Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo

The chairman, Caretaker Committee of Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State, Hon. Tanko Maikarfi, on Tuesday, January 28, called on the Taraba State government to empower local hunters and vigilante personnel to tackle cases of kidnapping and other forms of crime in the state.

Maikarfi, a former Deputy Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, made the call while chatting with journalists in his office, adding that cases of kidnapping and armed robbery in the state were on the rise because security personnel lacked knowledge of the hideouts of the criminals.

He said, “The issue of insecurity is a serious challenge for me and the state in general. Just yesterday in my village, five persons were kidnapped alongside two motorcycles, but the vigilante and hunters rescued them.

“There is another case of kidnapping that the local vigilante and hunters are trailing. The truth of the matter is that soldiers, police and the Civil Defense officers don’t know the bushes and the hideouts of these criminals like the local hunters and the vigilante people.

“A joint operation involving the hunters, vigilante and security personnel will help in addressing the problem and we must support them as a government.

He therefore called on the Taraba State government “to come out with a strong vigilante team and support them with local weapons to fight insecurity in the state.”

According to him, “Each community should be allowed to recruit people within the community, who are of good conduct to police their community. The community support and engagement will yield the desired result.”

Maikarfi, who said that he has achieved much within his short time in office, noted that if the security of the local government improves, he will bring the needed development to the people of Gassol.

Commenting on the crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in Dan-Anacha over the change of name of village to Kworofa by Governor Darius Ishaku, the chairman said the tension generated over the issue in the area have been brought under control.

He however, said the place has been placed on red alert over the leadership tussle of who controls the yam market in the area; just as he lamented that Gassol Local Government, which has the capacity to top revenue generation in the state was performing below average as a result of insecurity.

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