The Taraba Commissioner of Information and Re-orientation, Anthony Danburam, on Tuesday said the Federal Government had deployed a task force to check the clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Mr. Danburam made this known in Jalingo at a peace and reconciliation meeting for residents of Lau Council Area in connection with the recent farmers/herdsmen clashes in the area.
He said the task force of senior military officers was touring crisis-ridden areas in the state to determine the possibility of a full-fledged military operation to tackle the wanton destruction of lives and property.
The commissioner said the state government and the federal government were worried by the spate of the crises which initially had political and ethnic undertones but was now taking a religious dimension.
He said the meeting was called by Governor Darius Ishaku to restore confidence and trust among the multi-ethnic groups in Lau, and to collectively find a lasting solution to the problem.
He said the meeting was not called for “blame game because every ethnic group is to be blamed and every ethnic group is a victim”.
In his contribution, Alfred Kobiba, Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, urged the Lau people to give peace a chance.
Mr. Kobiba advised the people of the area to imbibe the spirit of tolerance in all their dealings and avoid bloodletting in the slightest provocation.
Mafindi Danburam, North-East Zonal Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, said the crisis between Fulani and Mumuye was unfortunate given their 201 years of peaceful coexistence.
Mr. Danburam urged the Mumuyes and Fulanis to put their heads together and come up with a comprehensive recommendation for sustainable peace and development in the area.
Yunana Kinkan, the representative of Mumuye farmers, said his people were committed to a genuine peace process with the herdsmen.
Mr. Kinkan urged the general public to report to him any Mumuye found causing disharmony for necessary action.
Umaru Umaru, the Muslim Council Chairman for Lau, noted that the crises were initially between farmer and herdsmen, only for it to be turned religious by some desperate politicians.
Sunday Patrick, the Lau Christian Association of Nigeria Chairman, said the crisis was “influenced by Satan”, stressing that only peaceful coexistence could guarantee development.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that at least 10 people died in the January 31 crisis that began in Lushi village and escalated to other parts of Lau.