Kogi Assembly calls for sustenance of JTF

JTF

JTF men on patrol

•JTF men on patrol.
•JTF men on patrol

The Kogi House of Assembly has urged the Kogi Government to sustain security Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising the army and other security agencies’ personnel to secure lives and property in crisis areas in the state.

The call is in the resolution of the House following the adoption of a Motion of Urgent Public Importance which urged government to curb unwarranted killings and destruction of property raised by Mr Sunday Shigaba (PDP-Bassa) at plenary on Friday.

The motion was sequel to the eruption of communal clashes between Bassa-Kwomu and Egbura-Mozum both of Bassa Local Government in Kogi where many lives were lost and properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed.

Presenting the motion, Shigaba said that the crisis which erupted between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 in Kpanche village claimed more than 10 lives, according to official report.

The lawmaker said that a corpse was discovered in the bush following sprout of smell, adding that the casualty figure was not exhaustive as corpses of victims caught up in uninhabited places could still not be found.

He said that the crisis, casualty figure of which was put at over 40 by unofficial reports, came at a time when people were passing through economic hardships resulting from recession which was taking its toll on the people.

Shigaba described the consequences of the crisis as “colossal self-imposed loss and socio-political and economic imprisonment” that was avoidable if only the key actors in the crisis had accorded themselves mutual respect.

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Most disturbing of the crisis, according to him, is the fact that the security personnel (the Joint-Task-Force) in the race to quell the crisis is involved in an auto crash which left eight personnel injured and are presently hospitalised in Dekina and Lokoja.

He commended Gov. Yahaya Bello and security agencies for the swift and timely response “which substantially helped in bringing the crisis under control” and commiserated with the army and the police for the injured personnel.

Shibaga in his prayers, however urged government to sustain the presence of the task force team in the area pending the return of normalcy and urged that similar gesture be accorded all crisis-ridden areas in the state.

Seconding the motion, Mr Godwin Osiyi (PDP-Ogori-Magongo) described the situation as a sad one, saying it was not healthy for communal clashes to become a recurring decimal in an area as it would retard development.

The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Umar Imam, condemned the bloody clash between the two sister communities, saying that the loss of lives and property was unfortunate and commended the timely intervention of the governor and security agents.

Imam thereafter put the question and following overwhelming support of members, adopted the motion along with the amendments.