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Taraba Chieftaincy Crisis: We Have Been Peaceful With Each Other- Karimjo, Wurkum Groups

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The Karimjo-speaking people in the Karim Lamido local government area of Taraba State, have blamed the administration of Governor Darius Ishaku for being responsible for the recently clashed between the Karimjo tribe and their neighbors, the Wurkum tribe.

The Former National President of Karimjo Community Development Association Nationwide, Zubairu Bitrus made the allegation while briefing journalists in Jalingo.

He said the two tribes including about twelve other tribes have been leaving peacefully with one another for centuries not until recently when the issue of chieftaincy and chiefdom creation began in the state by the present government.

“Karim Lamido is a multi-cultural society, having Karimjo as the first settler of Karim. That is why Karim is named after the tribe called Karimjo and Karimjo has been nicknamed by the Fulani, we are Karim by tribe but the ‘Jo’ that is a prefix to it has been given to us by the Fulani-Karimjo, which means ‘Karim Man’.

“Karimjo people have been yearning for emancipation for many years when it comes to chiefdom, we have written several memoranda but to no avail. It was just a caveat that we are under Wurkum Chiefdom. We have accepted in good faith, even though it is long overdue for us to have our freedom but nobody cares.

“The present administration gave part of Wurkum as Banbur Chiefdom with the headquarters in Banbur and decided to appoint a Second Class Chief in a Wurkum Chiefdom after the demise of the father of the present appointed Second Class Chief and then imposed him in Karim Land, which is not Wurkum land.

“Am not talking about Karim Lamido, Karim Lamido is a local government, “Karim” is a designed territory within Karim Lamido which is inhabited by Karimjo people who are the rightful owners of the land and all the resources you may think of.

According to Bitrus, the peaceful protest embarked on by the Karimjo youths which is constitutional was aimed at letting the world know that they were shortchanged as a people but ended up in molestation, killing, and burning of their houses by the alleged Wurkum militia with the alleged support of the military. 

He alleged that the military was been sponsored to take sides in the crisis because of the influence of the Wurkum tribe in both the military and the government.

When asked for the way forward, Mr. Zubairu Bitrus said giving the Karimjo their Chiefdom will solve the crisis because everyone needs his freedom.

“If I may estimate, we are about fifty thousand (50,000) Karimjo people asides from women and children, you know I am thinking like an Israeli because Israeli don’t count children and women and the landmarks are about 195kmq by my estimation. Bitrus added.

On the other side, the National President of Wurkum Community Development Association worldwide, Comrade Wilfred Kwamchi told newsmen in Jalingo that when their brothers, the Karimjo people heard about the announcement of the new Second Class Chief by the Government of Taraba State they started burning tires in Karim Lamido for reasons based known to them.

“So, when he was presented with the staff of the office on the 11th May 2023 we took him to Karim, on reaching Karim, things were in order, everywhere was quiet but in the night the Karimjo brothers went to the houses of the Wurkums in Karim Lamido and started burning them,” he alleged.

 On whether the traditional stool in question is supposed to be rotational, Mr. Kwamchi said “Well, I don’t know what they are claiming, it is not supposed to be because Wurkum Chiefdom has been in existence since 1976 when the late Chief of Wurkum was Turbaned as the third Class Chief and since then we have been in power up till now.

“And the entire local government, history has it, it is called Wurkum District, it is not Karimjo District, the Chiefdom is not Karimjo Chiefdom is Wurkum Chiefdom,” Kwamchi insisted.

On the allegations that the Wurkums are using their advancement in terms of education and politics as well as having influential people in the military to victimize the Karimjo tribe, the worldwide leader of the Wurkums, Comrade Wilfred Kwamchi said “Let us no believe what they say, let us assume I am retired military personnel, am not oo but am just giving you as an example, let us assume I am a retired Lt. Gen. In the Nigerian Army, can I in my own as a Wurkum man request for the military to go to Karim Lamido? I can’t, because am no longer in service, so, they are only telling lies.

“And if they talk of because we have educated people, well, nobody has stopped anyone of them to go to school.

When asked for the way forward, Comrade Wilfred Kwamchi said if not because of what the Karimjo did on Friday 12/5/2023, they have never quarreled with the Karimjo people.

“So, the way forward is for them to come back home and think of the relationship that exists between us and them but if they want to go the way they are going, I want to say it as a President, for now, we are calming our boys not to take arms, not to take laws into their hands but if they continue we will be force to also retaliate.

“The first out of the seven villages belonging to Wurkum they went and burnt is called Balasa and Balasa has been in existence even before the Karimjo went to Karim Lamido, they were not in Karim Lamido, they were around the river ban area. In Fact, we will allow the crisis to rest and if the Karimjo man wants to tell you that Chiefdom belongs to him, let him come and depend on it. They should have done what the Banbur did to get their Chiefdom if they so desire. Kwamchi revealed.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu suggested that the Permanent Secretary of the Bureau for local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bello Yerro should be contacted because he will be in a better position to know what they did in appointing the Second Class Chief of Karim was good or wrong.

However, in a telephone conversation, Lt. Oni, spokesperson of the Nigerian Army 6 Brigade Jalingo said the organization is not a tribal institution, therefore the Nigerian Army would never take sides while intervening in any crisis.

He described the allegation as false and an attempt to tarnish the image of the military.

Meanwhile, the Karim Lamido Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairman, Barrister Shehu Voks alleged that the security operatives have discovered a handmade explosive device at the palace of the Chief of Wurkum, adding that “My security personnel shared the idea with me and I told the DPO to carry out an investigation to determine whether it is a life one or not which he asked the DSS to do so, while he reported the matter to the police headquarters.

He made the allegation while fielding questions from Journalists in Jalingo on the crisis.

“People lost their lives and many have been hospitalized but presently the security operatives have taking over the area and peace is relatively returning. Over ten thousands people have been displaced while property worth millions of naira were destroyed,” Voks added.

While appreciating Governor Darius Ishaku for his prompt response, Shehu Voks also appealed to the state and federal governments to provide relief materials to the displaced people who are taking refuge in Lau LGA and some at the palace of the Chief of Wurkum.

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Government

CCNE Congratulates President Tinubu, Urges Him To Improve On Security, Economy 

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By Sani Yarima 

The Concerned Citizens of the North East (CCNE) has extended its warm congratulations to President Bola Tinubu on his first anniversary in office. 

This milestone marks a significant point in Nigeria’s democratic journey, and the CCNE commends the President for his leadership thus far.

In a statement issued by Lawrence Bilal Audu, Director of Corporate Communications, the CCNE urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to intensify efforts in addressing the pressing issues of bad governance in local government areas.

The organization emphasized the need for the government to prioritize the welfare and well-being of citizens at the grassroots level, ensuring that the dividends of democracy are equitably distributed.

The CCNE also called on the government to redouble its efforts in tackling the challenges of security and economic development. 

The organization stressed that the nation’s progress is contingent upon the safety and prosperity of its citizens and implored the government to implement policies and programs that promote sustainable economic growth and ensure the security of lives and properties.

Expressing optimism in the Tinubu-led APC government’s ability to overcome current challenges, the CCNE believes that with renewed commitment and dedication, Nigeria can be propelled towards a brighter future. 

The organization once again congratulated President Tinubu on this milestone and looks forward to seeing more progress in the years ahead.

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Government

Kurmi LGC Boss Urges Ethnic Groups To Embrace Peace, Assures Ending Conflict In Taraba

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By Alexander Akumaior

The two warring tribes, Ichen and Chamba Dakka in Bissaula, Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba State, have been advised to let go of bitterness and embrace each other for the sake of peace and development.

The Chairman of Kurmi Local Government Council, Moses Maihankali advised in an interview in Jalingo. 

He said the reconciliation process is ongoing to bring the two warring parties together to foster permanent peace and stability in the community. 

Maihankali stated that his administration is committed to supporting Governor Agbu Kefes’s five-point agenda to ensure the peace and security of the citizens.

The chairman said that even though he inherited the long-standing communal crises, he assured that he would explore all necessary strategies to establish lasting peace and stability between the two tribes. 

He revealed that he had already held separate reconciliatory meetings with the Chamba Dakka and the Ichen communities to discuss the need to reconcile the two ethnic groups for peace and unity. 

Moses Maihankali explained that these discussions have yielded positive results and plans are underway to invite the groups to Baissa to bring both parties together for reconciliation. 

This will be followed by warm receptions and celebrations before facilitating their official relocation to the Bissaula community for the final settlement in their homes.

He noted that following the displacement of people from the community, bandits took advantage of the area to carry out nefarious activities, but said the situation had been brought under control. 

The chairman called on the warring residents to forgive one another and forget the past to complement Governor Agbu Kefes’s peace initiative and allow development to thrive.

It should be recalled that the prolonged crises in Bissaula, which displaced the entire community for about three years, started as a result of the chieftaincy tussle between Ichen and the Chamba Dakka.

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Government

Gov Kefas Appoints Dr. Hassan As Deputy Chief of Staff 

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Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State Tuesday approved the appointment of Dr. Emmanuel Lawson Hassan as the Deputy Chief of Staff.

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of the State (SGS), Gebon Timothy Kataps, and issued to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Yusuf Sanda said the appointment takes immediate effect.

Before his appointment, Dr. Emmanuel Lawson Hassan was a lecturer in the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies at the Federal University Wukari.

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