Taraba Elder statesman celebrates 75, initiates Peace Forum
By Jethro Yerga
A Taraba State elder stateman, Chief Shaakaa Adagba has on Tuesday, this week celebrated his 75th birthday amidst pomp and pageantry. Although the elder stateman said the celebration was low key, well-wishers and political party associates gathered in large number to identify with him.
The event took place in a location around Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
The Stateman used the medium to formally unveil a Non-Governmental Organization, known as Taraba Tiv Peace Advocacy Group. The platform, according to him was to support the Government of His Excellency Dr Kefas Agbu for his peace initiatives in Taraba State. He also emphasized the Group’s need in synergizing with the present leadership of the Taraba State Cultural and Social Association in achieving an enduring peace between the Tiv people of Taraba in particular and their neighbours in general.
Speaking at the gathering on his birthday that cuts across diverse ethnic groups, Chief Shaakaa reiterated the importance of peace and love for one another, even as he emphasized that at his age and position, he needed nothing more than toying hard day by day to see that his people live peacefully among themselves and other tribes in the state.
Relating his state of mind with the Biblical Simon, whom he said had prayed not to die till he sees the saviour of Israelites birth, the elder Stateman also prayed that God should do same to him by adding him more years to enable him see the results of his struggle for peaceful coexistence of his people.
“All I have to tell God at this age is that I am grateful. At 75, I have seen more than enough. Many have gone to the world beyond, most of my friends, colleagues, relatives and age mates are no more. That I’m alive today is not by my making but by His grace.
“The Lord has provided me all that I need in life. I have trained my children and younger ones, some are Professors, some are doctors with all their wives. In fact, am fulfilled at a personal level but at a general level am not fulfilled. But I want to leave and see that my people have gotten my desired peaceful coexistence with other tribes in Taraba State.
“I have been working day and night towards restoration of peace across boundaries through our Taraba Tiv Peace Advocacy Group and I want to see the result. I want to witness the end of hostility between my people and any other tribe in Taraba State “. He added.
Elder Shaakaa urged his people to embrace the spirit of forgiveness and been patience in all situations, maintaining that not all provocations call for crisis and crisis anywhere does not profit any one.
Reacting on the issue of the newly inaugurated Exco of the Tiv Cultural and Social Association, the elder stateman congratulated the officials and advised them to key into his peace initiatives by working tirelessly to see that they broker peace between Tiv and Jukun communities, especially in Southern Part of Taraba State.
Chief Shaakaa, a winner of many peace awards, further lauded the recent developmental strides embarked upon by the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Dr Agbu Kefas. He particularly identified the inclusion of vibrant young men into his administration and the general reformation policies in educational system of the state where free education has been declared by the governor and the slashing of school fees by half at the Taraba State University and School of Nursing and Midwifery, among others.
He described Dr Agbu Kefas led administration as a government with a human face and a face of hope for a better Taraba State and called on the people of the state to give the governor, overwhelming support in all ways to enable him succeed on his revolutionary policies.