By Worldview Magazine.

The Taraba State Commissioner of Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative, Honourable Habu James Philip, has praised Governor Agbu Kefas’ prompt intervention on the Taraba State Bus killing incident that occurred in Gamkwe village, Donga Local Government Area of Taraba State.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the Commissioner, Hon Habu James and made available to the press.

The Commissioner said, the proactive steps that Governor Agbu Kefas has taken, in condemning the ugly incident, appealing for calm and charging the security agencies with a task to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime has gone a long way, not only in calming the nerves of the bereaved, but to strengthen the Governor’s zero tolerance policy on criminality in the state.

Hon. Habu James was referring to a press release signed by the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Re-Orientation, on behalf of the Governor Agbu Kefas, condemning the ugly incident.

In the press statement, Governor Kefas expressed sadness on groups or individuals taking laws into their hands, even as he charged security agencies to go after those behind the dastardly act. While condoling with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate attack, the Governor reiterated his administration’s resolve to ensure peace, security and well-being of all Tarabans irrespective of their tribes or other affiliations.
Worldview checks revealed that the passengers were travelling in a Selo Mass Transit bus from Zaki Biam in Benue State to Maihula in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State on Tuesday, when they were attacked at Gamkwe village, located at Marraban Baisa in Donga local government by unknown assailants, suspected to be a local vigilante group.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Taraba State Command, Mr David Iloyonomon, has confirmed that his men found seven bodies of the passengers, who were initially thought to be kidnapped, in the bush within the area while on patrol to contain a crisis between Ichen and Tiv ethnic groups.

While appealing for calm in the face of the ugly incident, Hon Habu James, who hail from Bali Local Government area, the destination of the ill-fated Bus, said Governor Kefas has laid a template of peaceful co-existence and zero tolerance to crisis and criminality, therefore it’s the responsibility of all the people in the state to reciprocate this gesture. He also cautioned against some statements that would inflame emotions and throw the incident into a crisis situation.

“From the Statement that His Excellency Dr Agbu Kefas has issued, you will notice that he is deeply concerned over the incident. It is not an idle threat when he said that the perpetrators of this ugly act must be brought to book. I have it on good authority that the security operatives are not resting on their oars to ensure that the culprits are brought to face the full arm of the law.

“Most of the victims are indigenes of Bali Local Government Area. Some are students whose parents are farmers indigenous in the state. It is therefore not a correct information when the Tiv cultural leader, stated in a press statement he issued that the victims are travellers that have no business with Taraba State. Also, we did not pray for a civil war situation. All that we pray for is calm and restrain in the face of such challenging moments. At any instance or circumstances, we must not embrace anything that is an alternative to peace. Peaceful resolution must remain our watchword. That is what Governor Kefas thought us. Therefore we must embrace it for the common good of all in the state.” He said.

Hon. Habu James commended the Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Barrister Kataps, as well as member, representing Bali 1, State Constituency, Hon Veronica Alhassan, for their support and the demonstration of love to the Tiv community of Bali during their trying period.

“Their words of advice, encouragement and their support, which have manifested in many ways, have gone a long way in stabilising the situation. I wish to use this medium to appreciate Barrister Chief GT Kataps and my sister, Hon. Veronica Alhassan, not only for the concern that they have shown, but also in ensuring that the remains of the victims of this dastardly incident are recovered and arranged for a befitting burial.” He said.


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