Tiv, Jukun Conflict Can Stoke Food Shortage, CAN Warns

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Wole Ayedele in Jalingo

The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Taraba State, has said that food crisis was imminent if the communal violence between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups was not checked.

The Chairman of Taraba CAN, Pastor Isaiah Jirapye expressed the concern in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo yesterday.

Jirapye said the tribes locked in the conflict were predominantly farmers, and regretted that the violence had made it difficult for them to visit their farms.

The clergy, who particularly condemned the gruesome murder of Rev. David Tanko by unknown gunmen along Takum-Wukari road, advised the perpetrators to repent and seek the face of the Lord.

“It is worrisome that both Tiv and Jukun, who have been living together as brothers, will fight so dirty, killing and destroying their homes.

“Another issue of concern is that both ethnic groups are predominantly farmers who have been forced to desert their farms due to fear of attacks.

“The adverse effect is that this crisis will lead to food shortage and that will affect everybody. I am appealing to both parties to sheath their swords and embrace peace.

“I am very sure that governments at all levels are putting everything in place to resolve the conflict amicably. I also advise the killers of Rev. David Tanko, who was on a peace mission before he was shot dead, to repent and confess to God, otherwise they will face their punishment which is death.

“The Tiv and Jukun people all claim to be Christians, but their actions do not portray Christianity. This lack of tolerance is a huge embarrassment to Christianity,” he fumed.

Jirapye commended the state government for its support to the displaced persons, and especially for the provision of facilities and security in the IDPs camp.