Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku, has said he was working tirelessly with his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom, to end the ongoing crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in the border area of the states.
Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported that the Tiv Youth Council (TYC) had alleged Governor Ishaku and the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. TY Danjuma, were fuelling the Jukun/Tiv crisis.
The group in a statement issued on Tuesday by its national president, Mike Chivir Msuaan, asked security agencies in Taraba to immediately investigate the Governor for inciting Jukun militia to attack Tiv people in the state.
Reacting to this, media aide to the Taraba governor, Bala Abu, denied the allegation and exonerated the governor and Gen. Danjuma (rtd) from the crisis.
Abu explained that Gov. Ishaku and Gov. Ortom had adopted various methods including meeting with stakeholders from both tribes to ensure peace returned in the area.
“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.
The governor’s media aide noted that the recent crisis was caused by fight between two men from Jukun and Tiv who were quarrelling over a female friend.
He wondered why such issue should warrant killing of innocent people in spite all peace agreement reached by both parties.
“The people most desire peace just like the governors have done; this is the only way to achieve peace.
“On behalf of the governor, the warring parties should sheath their swords,” he said.