Gov Yahaya Condemns Renewed Hostilities in Gombe Communities

Segun Awofadeji

The Gombe State Governor, Mr.  Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has expressed deep concern over the renewed hostilities between the Lunguda and Waja speaking communities of Balanga Local Government Area of the state.

Yahaya sued for peace during his visit to the affected areas at  Nyuwar and Gilengitu in company of heads of security agencies in the state yesterday, and warned for the umpteenth time that his administration would not spare any person or groups bent on instigating violence and unleashing mayhem to achieve selfish desires.

He assured that the perpetrators of the violence would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi,  observed that “there is hardly any dividing line between the people of Lunguda and Waja in view of their long standing historical relationships covering critical areas like inter-marriages, cultural heritage and social ceremonies.”

He said his administration is deeply worried by the renewed violence, especially at a time when the rainy season is setting in for farmers to begin land preparation for this year’s cropping. 

Yahaya explained that his administration has been diplomatic in ensuring amicable resolution of the Lunguda/Waja crisis in keeping with homegrown solution for peace.

He, however, said that the time has come for the government to deploy a new approach in dealing with the crisis which has so far claimed lives and properties worth millions of Naira.

He called on the traditional and community leaders as well as the entire people of the area to cooperate with the government and security agencies to ensure safety and security in their communities. 

The governor visited the Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDPs) at Jessu where some of the victims are taking refuge to sympathise with them over the unfortunate incident.

He assured them of the state government’s immediate intervention to cushion their sufferings and emphasised the need for the people of Lunguda and Waja to eschew violence in all ramifications.

Earlier, the District Head of Nyuwar, Mr. James Pisagih, appealed for more decisive action in dealing with the perpetrators of the violence, saying that “of course the governor has done well in deploying security forces to maintain the peace but we are appealing to him as our leader to arrest and prosecute those instigating violence in this area.”

Pisagih said Nyuwar community has been under constant attack by individuals suspected to be militias from the neighbouring community who have so far “killed our people, destroyed our properties and means of livelihood of the people of this community.”

The traditional ruler expressed gratitude to Governor Yahaya’s exemplary leadership for his prompt response and sending a delegation to empathise with the people of Nyuwar. 

In the same vein, the Spokesperson for the Gilengitu community, Mr. Usman Adamu Sirja, equally thanked the state governor for showing empathy with the people of Gilengitu in their most difficult moment.

Sirja, however, suggested that the opportunities for peace are within touching distance if the government could convoke a peace and reconciliatory meeting that would clear grey areas bordering on farmlands and access to government facilities.

The district head of Jessu appreciated the Gombe State’s governor for his prompt response to quell the renewed hostilities and called for concerted efforts to end the carnage.

Since the perennial clashes between the Lunguda and Waja communities spread between Adamawa and Gombe States, the governors of the two states, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri  and Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, respevtively, had summoned a peace meeting in Numan, Adamawa State, which brought prominent sons and leaders of both communities in their respective states where they discussed on ways to achieve lasting peace in both communities who are brothers from time immemorial.

During the meeting that was tagged the “Numan Peace Accord,” an agreement was signed for the rebirth of peace and sustaining it among Lunguda and Waja communities.

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