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Govs Ortom, Ishaku abroad as Taraba, Benue burn


Governor Ishaku

• Council bosses trade counter-accusations
• States to hold security meeting today

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, are not on duty as communal clashes ravage parts of their territories.

Leaders of the Tiv community say the crisis has already killed 23 persons, while the Jukun put their casualty figures at 12.

The conflict started two weeks ago in Kente Village, in Wukari Local Government Area (LGA), Taraba State and spilled to Ukum LGA in neighbouring Benue State.

“It is a big surprise that his state is on fire, yet he (Ishaku) is nowhere to be found,” said spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba, Aaron Artemas.

He wondered what became of the security votes the governor received since coming into office.

“Though I was not around when he left the country, I suspect he is in the United States,” said a source at the Taraba State Government House.

Ortom is reported to be on leave.

The Chairman of Wukari LGA, Daniel Adi, accused his Ukum counterpart, Iber Logo, of knowing the “boys doing this, but they don’t want to fish them out.” He added: “I am appealing to the chairman of Ukum to fish out these youths and take disciplinary actions against them.”

But Logo described the allegation as “laughable”, recalling an incident where “the chairman came with armed Jukun youths and dropped them at Igbogom Village, and while we were holding the peace meeting at Kente, Jukun youths started shooting.”

Taraba State police spokesman, David Misal, said the command was leaving no stones unturned with a view to restoring normalcy.

Meanwhile, an emergency security meeting of the two states is scheduled to hold today in Wukari.

Benue State acting governor, Benson Abounu, said the session would seek to proffer lasting solutions.

In a statement by his chief press secretary, Abounu described as unacceptable killings and destruction of property in the Tiv communities of Gbeji, Vaase and Jootar, and vowed the culprits would be brought to book.

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