The Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku, has informed the Army panel investigating the comments made by Gen TY Danjuma, that the state is fully behind the former chief of army staff
– The governor also chided troops in the state for mistreating citizens and disarming them of petty arms while ignoring those with lethal weapons
– The Army panel sympathised with the governor and people of the state, and pledged to carry out a transparent and unbiased investigation into the matter
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state on Thursday, April 12, threw his weight behind the recent statement by a former Chief of Army Staff, Theophilus Danjuma, which accused the Army of colluding with armed bandits and a called for self- defence by citizens, NAN reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that Ishaku disclosed this when he hosted the probe panel set up by the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, to investigate the recent allegation made against the Nigerian Armed Forces by the elder statesman.
“We in Taraba are fully behind what Danjuma said on self defence. As an ex-army general with a high reputation, I think that call deserves to be looked into and not to be criticised because he spoke the minds of everyone in Taraba and indeed all Nigerians,” he said.
He described the coming of the committee as timely, assuring them of a conducive working environment to succeed in their assignment.
Ishaku explained that the frequent attacks by herdsmen led to the promulgation of the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law after consultations with stakeholders. He decried the activities of soldiers in Taraba state who, he noted, were going about mistreating citizens and disarming them of petty arms while ignoring those with lethal weapons.
The governor debunked the claim by the military that his government did not complain about all that was happening in the state. According to him, he had visited the president, the vice president, as well as written several letters on the alarming situation and therefore the claim couldn’t have been true.
Earlier, chairman of the Army Probe Panel, John Nimyel, a retired major general, sympathised with the governor and people of Taraba over the loss of lives and property in the state. He told the governor that they were in the state to ascertain facts on the comments made by Danjuma, a retired lieutenant general, so as to enable them come up with ways the Army can serve the country better.
According to him, members of the committee were selected based on their past track records of excellence and pledged the determination of the panel to be unbiased, free and transparent in their assignment.
“The statements by Danjuma has indeed cut short the reputation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria which cannot be ignored. If the Nigerian Army will continue to earn the trust and respect of the people of the state and indeed Nigerians it must investigate such a statement.
“We will do our best and visit all the three senatorial districts and interface with traditional rulers, stakeholders and government representatives so as to come out with a decision as regards the allegations raised by the general,” he said.