The communal clashes in Taraba have continued to be a cause of worry for residents, even as the government continues to put measures in place to check the spate of attacks on communities in the state.
On Monday, the youth leaders of the two main ethnic groups in the state – Jukun and Tiv – appeared as guests on Sunrise Daily, Channels Television’s breakfast show where they disagreed over the clash.
The Youth Leader of Jukun, Eric Yohanna, believes the communal clashes in the state are as a result of three major factors.
He said, “There is competition for land; secondly, competition for economic resources then thirdly, there is competition for political power.
“So, you can’t take these three items from what is happening there. The level that the crisis is going is taking totally a different dimension, more of political.”
According to Yohanna, the Tivs in the state are demanding for things that are not possible and the demands did not just emanate.
He explained that while the governor was already working persistently to resolve the matter, the said crisis at the Federal University, Wukari, did not happen at the institution.
“You can’t give a chiefdom where there is no documented evidence to show the existence of transferred chiefdom earlier on.
“The Jukun people that we are; we are peace-loving, we are well cultured, and we respect our elders and the norms of society. We are untouchable and undefeatable when it comes to war which is the historical background of the Jukun,” the Jukun youth leader said.
On ways to resolve the clashes, he insisted that the right thing to do was for the Tivs in Benue State to stay off Taraba.
Yohanna accused them of being the cause of the problem in the state, adding that they should allow the Tivs in Taraba to resolve their issues with their Jukun brothers.
But the President of the Tiv Youth Council, Mike Muswan, disagreed with his counterpart and blamed the clashes on the Jukuns.
He alleged that the people of the opposite tribe have refused to accept the Tivs as residents of Taraba, rather than referring to them as settlers.
“The Taraba people must be able to acknowledge that the Tiv people are indigenes of Taraba state and not settlers. For a long time, Jukun people say Tiv people are settlers; so that is the major cause of that crisis.
“The attack comes up after every 10 years of census where they know that the Tiv people are coming to dominate the state. So their fear is that the Tiv people should not take over Taraba State,” Muswan said.
He also raised alarm about an alleged “systematic plan for killing” the Tiv people in Taraba, adding that it has been on record.
The youth president claimed that the entire Tiv community in Taraba were killed in 2001, alleging that some big political figures in the state were responsible for the killing.
“The only solution to this crisis is that the leaders of the Tiv and the Jukun must be sincere in solving this matter,” he said.
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