Shomo/Jole crisis: Taraba constitutes judicial commission of inquiry

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The Taraba State Government, on Monday, constituted a judicial commission of inquiry into the Shomo/Jole crisis in Lau Local Government Area of the state.

The commission of inquiry, which has four weeks to complete its assignment, is chaired by Hon. Justice Silas Haruna of the State High Court.

In March this year, the age-long crisis over a fishing pond reared its ugly head again, claiming lives with several houses burnt.

Inaugurating the commission, Governor, Darius Ishaku, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Haruna Manu, announced the total ban on fishing activities in the disputed fishing ponds till further notice.

Ishaku, who expressed sadness over the prolonged feud, said his administration would take drastic measures to curtail once and for all, the continuous wanton destruction of property and bloodletting in what has now become an annual ritual.

“It is indeed sad to note that, a number of attempts have been made by previous administrations as well as this government, to genuinely seek permanent solutions to the claims and counterclaims over the ownership of some ancestral fishing ponds in Lau Local Government Area.

“This Judicial Commission Inquiry is made up of statesmen of impeccable character, to proffer permanent, workable and acceptable resolution to this age-long fratricidal disagreement that seems to defy logical answers.

“We are, however, not discouraged by the lack of progress in earlier attempts, that is why this high power panel will be given all the necessary tools and support to perform the important responsibility of resolving this protracted bloodbath, among the two communities that have lived alongside each other for ages.”

The judicial commission of inquiry, which has representatives from the security agencies and the traditional rulers was mandated to identify the remote and immediate causes of the crisis and uncover those behind the crisis.

“Identify the communities affected and the impact of damage caused including lives and property.

“Identify the role of traditional institutions, community leaders, religious and political leaders involved in the crisis and make recommendations on how to forestall further crisis in the area.”

Reacting to the development, President of the Tiv Youth Council in Taraba State, Comrade Kelvin Katyo commended the Governor for setting up the commission and called on him to do same for the Jukun/Tiv crisis.

“What is good for the goose is good for the gender. The governor rejected a commission of inquiry into the Jukun/Tiv crisis during the meeting in Abuja.

“But now that he has set up a commission of inquiry into the Shomo/Jole crisis, we want to believe he has found his bearing and we want to call on him to immediately set up a commission of inquiry into the age long Jukun/Tiv crisis.

“The Jukun/Tiv has prolonged more than any other crisis in Taraba and it’s only incumbent on the Governor to write his name in gold by setting up the commission of inquiry.

“Doing so will clear him of the allegations of bias in the crisis,” he said.

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