Worried by the spate of attacks on the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, returnees to Taraba state, the Taraba Peace Initiative in Bali has appealed to the state government and other relevant agencies to come to their aid.
Chairman of the organization in Bali local government area, Rev. Daniel Anum, who made the appeal while speaking on the plight of the returnees, said the appeal was necessary because of the hardships the returnees are facing back in their ancestral homes.
Though he lauded the efforts of Governor Darius Ishaku to ameliorate the suffering of the returnees, he further appealed to him to look at the condition of the returnees who lost everything in the crisis and consider providing them with basic necessities of life.
“Life is difficult for us the returnees. Our main challenge now is food and shelter. We want to appeal to the state government to assist us with food and tents to hide our heads pending when the rains will stop,” he pleaded noting that their houses were destroyed along with other necessities.
“Many of our children are suffering from malaria, cough and other diseases associated with cold. It’s a good thing we are back to our places, but life is becoming unbearable,” he said and appreciated the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for the food and other materials donated to them while they were in IDPs’ camps.
He revealed that about 2400 of them had so far returned with a good number of the returnees hovering around Bali and its environs because of lack of shelter.
It could be recalled that the state has been enveloped in series of ethno-religious crises in the state in recent years particularly between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers which have claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands mainly in the central and southern parts of the state.
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization, Rural Integrated Development Initiative, RIDI, has advised the Taraba state government to adopt peacemaking and not peace keeping approach as solution to incessant communal clashes in the state, Executive Director of the NGO, Mohammed Tanko Danburam gave the advice yesterday in Jalingo.
The director, who has reportedly mediated in various crises in the country including the Jukun/Tiv crisis of 1992 and 2001, the Mambilla/Fulani crisis all in Taraba state and the Ife/Modakeke crisis in Osun state among others, said the Taraba crisis requires sustained peacemaking initiative.
“What the state government is doing at the moment is peace keeping, which is not a permanent solution to the crisis. When you ordered traditional rulers to ensure peace in their domains, they will carry out your instruction, but you have not made peace. Government needs to go down the root of the matter in order to find lasting solution.
Danburam continued that “We need to change the mindset of our people. Our elders must come out publicly to renounce violence and condemn incessant crisis in the state.”
While informing that he supported the call for a peace and security summit to fashion out ways of ending incessant crisis in the state to pave way for development he however added that the efforts must be made to change the mindset of the people toward violence.

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