Why Taraba Must Act Fast On Banditry, Insurgency

Insecurities in Nigeria is growing exponentially as each day passes by. The nation’s state of unrest will completely turn everywhere to miasma of bloodletting, if vital steps are not taken. The havoc being wreaked by insurgents and Bandits in the north west and part of north east is gradually turning the region completely unsafe. Most residents in Taraba are grip with fear as fleeing bandits from the north west are now taking refuge in Taraba state.

Recall towards the end of 2021, Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, raised an alarm over plots by Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) to establish terrorist camps in the state. Cases of banditry attack have increased at the moment.

On the 24 of January 2022, an explosive suspected to have been planted by terrorists blew up at the Catholic Chapel of St. John’s College, Mutum-Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol local government. This is the first time an explosion rock a church building in Taraba. This terror act is blowing a whistle of a starting point of many attacks to come. The government need to act fast to avoid another ‘Katsina Story’.

Also three persons were killed whil hundreds of others missing as bandits attacked Wuro Bokki village of Senderde ward in Gasol local government area of Taraba state.

The bandits, in military uniforms riding several motorcycles, struck on Saturday evening.

Report says the bandits in large number stormed the village at 4pm and wore military uniforms in large numbers. They burnt down 11 houses with properties worth millions of naira during the operation and returned to their base.

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It was also gathered that the bandits have camps in a forest between Senderde and Gasol wards of the council.

 

Also on the 12 of January this year, no fewer than 30 vigilantes were killed while several others are still missing during a bloody clash with terrorists in Gasol Local Government Area of Taraba State on Tuesday afternoon.

It was gathered that Miyeti Allah members and the local vigilantes, including some from Plateau State, on Tuesday afternoon organised themselves and went into the forest with intention of flushing out the terrorists from their camp.

The terrorists’ camp, it was further gathered, is located in a forest in Karbawi, near Karal village which is very close to Gassol town.

The terrorists got the information of the coming of the vigilantes through an informant.

The terrorists, after receiving information on the movement of the vigilante to their camp, stationed their members in strategic positions which gave them an advantage over the vigilante.

The terrorists outnumbered the vigilante, adding that they were over 90 with sophisticated weapons.

The question going through people’s minds is, if the location of the bandit are known, what are the government waiting for? Do they want the terrorist camps to spread all through Taraba before taking full scale military action?

The Bandits are already getting momentum as some of the traditional rulers seems not to reveal their location to the government.

Recall when governor Ishaku threaten to sack any traditional ruler who is harboring the bandit. He said “It is very sad that the traditional rulers are bent on encouraging this insecurity. Let me warn that I will not, and I repeat, I will not tolerate it and will not waste time to remove any traditional ruler that misbehaves.

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“I am kind and soft, but can sometimes be decisive, being quiet and gentle does not make me a mere footstalk to be rubbished.

“I must add with emphasis that security is of great concern to all of us; being the quietest state in the North East has its implications.

“I want to also talk to the traditional rulers, while we have warned them severally not to allow non-indigenes to settle in the state, their persistent refusal to abide by this warning is giving a lot of cause for concern to me,” the governor added.

Many cases of banditry attack have been reported since the year began, and this is a call for the government to sweep it forest clean before it becomes too late. Central Taraba has become a catching point for the bandit and this also has to be a direction for the government to safeguard the residents.

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