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Criminal elements to blame for TIV/Jukun crisis —Ortom

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The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has blamed the ongoing crisis between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups on criminal elements in the state.

According to Ortom, who made the comments on Monday after a closed door meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House on the boundary dispute between Benue and Ebonyi states, the criminal elements were especially responsible for the crisis in Taraba State.

Governor Ortom also added that a judicial commission of enquiry has been set up to look at the remote and immediate causes of strife to find a lasting solution to it.

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He said; “On Tiv/Jukun crisis, well, I know that there is a spill-over. This is largely Tiv and Jukun in Taraba. I had Jukun in Benue state; we are not fighting. There were issues in the past, and I decided to set up a judicial commission of enquiry which is still sitting to look at the remote and immediate causes of this strife so that we will find a lasting solution to it.

“This other one is more of a problem in Taraba but because there are Tiv people in Benue and we are talking about Tiv people, so each time people are displaced, some run back to Benue. So, that’s the spirit of it.

“But I think that the governor of Taraba state is doing well. Recently, they met and they agreed that there should be ceasefire even though I saw in the press that there were some issues with that peace agreement.

“But you know each time there is effort to try to solve problems, criminal elements will come in and I think that the steps that the governor took by inviting the two sides, both the Tiv and the Jukun, to sit together and find means on how they can resolve this matter is the best approach, and I believe that once that problem is sorted out in Taraba state, we will not have anything in Benue state,” he added.

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