The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Taraba on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to extend the Army Operation Whirl Stroke to Taraba to tackle killings in the state.
The Acting Chairman of CAN in Taraba, Rev John Aina said the killings in Taraba had assumed a worrisome dimension and government must rise up to avert further bloodshed in the state.
“CAN Taraba is saddened by unfortunate recurring crisis in the state and we call on the federal government to extend the Army operation Whirl Stroke currently going on in Benue to some flash points in Taraba to help restore peace in the affected communities.
“We condemned in strong terms the unabated killings of residents of communities by suspected herdsmen.
“In the last few months, 73 people were killed in Lau and Ardo-Kola local government areas of the state across 49 villages.
“These attacks have led to the displacement of over 15,000 people who are now living as IDPs at various locations in the state in dehumanizing circumstances,” he said.
While extending their condolences to families of victims of the crisis, CAN called on the international community, civil society groups and well meaning Nigerians to stand up and be counted among those in defense of human lives which is sacred.
Aina noted that if the killings in Taraba and other parts of the country were not quickly tamed, it might affect the 2019 elections.
The Chairman called on security agencies to be on the alert to forestall any breach of peace in the state as the 2019 elections draws near.
Reacting to the CAN press briefing, Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Mr David Akinremi confirmed that there have been killings in Lau but the situation had since been brought under control.
“The situation in Lau is not as bad as what CAN is portraying, there were some killings but the situation has been brought under control.
“We have deployed personnel to strategic points in the area to restore peace and to enable IDPs return to their homes.
“People have to understand that security cannot be present in every village, but we are trying our best to ensure safety of lives and property,” he said.
Akinremi advised CAN and other religious organisations in the state to always share there security concerns with the command for necessary action.