… Gov Ishaku express worry over recurrent clash, calls for calm
By Femi Bolaji
Jalingo – About 15 persons are said to have been killed in the crisis that broke out between Tiv and Jukun communities on the fringes of Taraba and Benue borders.
The unrest which broke out in Kente village, Wukari local government area of Taraba state on Monday, according to sources was caused by a minor disagreement between Tiv and Jukun youths, which sparked outrage and metamorphosed into a full fledge crisis.
The upheaval which also affected some communities in Ukum local government area of Benue state, have left properties worth millions destroyed and many fleeing for their lives into other local government areas of both states and neighbouring Nasarawa state.
Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku have also expressed worry over recurrent clash between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups, thus calling for calm among warring parties.
Chairman of Wukari local government area, Adi Daniel, who confirmed the casualty figure to newsmen said he narrowly escaped death during an on the spot assessment in some of the affected communities.
He noted that three vehicles on his convoy were burnt by the warring communities while trying to ensure peace returns to the affected villages.
He however expressed optimism on the resolve of both Taraba and Benue state governments to ensure normalcy return to the affected communities.
According to him “since the outbreak of the crisis I have held series of meetings with the my colleague from Benue State and other stakeholders with a view of putting an end to the crisis.
“We have arrested so many people in connection to the crisis and looting of property who are now at the Police Area Command in Wukari.”
Governor Ishaku in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, condemned the recent clash between the Tiv and Jukun youths which has rendered many homeless.
According to him, “the degeneration of a minor conflict between a Jukum person and a Tiv person into a bitter conflict leading to some casualties is worrisome.
“Frequent conflicts can only lead to disruption of economic activities and aggravate poverty and hunger, and as neighbours, the two groups need each other for economic survival.”
He further appealed to the warring communities to bury their differences by giving peace a chance by co-operating to protect their communities against any form of threat to peace in the area.
Meanwhile, Taraba state police command have also drafted men of the force to Wukari and other affected communities from the headquarters in Jalingo, to curtail further escalation of the crisis.
Spokesman of the Police, ASP David Misal said the situation is now calm and efforts are being intensified to restore lasting peace in the affected communities.