Kaigama urges end to Tiv, Jukun clashes
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has called on the government to end the recurring clashes between the Tiv and Jukun in Taraba State, which has plunged the people into greater poverty.
He also appealed to the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.), former governors of Benue, George Akume and Gabriel Suswan, as well as other elders of the two ethnic groups to speak out for peaceful coexistence.
Speaking at the Women Peaceful-Building Conference organised yesterday in Abuja by the Foundation for Peace, Hope and Conflict Management (FPHCM), Kaigama lamented that the violence in parts of Taraba and the boarder settlements of Benue was getting out of hand, adding that idle youths seemed to be looking forward to the next crisis.
He noted the strongly rooted suspicion, distrust and hatred between the Jukun and Tiv, which cause had remained a mystery despite the many panels of inquiry and reconciliation set up in the past.
The cleric pleaded with elders such as Danjuma, Sir and Lady Abu King Shuluwa, John Mamman, Akume, Suswam, Damian Dodo, Emmanuel Bwacha, Paul Unongo, Sam Ada and Joel Ikenga to speak out emphatically to calm nerves.
On the women conference, Kaigama said: “This gathering of Tiv and Jukun women in Abuja today is a positive step and a wonderful boost to peaceful coexistence among the two ethnic groups.
“Women are veritable peace instruments. You stand better chance and have the moral and emotional advantage of talking to your husbands, children and relations.”
The Director, FPHCM, Prof. Anthony Bature, said the conference was part of the organisation’s core values in building a peaceful society devoid of violence.
According to the Catholic priest, the conference is not academic. “The aim is to have the women undergo series of workshops and seminar, that at the end, they will be equipped with knowledge to serve as advocates for peace and equally,” he said.
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