The Jukun Development Association of Nigeria (JDAN) has rejected the report by a panel set up by the Nigerian Army to probe allegation of collusion of Nigerian soldiers in the killings in some parts of Taraba State.
After an allegation by a former Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma of military’s involvement in the killings in Taraba, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai set up a 10-member committee to probe the allegation.
However, the panel at the end of its assignment said there was no truth in the allegations.
JDAN National President, Chief Bako Benjamin, while addressing newsmen in Lagos said the panel’s report, falls far short of expectations and can at best be described as a shoddy job fit for the waste bin.
He lamented that rather than give hope of justice, to the families of the innocent farmers and other villagers hacked down by the herdsmen, the Army merely engaged in “empty rhetoric” of setting up of panels to cleanse itself of wrong doings.
According to him, the Nigerian Army yet again missed another opportunity to cleanse itself of allegations of gross abuse leveled against it not only by Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma but by a number of other human rights organisations including Amnesty International (AI).
“The Nigerian Army panel did a very poor and unprofessional job and wasted the opportunity to scribble their names in gold. The report is unacceptable to Jukun people and therefore it is hereby rejected in its entirety,” he said.
The panel, he further stated, almost completely avoided the main subject of the matter which is the attacks and killing of farmers and innocent villagers, but was addressing porous borders and past misunderstandings between brothers in a deliberate attempt to stir up tempers and portray Jukuns as historically troublesome.
“It is also curious that the panel deliberately refused to use a single material out of the hundreds of documented paper works, audio and video recordings of eye witnesses, community leaders and youth groups with shocking and gruesome evidences of ethnic cleansing and genocide in more than 20 villages across southern Taraba,” he said.