From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A group known as Tiv Youth Organization, TYO has cried out over what it termed ‘Ethnic cleansing’ of Tiv in Taraba State, even as they also, frowned at the lukewarm attitude shown by the State Governor Darius Ishaku over the killings.
The group raised the concern and lamentation in a press statement signed by its President Comrade Timothy Hembaor and made available to our reporter yesterday.
They averred that in the past few months, there has been rising wave of insecurity in Taraba State which has led to wanton loss of lives and property worth millions of naira.
“We, therefore wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians of good conscience and the international community to the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Taraba State as being perpetrated by Jukun militia against Tiv. Hundreds of innocent Tiv men and women, the young and the old are being butchered in cold blood like animals in Taraba communities.
TYO accused Darius Ishaku administration of clearly demonstrating bias in its approach to the conflict, noting that his silence and inaction whenever Tiv people are killed puts him favourably on the side of his kinsmen the Jukun who continually eliminate the Tiv.
“Governor Ishaku has failed to do as much as issue one statement of condemnation on the killings of Tiv people in his state. This is leadership failure in itself and a gross violation of provisions of the country’s constitution which state in Chapter Two, Section 14 that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
“The Governor has also, failed to uphold that section of the constitution as far as Tiv indigenes of his state are concerned. We suspect complicity on the part of the Taraba State government in the unfortunate attacks and killing of Tiv people of that state.
“It is now clear to us that the renaming of Tiv communities by Governor Ishaku during his first term in office was a prelude to the monster that has now bared its fangs”, Similarly, the umbrella group for Tiv youths worldwide also, expressed worry that another illustrious son of Taraba State and former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma who had been very vocal in condemning Fulani herdsmen attacks on his kinsmen has suddenly gone mute on the killing of Tiv by Jukun militia.
“General Danjuma had publicly accused the Nigerian military of colluding with herdsmen to kill farmers and take over their lands. We, wonder how different the ongoing massacre of Tiv in Taraba is from the attacks by herdsmen that the retired general has not found it big enough an issue to talk about. Here again, we suspect complicity.
“We, suspect a grand plot coordinated by Governor Ishaku, General TY Danjuma and others to support their kinsmen to annihilate Tiv people in Taraba State so as to take over their ancestral lands.
“Our findings have proven that the allegation that Tiv militia in Benue was responsible for the attacks on Wukari and other settlements in Taraba which gave rise to reprisal attacks is false and unfounded.”
He called on the Governor to see himself as the Governor of Taraba State and not that of the Jukun tribe and as such provide security for all while equally, urging General Danjuma to speak out against the ongoing pogrom visited on Tiv in Taraba State.