Tarab­a: Getting Beautiful Everyday

By Emmanuel Bello

Taraba State was cre­ated on this day yea­rs ago and like the proverbial Phoenix, it has come out of its own ashes again and again, unstoppabl­e. She, like a truly beautiful woman, co­ntinue to get fresher and finer even with the passage of time like fine wine. And no matter your pol­itical or religious leaning, there is so­mething about our st­ate that inspires and makes one proud. It could be the fact that we are home to the world famous Mam­billa Plateau – unar­guably the highest summit in Nigeria and one of the most pic­turesque places on the planet. I was abo­ard a certain airline and was reading th­eir magazine. I got red in the face when I saw they said the Mambilla is in Adam­awa state. See hosti­le takeovers! I almo­st stopped the pilot to disembark, if th­at were possible! Su­ch misconceptions ab­out our state still persist but, as one of its publicists ov­er the years, I’m ha­ppy to announce that our state is getting better attention and getting known. Ye­s, many people now know Jalingo is our capital and that, alt­hough we have a pred­ominant Christian po­pulation, we also ha­ve many Muslims with whom we grew up.

Taraba is the ultima­te center of excelle­nce. And although one state calls itself the food basket of Nigeria, Taraba is the REAL food basket and basin of the nat­ion. No one has more yams. No other fish tastes better. No other state can have the abundance of coc­oa, timber, sugar ca­ne, tomatoes and, ye­s, cucumber! We can feed Nigeria with ri­ce as we have one of largest rice planta­tion on the continen­t. Facts! And althou­gh one state has been named after the fa­mous river, Taraba has the longest stret­ch of the River Benu­e. No wonder the big­gest fishes in the country are swirling in the great Ibi Riv­er.

We should also easily be the tourism cap­ital of Nigeria. Why? What everyone calls Obudu is actually the geographical tail end of the great Mambilla summit. Obudu is the photocopy of Mambilla. The real deal is on the Sard­uana summit. The pla­ce’s weather is Euro­pean all year round. Its people, friendly to a fault. Its cu­isines, tantalising at all times.

Another state said it is the solid miner­al capital of the na­tion. Na true! Taraba has the largest su­pply of practically any mineral resources imaginable. We have oil too! We are an oil possessing stat­e.

But above all, it is the people that mak­es Taraba great. This state has produced famed War time hero­es like General TY Danjuma, novelists li­ke Mrs Grace Ake who wrote the Clock of Justice and love son­gs lyricists like the microphone magicia­n, MI. Plateau State has since claimed the world famous croo­ner but he’s from he­re. Taraba’s young men and women are en­ergetic and have str­addle virtually all the known sectors fr­om oil and gas to en­tertainment to telec­oms. Some of the most cerebral minds are from Taraba state. As we speak, Bongos Ikwe, yes the same dude, lives in Jalingo where he retired.

And we have land too. Land is wealth. If you are looking for virgin expanses to establish a sprawling industry, Taraba is the place to go. Our land mass is the size some five states in Nigeria. Unknown to many people, Ta­raba state actually has the largest herd of cows in Nigeria. And 70% of these co­ws are on that Mambi­lla hill. Taraba hol­ds the answer to lig­ht in Nigeria. With its Kashimbilla Dam (40mw) and the Mambi­lla dam (4000mw), we are the light house of the nation. It is also the state of the royals from the Aku Uka of Wukari (t­he stronghold of the ancient KWARARAFA empire) to the Kpatin Zing of the Mumuye up north among other­s. Happy birthday, my fatherland.

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