- The government has been urged by Femi Falana to look into the killings in Taraba state
- The lawyer called on state governors to focus on their duties of protecting the people
- State governors, together with the president, have been called on to take charge of the situation
Femi Falana who is an activist and lawyer has raised alarm over the spate of killings and kidnapping in Taraba state.
The Nation reports that the lawyer spoke at a conference at the Falana and Falana law firm with the Junkun Development Association of Nigeria also in attendance.
Bako Benjamin who is the national president of the association claimed 148 Jukuns have been abducted from their homes in the past few weeks. He said what was happening in Southern Taraba was worse than the situation in Taraba.
He said: “In the past, people get removed from their cars, if you are traveling in a flashy car on the roads and they take to the bush. But today, because people have avoided the roads, they go to houses and removed people from their houses and demanded for ransom and sometimes, even after ransom is paid, they still kill them.
“As we speak, one Alhaji Mayo, who runs some filling stations in Takun, he was removed from his house, taken to the bush and they used his phones to call his family and demanded N200 million. They negotiated and after selling a lot of his property, they managed to raise N105 million, which they collected.
“As if that was not enough, they told the wife to drive all the man’s cars to a location. They took all the cars and drove them away. Just yesterday (Saturday), the younger brother called and said they have been impoverished. The man is still with them in the bush in captivity.
“A hotelier, Ahmadu Emmanuel, they wanted to abduct him from his house. He resisted, he was shot dead in cold blood. That was two weeks ago.
“We are in deep trouble, far worse from what is happening in Zamfara. Our people no longer travel home and those at home have started leaving to join their families in Lagos. Except something is done urgently, the Jukun communities in Taraba would become extinct.
Benjamin and Falana urged state governors, together with the president, to take charge of the situation.
Falana said there is an impression that the country has is a federal police force but that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) envisaged that police powers shall be managed by the president and the governors.
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He said: “Between 2003 and now, the National Assembly has established Civil Defence Corps with powers to bear arms. In addition, the Prison Service, Customs, Immigration, and others are also allowed to bear arms whereas Section 214 of the Constitution says, there shall be only one police force in Nigeria.
“So if the federal government sets up forces and other agencies that can bear arms, why are state governors shying away?"
Legit.ng had reported that casualties have reportedly been recorded in the raging communal clashes between the Tiv and Jukun population in the north central part of Nigeria.
Many were feared dead as the two tribes clashed again in Wukari, south of Taraba state.
According to the report, residents fled the area following fighting that has led to the burning of houses and injuries to several people.
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