Calls for takeover of security in Taraba panicky -Umar
Acting Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar, has described the call by the State House of Assembly on the Federal Government to take over the securityof the state as uncalled for and panicky.
According to him even the Federal Government has not been able to solve the crises in the North East and Plateau State, which it had been battling with for many years.
The governor, who spoke to journalist through his Special Adviser, Media, Mr. Aaron Artmas, said the call was not an indictment on the administration, but rather an appeal to the Federal Government to send in more troops to tackle the problem.
He said the executive and the legislature had been collaborating to combat the insurgency, which have been ravaging some communities of the southern part of the state.
Artmas said, 'The appeal by the legislators to the Federal Government to take over is not an indictment of the state government as such, and not to suggest that the state government has failed to do its own work, but that Federal Government needs to send in more troops, hich we have been requesting. There is no conflict between the executive and legislative arm in Taraba State.
'The House of Assembly, which is the legislative branch and the state government of Taraba, which is the executive arm has been working hand in hand to stabilise the polity of the state. I don't believe that the view of the legislators on the happenings in the state is strictly on the fact that the government has failed to perform its functions to secure lives and property, but rather a panicky situation. Everybody in the state is under pressure, both the executive and the legislature, everybody is under pressure to see to the end of these crises.
'Secondly as the acting governor himself has said, the present crisis is a national crisis in that it affects more than 10 states in Nigeria. The FG is overwhelmed by the crisis and does not have the capacity to solve the problems once and for all as it were.
'We have problem in the North East, which the Federal Government is battling to contain and then you have the one in Plateau, which the Federal Government is also trying to combat for years now. The crises extended to Nasarawa and Benue. In Taraba, these problems are in the southern parts of the state, that is Wukari, Ibbi and some parts of Gassol local government, which also border Nasarawa and Plateau on the River Benue bank .
'So if the Federal Government has the capacity, it would have solved all these problems in the entire country. Almost all the security apparatus in the country is overstretched. The governor has requested for troops and the government has been managing the crisis within its own capacity and resources, but you know that the governor does not control the army, the police of the civil defence. It has to collaborate with the Federal Government to tackle these issues.'
However a group, Southern Taraba Forum for a Just Society, has said the call by the House of Assembly was an indictment on the ability of the acting governor to control that affairs of the state.
The group called for Umar's impeachment.
The group, in a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Manu Caleb, said, 'The Taraba State House of Assembly should start impeachment proceedings forthwith of Garba Umar, having told him clearly that he has failed. By asking him to turn over southern Taraba to the Federal Government, they are telling him clearly that he is partisan in this crisis and lacks the moral persuasion to bring about peace in the area.
The statement added, 'We urge the Speaker and members of the Assembly to rise up to the occasion and do what is needful. They ought to invite Umar, probe his involvement in this crisis. The truth is that we have lost faith in Umar's leadership. In some climes, he would have resigned. But the Assembly can prosecute him and impeach him for failing to carry out one of his most basic duties: the safety of lives and property.