Monarch denies destroying farmlands in Taraba


The traditional ruler of Muri Emirate, Alhaji Abbas Njidda Tafida, has denied allegations that he destroyed farmlands belonging to the Mumuye ethnic group in Kachalla Ward, Ardo-Kola local government council in Taraba State.

Addressing journalists on Thursday in Jalingo, the state capital, the Emir who described the allegation as false, reiterated his dedication to protecting the interest of both local farmers and the community.

The Mumuye Cultural Development Association Youth Wing, through its National President, Ezekiel Augustine, had urged the state governor, Agbu Kefas, to address what it described as the monarch’s “divisive behaviour”.

The group alleged that the Emir not only confiscated their farmlands but also destroyed their crops.

The group equally called on the governor to direct the Emir to compensate the affected farmers and return the lands to their rightful owners.

In response, the Emir invited journalists to inspect the farmlands, maintaining that the lands in question belong to him and not the people of Mumuye.

Addressing journalists in his palace located in Jalingo metropolis through one of his staff, Musa Umar, the Emir who took journalists down the memory lane on how he purchased the lands from the Mumuyes, said he had not at anytime attempted to destroy their crops or evict them from the lands.

Presenting documents to support his ownership claims, he applauded journalists for deeming it fit to visit the farms in question before reaching out to him for clarification.

“I am glad that you all went to the farms to see things for yourselves,” he said.

Supporting the monarch, his farm manager, Umoru Kona, also refuted the allegations asserting that the traditional ruler was the owner of the lands but have been leasing them out to the people.

According to him, the current dispute arose when the Emir requested portions of the land to cultivate grass for his cattle.

Some Mumuye elders, who also spoke with journalists, confirmed that the land was sold to the traditional ruler by the Mumuye people.

They admonished the youths of the ethnic group to distance themselves from acts capable of jeopardizing the peace of the community and the state at large.

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