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Published On: Mon, Feb 24th, 2020

Jukun/Tiv crisis: Perishing as fools?

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By Musa Affos

While surfing through the Internet few days ago, I came across a gory picture of two people who were beheaded.
These two entities were in their farms before their murderers attacked, overpowered and hurriedly ushered them to the grave yards.
Indeed, I saw an inscription which suggest it is more of an ethnic stuff rather than a criminal act.
Again this morning I decided to do my morning jogging and I followed the road behind my lodge; in Wukari local government council of Taraba state, indeed ,it has been a while I walked that route, but to my amazement as I proceed further, the road gets more lonely, the structures by the road sites were either without roofs or destroyed beyond recognition.
As that was not enough , all the houses were deserted and no one seems to be living in them.
What happened to those women we usually greet before ploughing mangoes,? what of their beautiful daughters and other kids? What of those people we usually go to ask for maize so we could roast? What of the young man who we often rush to get sugar so we could soak garri when the need arise? None of these was in sight as my eyes could not figured out any.
Infact, none was anywhere close!. I stopped jogging and turn home with heavy heart because the road does not look friendly.
Before I proceed I will love to add that, I am neither a Jukun nor Tiv by tribe, but Nigerian who hailed from and an advocate of peace.
In this regard, I have written no fewer than four articles in which includes:
Tiv/Jukun: The Need For Peace
Tiv/Jukun: My Mental Flight
TivJukun: Living Together
I have severally stated that criminality has no tribe or religion and criminal offence(s) should be treated as such irrespective of tribe, religious and political affiliations.
Late Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “If we don’t live together as brothers, we will perish together as fools”.
Peace is the panacea for development and the foundation in which development is built on. It means without peace there is no room for development, peace is the fora for development.
Over the last one year, a lot of lives have been lost in these ethnic clash and reprisal attacks.
Many have been killed, including an 80year old woman burnt to death. A Rev. Father set ablaze, many were butchered and beheaded. Aren’t we perishing as fools already?
A lot of women are now widows, our sisters have been initiated into early widow hoods, houses and properties worth more than millions were destroyed. Criminals also took advantage of the situation to cause more evil. Aren’t we perishing together as fools?
At some point last year, drivers deserted the Wukari-Benue road thereby affecting the source of livelihood of drivers who are either Tiv or Jukun. Aren’t we perishing together as fools?
People around these axis are scared to go to their farms and stay indoors for the fear of being killed. And that suggest there may be hunger soon. Aren’t we perishing as fools?
At some point last year, a Tiv man was scared of touring Wukari likewise the Jukun man afriad of touring certain places dominated by the Tivs. Aren’t we perishing as fools?
A protest inclined to the said crisis prompted the closure of Federal University Wukari for two weeks which almost altered the school’s calendar.
At a point last year, banks threatened to shut down due to fear of possible escalation of the crisis. Though it was intervened but what would have happened to our brothers and sisters working there?
No sensible business man or investor will want to invest in a chaotic environment that is prone to violence and crisis just at a little provocation.
The havoc that the crisis has done cannot be exhausted in just an article. I can go on and on.
If the TIV man attacks the Jukun and the Jukun does same. The attacks and killings will continue.
Someone got to stop the killing, some one got to stop the reprisals. And that is a strong one, the one who cuts off the chain of evil is the strong one.
Funny enough is that the Tiv and the Jukuns have intermarried and cohabit over the years, what message are we passing to the kids? That their father’s people are killing their mother’s people? How sensible does it sound?
Where’ is our love for humanity? What’ is the essence of going to school and being educated? Our education was meant and
to better our society using the technical know-how we have acquired. But its rather unfortunate that our education is used to device means to attack, kill, and inflict pains on our fellow humans.
The call for peace and calmness, the peaceful resolution and meetings will continue to be a meaningless repetition if what we say in meetings, peace resolutions doesn’t truly coincide with the yearnings of our hearts. It will only be lip service and hypocritical.
Before being either Jukun or Tivs, we were first humans and that is enough to bind us together.
If we cannot be united as human, let us be united as black people, let’s be united as Africans. If we can’t be united as Africans let’s unite as Nigerians, as people who stayed in the same place, share boundaries, intermarried. When you check the chain of unity, we have more reasons to unite than to be separated.
The factors uniting are more than that separating us.
Musa Affos (Rhapsodi) is a Blogger & Social Media Activist.

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