Faulty boundary behind Tiv, Jukun crisis, FG insists
CAN, coalition urge harmony, passage of peace bill
The Federal Government yesterday identified improper demarcation between Benue and Taraba as well as banditry and kidnapping as some of the major factors behind the raging bloodletting between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in the northeastern state.
A statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) observed that the crisis had adversely affected economic activities, claimed lives and properties as well as displaced persons and communities.
Leaders and stakeholders from both states, including Governors Samuel Ortom and Darius Ishaku, the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse and the Aku Wukari had on Wednesday met in Abuja to find a lasting solution to the impasse.
The communiqué highlighted the commitment of the Federal Government to facilitate an early resolution by lending support to the peace-building process.
Besides, the non-implementation of past agreements was also identified as a problem.
After an intensive deliberation, the meeting according to the document, resolved that there should be immediate cessation of hostilities to pave way for truce.
The governors were charged to strongly condemn the development and visit the affected communities as a confidence-building measure.
Besides, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Ayokunle, has appealed to the combatants to sheath their sword in the interest of the development of their states.
The appeal was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja.
The cleric pointed out that no society could move forward in an atmosphere devoid of peace, tolerance and harmony.
Ayokunle therefore tasked Tiv and Jukum on truce talks to solve the problem once and for all.
He disclosed that CAN was making efforts to reconcile the warring parties.
Also yesterday, a coalition of non-governmental organisations for peace and development in the Benue valley called on the National Assembly to urgently pass the National Peace Policy Bill to enable President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurate the National Peace Commission.
A statement yesterday in Jalingo by Rt. Rev. Foreman Nedison; Rev. N. N Inyom and Rev. Manaseh Musa noted that the setting up of the peace body would address most of the conflicts threatening the nation’s unity and corporate existence.
The religious leaders were saddened that “criminal elements have taken advantage of the prevailing insecurity to cause mayhem in the region.”