Published On: Wed, Apr 24th, 2019

Tiv, Jukun crisis: Reps ask security agencies to fish out perpetrators

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives yesterday asked security agencies to apprehend perpetrators of the killings in Taraba State as a result of the ongoing crisis between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups with a view to bring them to justice.
The House called for thorough investigation to unravel the forces behind the crisis so as to proffer permanent solution to the age long recurring crisis between the two co-existential ethnic groups.
The resolutions of the House, following a motion on “the need for the intervention in the crisis in Wukari Local government area of Taraba State moved by Danjuma Shiddi (PDP, Taraba) and Emmanuel Udende (APGA, Benue).
It also urged security agencies in particular, the Army to increase its presence in the affected communities until peace is restored while the Benue and Taraba State Governments should intensify peace efforts in the area.
The House further directed the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) and the Presidential Committee on North East to, as a matter of urgency, provide relief materials including food, healthcare services and roofing materials to the victims of the crisis.
While moving the motion earlier, Shiddi noted that, “in the recent time, Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State has become unstable because of communal clashes between the Tiv and the Jukuns.
“The clashes started simply from a disagreement between two persons from the two ethnic groups. Also aware that several settlements in the following wards have been affected: Kente ward; Tsokundi Ward; Bantaje ward; Jibu ward; Hospital ward; Avyi ward; Rafm kada ward; Puje ward; and Chonku ward.
“In addition to the destruction of houses and infrastructure including schools, health facilities and even places of warships, several people have been killed in the internecine feud between the two Tribal Groups.
“As at the last count, not less than 10,000 people have fled their homes and their food stuff completely destroyed thus rendering them as Internally Displaced Persons.
“In some places the security agencies were overwhelmed, as such they could not contain the killings and destruction of property. The affected persons are poor people who live in thatched roof homes and are now at the mercy of nature as the rainfall has set in”.
Contributing to the motion, Mohammed Abdul (APC, Bauchi) observed that the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups have cohabited for a long time and cannot continue to fight except there are underlined forces and called for thorough investigation to determine the residual and immediate causes of the crisis.
Abdul lamented that, “I wonder why should Tiv and Jukun continue to fight. Something must be done. There must be solution to this” and regretted reports that security agencies are overwhelmed in attempt to quell the crisis.
Simon Arabo (PDP, Kaduna) in his contribution asserted that the Tiv/Jukun hostilities should not be tagged: “communal crisis” but “communal terrorism”, describing it as “senseless, shameful and primitive”.
Arabo who noted that the Tiv/Jukun crisis is a long tale of animosity between two conjugal ethnic groups, recommended that the report of the 2001Tiv/Jukun Crisis Commission of Inquiry should be implemented as part of solutions to the recurring crisis, emphasizing the arrest and prosecution of those behind the heinous crime.
On his part, Istifabus Gyang (PDP, Plateau) who traced the blood letting in Taraba between Tiv/Jukun to disagreement over resources such as land said, peaceful resolution mechanisms should be used to address the crisis hence violence cannot resolve the differences.
Gyang called on Tiv/Jukun stakeholders to forge a common front towards evolving peaceful option to ending the crisis and where they cannot, they should allow other Nigerians to wade into the matter.
Also at the plenary, three bills; a Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria, a Bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic Aba, Abia State and a Bill for an act to amend the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Act 2011 passed second reading.
Consequently, the Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria was referred to the House Committee of the Whole, while Bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic Aba, Abia State and Bill for an act to amend the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Act 2011 were both referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education preparatory to third reading and passage.

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