Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
The ethnic crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in the border areas of Taraba and Benue states, which have claimed several lives, have finally been brought to an end following the intervention of the deputy governors of the two states.
No fewer than 20 people were killed with properties worth millions of naira destroyed in the crisis, which broke out on April 1, at Kente community in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The two deputy governors, Haruna Manu of Taraba State and Benson Abounu of Benue State had convened a security meeting at the Federal University, Wukari, in Taraba State, which was attended by the Tor Tiv, Prof James Ayatse and the Aku Uka of Wukari, Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi, as well as other key stakeholders.
An assessment tour of the affected areas particularly Chonku, Vaase and Kente communities were visited to determine the level of destructions caused by the crisis, with an opportunity to interact with members of the communities. Both groups have ceased fire and normalcy has returned to the areas.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the security meeting which was signed by the two deputy governors, the youths of the affected communities were urged to sheath their swords and embrace peace.
Besides, they stressed the need for community and security collaboration to achieve enduring peace and further took the following resolutions just as they condemned in strong terms the wave of wanton destruction of lives and properties in the two states as a result of the crisis.
The meeting underscored the need for the Tiv and Jukun people who are indigenes of Benue and Taraba States to be loyal to the political and traditional leaderships of the two states and accept the indigeneship of the state they belong.
And to prevent a further outbreak of crisis amongst the two tribes, the meeting mandated the political and traditional leadership of the two states to constitute a joint committee with two co-chairmen and four others from the border communities to work out modalities for peaceful co-existence.
The meeting also stressed the need for the full implementation of the resolutions reached at previous peace meetings particularly the meeting held at Kashimbila on February 27, 2017, and the one held at Ugba on July 2017 as well as the one held in December 2018 at the Federal University of Wukari so as to resolve the contentious issues that had always resulted to crisis between the ethnic nationalities.
While setting up a peace committee to go round the affected areas to assess and determine the level of destructions, the two governors resolved to provide relief materials to assuage the hardship of the people just as it charged security operatives to always respond swiftly to crisis situation to avoid devastating effects.