
Majinda also kicked against the idea of grazing reserve being promoted by the federal government saying the Taraba people cannot give away their land to foreigners from Chad and Niger Republic in the name of grazing reserved.
“We cannot give away our land to foreigners who know nothing about our ancestral homes” he added.
Also speaking on the 2019 elections, the group endorsed Governor Darius Ishaku for a second term, saying he has performed well in the last three years.
“Today anybody who has been following developments in Taraba state will attest to the fact that the Ishaku administration has impacted positively on the people by initiating projects and programmes that have direct bearing on the masses,” he said.
According to him, some of the governor’s landmark achievements are in the health, education, agriculture, road construction, industrialisation and solid mineral development sectors among others.
“We hereby endorse him for a second term, come 2019 to continue with his good works. We called on the good people of Taraba state to give him the support to consolidate on the good foundation he has laid for a great Taraba state.
“He has demonstrated that he has the vision and the capacity,” Majinda said.