Members of the Taraba State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, expressed concern over the activities of armed bandits and terrorists which they said have taken over some villages and communities in the state.
The members who raised the alarm on the floor of the House in a motion jointly sponsored by members from both Taraba north and south constituencies, urged the state governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas, to immediately liaise with the Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe and Plateau State governments to establish a Joint Border Security Patrol to curb the trans-border criminality.
The lawmakers demanded that security checkpoints along Manya – Takum highway and from Takum to Ussa be immediately restored to check the influx of criminal elements into the hinterland.
They called for the deployment of adequate security in affected areas to contain the incessant attacks on people.
The motion was sponsored by Abubakar John Tanko Yusuf- Takum 1 Constituency John Lamba – Takum II Constituency Joshua Urenyang Rikupki-Ussa Constituency, Angye Josiah Yaro – Wukari II Constituency, Jethro Yakubu Zikengyu – Wukari | Constituency and Annas Shuaibu – Karim-Lamido II.
The members who alleged that some villages and communities are now under the control of bandits and terrorists, said the “unknown gunmen have rained heavy attacks on several villages/communities in parts of Southern Taraba as well as in Karim-Lamido Local Government Area of the same State.”
Seeking urgent measures to contain the situation on the floor of the House, they said ”bandits and terrorists have taken advantage of the crisis to take over control of some villages and communities”
They reported that Tati, Muje, Kpashi, Basang, Shenta, Kpashembe, Rikwen, Tumbu Kwaribe, Yadi among others are villages now being overrun by bandits, lamenting that the terrorists, have forcefully ejected the original inhabitants and turned their farmlands into grazing fields, banditry camps and safe havens for other criminal activities such as kidnapping.
“The people affected by the crisis have been rendered homeless, without food, access to health care and education, thereby exposing them to famine, epidemics and attendant hardships and other inconveniences of displacement,” the lawmakers said.
The members also expressed concern that the crisis which has persisted is now fast spreading to some neighbouring communities in Donga and Kurmi Local Governments Councils “thereby jeopardising the stability of these areas.”
”If the banditry activities are not brought under control, it will lead to a humanitarian crisis with all the attendant consequences”.