Taraba State Government has described as baseless, unfounded and malicious allegation by group called Taraba elders that Governor Darius Ishaku was fuelling the incessant communal crises in Wukari Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Ishaku, who was reacting to the allegation of the group yesterday, explained that the Wukari crises predated his administration and only inherited it on assumption of office on May 25 this year.
According to him, he has convened multiple peace meetings between elders of the various communities of Wukari as well as the generality of the people, where various sub-committees were inaugurated up to the village levels in the bid to find lasting peace in the area.
Senior special assistant to the governor on media and publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa said in a statement that the so-called elders only existed in the imagination of the author of the mischievous article, Mallam Sanny Sule Sale, whom he accused of fanning the embers of religious division among the peace-loving people of Wukari for personal aggrandisement.
He maintained that Mallam Sale, who was a former resident of Wukari, since retirement from government services had found for himself a new vocation of promoting religious diversity in the state instead of availing the people his wealth of experience in creating an atmosphere for harmonious co-existence.
He said as a responsible government, it could not shy away from maintaining peace and security as there could not be any development in an acrimonious society.
He maintained that the state government was working round the clock to ensure that peace was not only permanently restored to Wukari but the entire state, adding that the government’s quest to develop the state would remain a mirage if it failed to maintain the peace.
Mr. Giwa also cited the governor’s recent visit to the Federal University, Wukari, during an award ceremony, where he challenged the people of the area to be peaceful and he would give them development in return.
“My good people of Wukari, give me peace and I will give you development. Wukari is destined for greater heights but this will not be possible if the people cannot live peacefully together,” he quoted the governor as saying.
Meanwhile, Wukari Progressive Forum, WPF, has chided those painting the town as a hot-bed of ethnic and religious intolerance to have a re-think, as the inhabitants were followers of different religions and had lived peacefully with one another until the return to democracy.
Chairman and secretary of the association, Mr. David Hikon and Alhaji Mohammed Danjuma in a press release said the bad impression being created about the area to the outside world by some outsiders who did not understand the complexities of the inhabitants needed to end.
They cited groups like Federation of Wukari Muslims led by a self-styled Ustaz Sanny Sule Sale, Taraba elders and a host of other individuals who are residing outside the town as those responsible for inciting the people against one another.
The association decried the excessive use of religion in the pursuit of personal political ambitions by politicians in the area, saying that it was now time for everybody to turn a new leaf so that Wukari could enjoy the peace it desired.

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