Tiv, Jukun Crisis: Taraba Residents Praise Army For Reopening Roads

 

Residents of Taraba State say they can now heave a sigh of relief following the reopening of roads linking Takum to Wukari and Takum to Katsina-Ala among others.

They believe the development will boost the economy and agricultural activities in the areas, following months of the failed seizure of hostilities between the Tivs and Jukuns.

Some motorists and residents of Southern Taraba said they can move freely on the roads unlike when they had to go through Garba-Chede and Mutum-Biyu routes to Wukari.

“If we must go through these roads, then we have to employ the services of security agencies to guide us all through. Sometimes, they kidnap our passengers too,” Adega Gumate, one of the residents, told Channels Television.

READ ALSONigeria Extends Border Closure Till January 2020

This comes as the Nigerian Army commences ‘Exercise Ayem Akpatuma II’ in Taraba to flush out and nip in the bud kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, ethno-religious, and communal clashes among other heinous crimes.

The residents have remained optimistic that there is light at the end of the tunnel as peace is gradually returning to the affected communities.

The crisis between the Tivs and Jukuns has been in the news since April 2019, with Southern Taraba in the eye of the storm.

This led to a situation where the Takum -Wukari, Takum – Katsina-Ala and Donga-Wukari roads became practically impassable.

Some miscreants also took advantage of the situation to kidnap, burn down houses, steal at gunpoint, and commit other crimes, such as the case of the slain Catholic Priest, David Tanko.

In a bid to restore peace in the affected areas, the army has launched Operation Ayem Akpatuma II in Kufai Ahmadu, Takum Local Government Area of the state.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Tukur Buratai, gave assurance that the army in conjunction with other sister agencies would continue to live up to its expectations.

The General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Jos, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, conveyed the assurances of the army chief at an event held over the weekend.

He explained that the aim of the exercise was to build the capacity of personnel to practically tackle internal security threats such as kidnappings, cattle rustling, banditry, communal clashes and restore peace to affected communities.

Angbazo says the exercise was also aimed at improving civil-military relationships in the state.

On his part, the state governor, Darius Ishaku, urged the security agencies to conduct joint training to promote inter-agency cooperation.

The governor, also represented by his deputy, Haruna Manu, insisted that the current security challenges in the state were dynamic in nature.

He was, however, optimistic that peace and tranquillity would surely return to the warring communities in Taraba, stressing that more needs to be done to effectively tackle the prevailing security threats bedevilling the state.

Tiv/ Jukun Crisis: Taraba Govt Holds Security Meeting With Stakeholders

Taraba Assembly Holds Last Plenary, Remembers Departed Members

 

The Taraba state government has held a security meeting to bring to an end the unabated clashes between the Tiv and Jukun tribes in the state.

The meeting which is a follow up to the one held in Abuja, was held behind closed doors and some recommendations were made.

Briefing journalists shortly after the meeting, the state’s Deputy Governor Haruna Manu disclosed that a committee will be set up on Monday, September 16, where 15 persons from both Tiv and Jukun will present their interests.

Manu added that a joint patrol team involving all security agencies in the state will be set up with dedicated lines for distress calls to curb kidnapping and banditry.

Beyond that, he also noted that another recommended was that both Benue and Taraba states will liaise with the National Boundary Commission for adequate demarcation of their boundaries in order to minimise the conflict between the two tribes.

Jukun, Tiv Youth Leaders Disagree Over Taraba Clashes

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.

Power Tussle

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.

Indigenes, Not Settlers

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.

Five Killed, Houses Burnt In Fresh Taraba Attack

Taraba Assembly Holds Last Plenary, Remembers Departed Members
Map of Taraba State

 

No fewer than five persons have been reported killed in Tor Musa, under Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State. 

The chairman of the Local Government Area, Daniel Grace told Channels Television that about 100 houses were also burnt in the attack which was carried out on Tuesday.

He claimed that the attack was carried out by Tiv militia who wore military camouflage.

READ ALSO: Amnesty International Frowns At Alleged Torture Of Suspects By Nigeria Police, Military

“The militia came in through Kyado in Benue State and ambushed people around TorMusa.

“They were dressed in military uniform. They killed five persons, while several others were injured.

“I can confirm to you that about 100 houses have been burnt down by the attackers,” the local government chairman said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP David Misal said he has no information of the incident as the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area is yet to brief him.

The fresh attack has however heightened tension in the area of Taraba State.

Taraba State has witness spate of attacks which has been on the rise. Last week, many houses including a police station were burnt down by attackers in Chunku Community in Wukari Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The increased attacks resulted in a protest by Women of Kona community who marched through Kona Garu streets in Jalingo and ended at ATC.

The women lamented that they are terrified by the incessant attacks.

This resulted in a curfew imposed by the Taraba State Government. The curfew was later relaxed.

Jukun/Tiv Crisis: Group Reject Composition Of Peace Committee

 CAN Decries Alleged Plot To Disrupt Elections In Taraba

A group called the Wukari Local Government branch of Tiv Cultural and Social Association (TCSA), Taraba State have rejected what they described as a one-sided peace committee in resolving the Jukun/Tiv crisis in the area.

The group’s Chairman,  Paul Igo and Secretary,  Anthony Shembee, in a statement on Tuesday, condemned the killings and destructions occasioned by the Jukun/Tiv crisis and faulted the alleged non-inclusion Tiv people of Taraba in the peace committee.

“We commend the move by the government of Taraba and Benue in constituting a peace and reconciliation committee that would bring lasting solutions to this lingering crisis.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Storm Daura, Kidnap Father-In-Law To Buhari’s ADC

“In as much as we commend the initiative to constitute a peace committee, we reject in its entirety the non-inclusion of a Tiv person from Wukari LGA of Taraba State in the committee.

“We want to place it on record that Kente, where the crisis started, is in Taraba state and the public should note that Ikyaior,  Gbor-Gbor, Iorlumun Nege,  Ioryina Tor-Musa and Tar-Orshi among other communities that were burnt down in the crisis by Jukun youth are all in Taraba State.”

The group claimed that the non- inclusion of the Tiv people of Taraba State in the committee was a deliberate move by some actors to sell a wrong narrative to the public that the crisis is between the Jukun of Taraba and the Tiv of Benue. They thereby called for a review of the committee.

According to the group, allowing the committee to stand will not produce the desired result of restoring peace and tranquility in the area.

“Lack of social justice is the main reason for the age-long Jukun/Tiv conflagration and for lasting peace to be achieved justice must be allowed a chance and the truth be given priority.”

The group also advised that, for the committee to have any meaningful impact, it’s composition should carry along all the critical stakeholders on both sides of the divides.

 

Many Feared Killed, Houses Torched In Fresh Taraba Violence

CAN Decries Alleged Plot To Disrupt Elections In Taraba

 

Many people have been feared killed and others injured in a fresh violence between Jukun and Tiv tribes in Wukari, South of Taraba State.

Several houses were reportedly burnt in the clashes which began last weekend.

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Mr Darius Ishaku has condemned the violence which he attributed to incessant conflict between Jukun and Tiv people in Taraba and Benue states.

According to a statement by the media aide to the governor, the latest occurred in Kente, a border community in Taraba state, resulting from a minor conflict between both ethnic groups.

The governor urged residents of the affected border communities to live together in peace and harmony as frequent conflicts only lead to disruption of economic activities and aggravate poverty and hunger.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Entourage Arrive Chad For Security Meeting

Although, the state Police command is yet to comment on the latest communal clash in Taraba state.

But a Jukun community leader, Bako Benjamin, said despite the peace accord reached last week between the two warring communities, “Tiv ethnic militias have continued to launch pockets of attacks on our communities.”

Tiv Group Files N550bn Suit Against Buhari, Miyetti Allah, Others

The Incorporated Trustees of Mdzough-U-Tiv, a socio-cultural association of the Tiv people, have filed a N550 billion fundamental rights suit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as compensation for damages for the victims of attacks by herdsmen in Benue State.

Others listed as respondents in the suit, filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja, which has the President-General of Mdzough-U-Tiv, Mr Edward Ujege, as plaintiff, are the Incorporated Trustees of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore; Abdullahi Bodejo, Saleh Al Hassan; Garius Gololo and Husaini Bosso.

Apart from the demand for monetary compensation, the plaintiffs are asking the court for an order directing President Buhari to provide adequate and effective security and protection to all surviving victims and members of the affected communities in their ancestral homes and everywhere in Benue State.

The suit chronicled attacks by “armed herdsmen” in the state leading to the wanton destruction of lives and property including schools, hospitals, worship centres, markets and farmlands belonging to the various communities where the attacks took place.

The trial judge, Justice I. Ekwo ordered the substituted service of the court processes on the respondents through newspaper publication and fixed hearing October 24, 2018.

Niger State Hosts First Ever Christmas Carol Festival In Minna

Niger State Hosts First Ever Christmas Carol Festival In MinnaThe Niger State Government in partnership with its Ministry of Information, has organized the first ever Christmas carol festival with the theme ‘The Dynamics of Praise and Worship’.

The festival witnessed presentations from different choir groups representing various tribes such as: Nupe, Gbagi, Hausa, Igbo, Tiv, Yoruba, Kamokun and Calabar.

The festival which was its maiden edition also witnessed a large turnout of Christians and surprisingly, Muslims in the state.

Asides signifying oneness amongst the two major religions in the state, top dignitaries were also in attendance and they were full of praise for the Governor, Abubakar Bello, who despite not being a Christian, chose to show concern to the Christian community in the state.

Speaking through his representative, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Niger State, Nasara Danmallam, said that the Governor was full of praise to the Christian community and appreciated their level of understanding and peaceful coordination amongst the non-Christians in the state.

While promising the sustenance of the festival, he used the opportunity in wishing all Christians in the state and Nigeria in general a peaceful celebration.

The convener of the Christmas carol festival, Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Hon. Jonathan Vatsa could not hide his feelings as he was also full of praise to the Governor.

He also assured the Christian community that the best was yet to come and called on them to come together in unity.

He wished every Christian in the state a happy and peaceful celebration.

Herdsmen, Farmers In Benue, Nasarawa Agree To Ceasefire

HerdsmenFulani herdsmen and Tiv, Agatu farmers from Benue and Nasarawa states have resolved, among other things, to seek amicable resolution to their differences instead of the resorting to self-help and violence.

Representatives of the ethnic groups occupying border communities in Nasarawa and Benue states, disclosed this to Channels Television at the joint security council meeting of the two states held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

Governor Tanko Al-makura and his Benue state counterpart, Mr Samuel Ortom joined security chiefs at the all-important peace and security meeting of the two states.

Governor Samuel Ortom recounted peace and security efforts made so far between Nasarawa and Taraba states to guarantee public safety and urged the community leaders to work with the government in its efforts to maintain peace.

The two governors restated the need for parties to always avail themselves the opportunity of settlement through the joint states peace and reconciliation committee set up to resolve all communal crisis in the area.

At the end of the meeting, active parties in the raging violence in and around Nasarawa and Benue communities, promised that they would impress it on their members to always seek amicable resolution to all forms of attack.

Leaders of Miyyeti Allah, a socio-cultural association of Fulani herdsmen and traditional rulers from Tiv and Agatu communities also promised to promote peaceful resolution to conflicts.

Six Dead In Fulani, Igede Youths Crisis

fulaniSix persons have been confirmed dead in a clash between Fulani herdsmen and Igede youths in Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, as herdsmen return down south for grazing during the dry season.

The details of the clash were made known to the Governor of the state, Samuel Ortom when he convened a peace meeting between the warring parties in Otukpo.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Oju Local Government Area, Mr Omenyi said that two of his kinsmen were killed by the herdsmen who also lost four persons in the battle.

Spokesman for the herdsmen in Benue South popularly called Zone C, told the Governor through an interpreter that four of his kinsmen were killed with three of them beheaded and many cattles rustled.

Governor Ortom, who had earlier held a similar meeting with Tiv and Fulani herdsmen in Makurdi, warmed all warring parties against taking laws into their hands by resorting to self help and violence.

Nigerians have been inundated with reports of Fulani herdsmen related violence across parts of the country, especially when the dry season sets in and grazing fields dry up in the north.

It has been recommended that the perennial Fulani herdsmen\indigenous farmers crisis can only be addressed by the provision of grazing routes and ranches.

Sam Ode Declares For Benue Governorship

Sam OdeFormer Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs and a governorship aspirant in Benue State, Dr. Sam Ode, has promised to fix the basic education sector challenges if elected Governor of Benue State.

While declaring his ambition to be governor come may 2015, Dr Sam Ode listed education, agriculture, cottage industries, health care and local government reforms as key sectors he would use to transform the state.

The governorship aspiration of Dr Sam Ode on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is considered favourable and capable of fixing the infrastructural and social needs of the state among the 18 aspirants seeking to replace Governor Gabriel Suswam.

This was evident as the former minister arrived the IBB Square for his formal declaration amidst rousing ovation from his supporters.

Leaders from the three senatorial zones of Benue State, Salem Astehe, Ioryue Yajir and Sunday Onehi, also brought endorsement messages from their people.

Political watchers say Dr Sam Ode is considered a bridge between the two most dominant tribes in Benue State, the Tiv and Idoma, hence the dominant support he seems to be enjoying.

Warring Ethnic Groups In Taraba Sign Peace Pact

fulani-herdsmenA peace agreement has been signed by warring factions in Taraba state, north east region of Nigeria following dialogue among the affected communities with a pledge to establish peace and friendly relationship.

The truce was brokered by the Presidential Peace Committee led by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Michael Zonkumor, between the Junkun, Hausa, Tiv, and Fulani in the southern zone of the state with assurance to cease hostilities and coexist peacefully.

There had been series of communal clashes particularly in Ibi, Wukari and Takum Local Government Areas of the state while the Tiv/Fulani crisis that spilled over from Benue State affected four other local government councils resulting in loss of lives, property and displacement of several families.

As part of measures to curtail escalation of the crisis, the acting governor, Mr Garba Umar, summoned a security council meeting between traditional rulers, security chiefs and local government chairmen after which more security personnel were deployed to the affected areas while some relief materials were given to the displaced persons.