BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI — Following the recent conflict between the bordering villages of Benue and Taraba States that claimed seven lives, the governments of both states, yesterday, inaugurated a 12-man peace committee to oversee the restoration of normalcy in the affected communities, with Chief Atoza Himdan of Benue State as chairman.
Other members of the committee which also has Mr. Ansetarang Iramae from Taraba State as secretary include the Divisional Police Officers from both Katsina-Ala and Takun.
Speaking at the joint meeting of the governors of the two states at Gawa, a bordering community in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, Governor Gabriel Suswam lamented the wanton destruction of lives and property in the area.
Suswam who blamed the the havoc on arms wielding criminals vowed that his administration would collaborate with the Taraba State government to fish out the criminals.
He explained that the joint meeting was not intended to apportion blames but to find lasting solution to the crisis which he said had left most of the affected communities deserted.
According to Suswam, “there is certainly no basis for fighting and killings in these communities because the people have been living in peace as brothers and sisters, but the criminals behind these crisis are bent on destabilizing the peace of the people and thereby hindering them from carrying out their farming activities.
“I urge security agencies that have been drafted to the troubled spots to discharge their responsibilities with utmost diligence so that the people can once again co-habit and engage in their farming activities without fear of being attacked by the criminals.”
In his speech, the Acting Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar, pleaded with the inhabitants of the affected villages who had fled their abode to return home, assuring that both governments had put adequate measures in place to ensure their safety.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Steven Lawani said the governments of the two states would frequently exchange security reports in order to ensure the security and well-being of the people.
Lawani said, “This move would definitely usher in an era of enduring peace among the inhabitants of all the affected communities who have overtime lived in peace.”
Top functionaries of government from the two states attended the the peace meeting.
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