The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Benjamin Ahanotu has urged all residents living at the Mambilla Plateau of Taraba State to live in peace and harmony with one another.
This is coming against the backdrop of recent clashes and killings between the Fulani pastoralists and natives of community at Nguruje parts of Sardauna Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Ahanotu made the statement at the Palace of the Chief of Mambilla, His Royal Majesty Dr Shehu Audu Baju ll during a stakeholder meeting with Local Government Chairman, Councillors and District Heads of Sardauna Emirate / Mambilla Traditional Council today.
The GOC in a statement on Monday by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations (DDAPR), Col. Ogunsanya, expressed his dismay and disappointment over the crisis between Mambillas and the Fulanis whom over the years had been living peacefully and harmoniously with each other.
He also blamed the stakeholders for not nipping the crisis in the bud at the initial stage but allowed it deteriorated to the level that lives and property were lost and destroyed.
Ahanotu told the stakeholders that soldiers had been deployed to curtail any breach of security and urged them to report any threat to the troops for immediate action. He also urged the leadership of the Local Government to provide immediate succor to the people affected. He advised the traditional rulers to carry out intense sensitization to enlighten their people to be their brother’s keeper.
Earlier, Madaki Mambilla, Alhaji Isa Musa who represented the Chief of Mambilla, Dr Shehu Audu Baju ll commended the Nigerian Army for their quick intervention to prevent the escalation of the crisis. He said the Emirate Council on his part would do everything possible to prevent further occurrence of this ugly situation.
Responding the Chairman of Sardauna LGA, Hon. John Yep said the incident was quite unfortunate and promised to work out modalities for peace. He also said all wounded persons in the hospital would be given free medical treatment. He added that food items had been procured by the Local Government to give those displaced and vowed to sensitize the locals to live in peace.
The GOC was accompanied during the stakeholder’s meeting by the Commander 23 Brigade Brig Gen BA Muhammad, Commander 3 Military Intelligence Brigade, Col ASO Onilenla, Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Col KO Ogunsanya and Commanding Officer 20 Battalion Lt Col A Abdullahi as well as Acting Commander 3 Division Provost Group Maj EO Otakpemehi.