By Adedayo Akinwale
Tiv Taraba Peoples Association has called on the federal government to set up an independent commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate the root causes of the incessant crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in Taraba State.
The group also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the immediate return of the Tiv people who have been displaced by the Jukun militia to their ancestral homes.
The president of the group, David Uchiv, stated this Saturday while addressing a press conference in Abuja, where he stated categorically that the on-going crisis between the Tiv and Jukun had nothing to do with neither kidnapping nor banditry as alleged, but ‘purely political.’
He said, “The federal government should direct the appropriate bodies to set up an independent commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate the root causes of the incessant crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in Taraba State.”
Uchiv said that the crisis which has continued for about six months now had recently forced the President Muhammadu Buhari to convey a peace meeting in Abuja, noting that while meeting was in progress the Jukun militia allegedly launched an attack on Jandeikyura village in Wukari Local Government where they burnt and looted 13 houses that same evening.
Shedding more light on the crisis so far, he said that on the September 11, 2019, the Jukun militia from Takum Local Government Area, attacked the villages of Tse-Adekpe, Tse-Adam, Tinekon and Tse-Yongogba, killed two Tiv people and beheaded them.
“Thursday September 12, 2019, one Igbalumun, a commercial driver, loaded passengers from Mutun Biu in Gassol Local Government Area to Zaki-Biam Benue State, while on his way, he picked a Jukun passenger at DanAnacha. Unbeknown to the driver, the Jukun passenger alerted the Jukun militia in Wukari town who laid in waiting for the arrival of the vehicle. On arrival in Wukari town, the driver stopped to drop the Jukun passenger, and the vehicle was immediately attacked and the driver was instantly shot and killed, while the rest of the Tiv passengers numbering up to seven (7) were dragged out of the vehicle and slaughtered in broad day light like animals.”
Uchiv added that on the 14th of September 2019, Ishaku convened a security meeting in Jalingo with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the crisis, stressing that at the end of the meeting decisions were taken among which included the setting up of a 30-member committee comprising fifteen Tiv and fifteen Jukun.
The group however frowned at the decision of Ishaku to nominate members of the committee, saying it would be counter-productive, because the people to be nominated by him would be his cronies who they said would only reason like the governor.
The group however expressed hope that the president would give a listening ear to the plight and the woes of Tiv people in Taraba state.