Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
As the crisis between the Tiv and Jukun tribes in Taraba State continues unabated, both tribes have expressed divergent views on how to resolve the lingering violence.
Seven people were on Saturday reportedly killed at Ikyergba village in Takum Local Government area, while several other villages were also razed.
The attack was coming just as Governor Ishaku Darius held a meeting with Tiv stakeholders at the Government House in Jalingo on how to resolve the lingering crisis which has claimed several lives and displaced thousands of people.
Besides Ikyergba, other villages razed during the attack are
Tse-Ajayi, Akenawe, Tortsee, Mhambe, Agoor, NKST Jato, Imande-Ade, Lijam, Akesa, Tse-Yange and Kasuan Haske.
Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP David Misal, however, denied knowledge of the attack, saying he was yet to be communicated.
“I am yet to be communicated regarding any attack in Takum Local Government. For now I am not aware of any attack and nobody has communicated such information to me,” he said.
The crisis between the Tiv and Jukun has become perennial, dated back to the early nineties when the state was created and every effort to find a permanent resolution has been futile.
In separate interviews with THISDAY on how to amicably resolve the current crisis, leaders of the two tribes expressed divergent positions with each group sticking to its guns.
President of Jukun Youths, Zando Hoku, opined that the current crisis is festering due to the killings of Jukuns on their farms by Tiv militia, saying the only solution to the crisis is for the Tivs to halt the killing of Jukuns.
According to him, “The solution to the crisis is simple: the moment Tiv people stop attacking our people on their farms and killing them, the crisis will stop. But we can’t fold our arms and watch them (Tiv) killing our people. We will definitely react and also kill them. Let them stop attacking us and the crisis will end.”
However, the President General of Tiv Cultural and Social Association in the state, Goodman Dahida, said the major impediment to the resolution of the crisis is the settler status being ascribed to the indigenous Tivs in the state.
According to him, “We want peace, but there should be attitudinal change in referring to us as settlers. We are not settlers in Taraba, but indigenes and that is what the Jukuns didn’t want to discuss because of an agenda they’re pursuing against us.”
Continuing, he said “any crime committed in Taraba is ascribed to the Tiv people. The whole kidnapping incident in southern Taraba was placed at the doorstep of Tiv, but the Wadume case has so far revealed a lot of things.”
“Our people are being slaughtered in Takum on the allegation that they are killing Jukuns in their farms, but if security agencies are deployed they will unravel those allegedly killing people on the farm, and you will be shocked that Tiv people might not even be among them. I think the allegation is just a ploy to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
As the crisis rages on, residents of the state have continued to appeal to the two groups to sheathe their sword and embrace peace being brokered by the governors of Benue and Taraba states in the overall interest of the nation.