The Tiv Youth Council (TYC) and Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Guardians of Democracy and Development have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the recurrent ethnic crisis between the Jukun and Tiv in Taraba state.
The groups made the appeal during a rally at the Unity Fountain Square in Abuja on Wednesday to draw the attention of the general public and that of the president to the continued ethnic clashes between the Tiv and Jukun.
Leaders of the two groups Mike Msuaan, President of Tiv Youth Council and Solomon Adodo, Convener, Guardians of Democracy and Development who jointly addressed the press at the rally accused politicians for the crisis.
“The stellar successes achieved by your (Buhari) administration have not come without a cost.
“On the one hand the government has maintained consistent dexterous and self-sacrificing efforts while on the other hand the fiendish elements that benefitted from the old other have injected a strong bile of hatred and a relentless determination to consistently fight and frustrate the government under your patriotic leadership.
“It is on the heels of these that the certain politicians have latched in on some strong primordial sentiments to stir up communal crisis, ethnic violence and other forms of insecurity just in a bid to paint the government as insensitive and lacking tact in combating crimes and insecurity.
“The recent upsurge in violence and communal wars in Taraba State calls for deep concern and investigation of the financiers, promoters and perpetrators alike.
“The case of the cold hearted killings carried out by Jukuns militia at the Federal University Wukari is one too many and that demands decisive action.
“The masses of the Jukun and Tiv communities in Taraba State are very willing to embrace peace and live in harmony for growth and development to thrive. We are certain that your government is very aware that Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, Governor Darius Ishaku and other such politicians that are allegedly fuelling the crisis.”
They urged President Buhari to direct all the relevant security agencies to thoroughly investigate politicians and others allegedly behind the heinous act for their ignoble roles in the Taraba State communal clashes and prosecute them appropriately to serve as a deterrent to others.
The group maintained that the Jukuns and Tivs can live harmoniously together and chart mutually beneficial causes of economic growth and development if masterminds of violence and wars are isolated and dealt with.
It would be recalled that Media Aide to the Taraba governor, Mr Bala Abu had in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) refuted the allegations against the governor and Gen. Danjuma (rtd) in the crisis.
Abu while exonerating them from the crisis in the state said: “It is a grave allegation to say that someone in the status of Gov. Darius Ishaku and Gen. TY Danjuma will be sponsoring crisis; the truth is that there is history to the crisis between the two ethnic groups (Jukun and Tiv).
“I have visited the crisis area with the governor on five different occasions within two years that I have worked with him and our purpose of going there was to interface with the people living in that area.
“The governor and his Benue counterpart met with stakeholders in that area and all these meetings were targeted at bringing about peaceful coexistence among the people living there. So, what will the governor or Gen. Danjuma benefit from the killing of Tiv people and besides the killing is not one sided.
“The two sides are killing each other, so why are Tiv youths accusing the governor for the crisis. Apart from the meeting by the two governors, the deputy governors have also met about six times all these meetings were about finding peace, so, why the allegation that someone is arming the other people.
“I think the people making this allegation are the people who do not want the crisis to end otherwise both governors are doing so much to bring peace to the area. This allegation is false and it cannot stand.
“It is intended to smear the governor and Gen. Danjuma. There is no such thing involving these personalities and they are concerned about what is happening at the bother between the two states.
“They have nothing to gain arming one side to fight the other; it is unfair for them to undermine all the peace efforts and blame the government,” he said.