As the hostilities continue, Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has appealed to the warring factions in the Tiv/Jukun crisis in Wukari Local Government Area (LGA) of the state to sheathe the sword and give peace a chance.
In a statement issued on Saturday by Bala Dan Abu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity in Jalingo, Gov. Ishaku condemned the violent clashes between the two tribes despite different call for peace.
Particularly, the Governor said he was “greatly saddened by the news of the unfortunate renewed violent clashes between Jukuns and their Tiv neighbours in Kente and Rafinkada which occurred on Friday”.
Barely two weeks after the deputy governors of Taraba and Benue states met in Wukari to resolve the crisis, five persons were reportedly killed in fresh attacks by suspected Tiv militias on Jukun villages on Friday morning.
Caretaker Chairman of Wukari LGA, speaking on the attack said about 11 persons were still missing. He the attackers also set ablaze many houses in Rafinkada and Kente.
Gov. Ishaqu in the statement said: “This latest crisis, like the ones before, resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the destruction of valuable properties.
“The Jukuns and the Tiv living in the border communities have every reason to live together in peace, they are both farmers struggling to earn living mainly from the produce from their farms,” he said.
According to the statement, Ishaku has since directed security agencies to move to the scenes in Kente and Rafinkada to curb the crisis.
Ishaku also appealed to leaders of the communities to play their part by prevailing on their people to drop their weapons and to cooperate with the security agencies to ensure that peace is sustained among them.
Also, Ishaku condemned the ongoing attacks and killings of innocent people in some farming communities in Ardo Kola and Jalingo LGAs of the state and the reprisal attacks thereafter.
He warned that security agencies have been instructed by the governor to deal ruthlessly with those promoting the crises and killings in the state.
The Tiv-Jukun has been described as the most violent dispute in central Nigeria since the Nigeria Civil War. The conflict has been about land, traditional and modern political power as well as indigeneship.