Reps Accept Controversial Petition By Tiv Indigenes In Diaspora

(FILE) Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

A petition by a group of Tiv indigenes from Benue State in the diaspora which generated controversy last week has been accepted by the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers received the petition during Tuesday’s plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It was filed by a group – Mzough U Tiv Amerika (MUTA) on the insecurity in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.

A member of the House representing Gwer East/ Gwer West Constituency of Benue, Mark Gbillah, presented the petition at the plenary presided by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.

He explained that he was submitting the petition on behalf of the group because Tiv indigenes of the affected states had been sacked from their ancestral lands.

“Without misunderstanding, please go ahead and lay your petition and it will be given proper and due attention,” Gbajabiamila told the lawmaker before he presented the petition.

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Gbillah brought the petition back to the house about two weeks after the move was rejected by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase.

Wase, who presided over the plenary held on March 11 in the absence of the speaker, had declared that Nigerians in the diaspora have no right to send petitions to the House on issues happening in Nigeria.

He has, however, denied his action despite compelling video evidence.

The recent attack on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, at his farm also formed part of issues deliberated during Tuesday’s plenary.

Condemning the incident, the lawmakers described the attack on the governor as an indication of anarchy and full-scale lawlessness in the country.

They, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly ordering an investigation into the incident and asked the security agencies to ensure that those involved were brought to justice, to serve as a deterrent to others.

UK-Based Group Seeks Increased Effort To End Jukun, Tiv Clashes In Taraba

Map of Taraba
A map pf Taraba, a state in Nigeria’s North-East region.

 

A socio-cultural group Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom (MUTUK) has called for increased effort to end the persistent clashes between the people of Jukun and Tiv in the southern part of Taraba State.

The President of MUTUK, Dr Kohol Shadrach, made the call on behalf of the group in a statement on Sunday.

He decried the clashes have claimed many lives and led to the destruction of properties, and have spiralled into the border communities of Taraba and Benue States.

Shadrach noted the interventions of the Taraba State Governor, Dairus Ishaku, and that of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom, as well as the efforts of the security agencies to end the violence.

He, however, regretted what he described as the “unreasonable response” to the pleas and the intervention of traditional and religious leaders to calm frayed nerves.

The MUTUK president believes dialogue, rather than violence and bloodletting is the most suitable way to resolve any dispute between warring parties.

He stated that while the group would not blame any group of persons or community for the reprehensible conflict, it was important for all warring factions to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.

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Governor Darius Ishaku                                                                                      Governor Samuel Ortom

 

Shadrach also asked the government at various levels to live up to the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of the people.

He urged them not to relent in their various efforts until peace was achieved in the troubled southern part of Taraba and other places affected by the conflict.

Read the full statement below:

It’s time to sheathe the bloody swords in Southern Taraba

The President of The Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom (MUTUK), Dr Kohol Shadrach Iornem, on behalf of the Management Committee of MUTUK, has expressed deep concern over the renewed endless violence, killings, bloodbath, acts of arson and wanton destructions of properties between the warring communities of Jukun and Tiv predominantly in the Southern senatorial district of Taraba state.

It is also regrettable that these unfortunate conflagrations have spiralled into the border communities of Taraba and Benue states.

MUTUK finds it extremely difficult to understand the refusal of the internecine conflagrations to abate, despite several interventions by security agents, including the Nigerian Army, the Governors of Benue, HE Gov. Samuel Ortom and his Taraba State counterpart, HE Gov. Dairus Ishaku.

The intervention of traditional and religious leaders as well as other political leaders have also failed to calm frayed nerves. We consider it an unreasonable response to these pleas by these warring actors.

We are not only astounded at this reality but the further shameful confirmation that the over a year of violence, killings, bloodbath, displacements of hundreds of thousands of people, dislocation of social life and the damaging of economic treasures for a people who are basically agrarian farmers are potent existential threats now and in the nearest future.

Let us clearly state in very unambiguous terms that nowhere has violence and bloodletting, rather than dialogue has resolved any dispute.

It is not our intention to blame any group of persons or community for the reprehensible conflict. But we desire to appeal to all warring factions to sheathe their swords and embrace peace for the sake of humanity, posterity, and God.

We are aware that development and prosperity do not thrive where there is no peace. Our brothers and sisters must realise and court the wisdom to live in peace and harmony and consciously work towards it to bring development to our people and communities.

While MUTUK, therefore, appreciates the interventions of leaders at all levels to end the crisis, we prayerfully plead with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR; the Governors of Taraba and Benue states to redouble their efforts by urgently using the powers of Government at their disposal to bring an end to the killings and destructions.

May we again, remind Government at all levels that the first and uncompromisable duty of any responsible government is to protect the lives and property of the citizens.

Therefore, Government and indeed, all concerned leaders must not relent until peace and security are achieved in the troubled Taraba Southern Senatorial District and environs.

MUTUK believes that whatever must have caused the crisis is not a problem beyond all stakeholders of both groups to resolve amicably and peacefully on the dialogue table.

Whilst we pray Almighty God to touch the heart of everyone to drop arms, we pray for the repose of beloved ones who have lost their lives in the bloody skirmishes. May their families be consoled.

Thank you and may God bless all of us abundantly.

Jukun-Tiv Crisis: Nasarawa Governor Sule Sues For Peace

(FILE) Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on March 16, 2020.

 

 

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasaraw State is suing for peace between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in Benue and Taraba states especially as the country battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The governor made this call on Tuesday during a meeting at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital to broker peace between the two warring parties.

“We are the same people, we have TIVs in Benue and Taraba states but let each of them see the two States as their homes. Let them not consider a situation where once we have a problem, we run to where we have the majority of our people.

“If we continue to do that, we would not solve these problems. It will not make any sense especially at a time like this when the whole world is fighting COVID-19 and we have our brothers and sisters who want to live in peace being killed and their assets destroyed in the name of a petty problem that has nothing to do with life.

“I am praying and hoping that this will be the first and the last meeting so that we can have a lasting solution to this and every one of you will write your name in gold that you have finally come here, face each other directly, solve this problem and we have gone back and our people are living finally in peace,” he said.

The meeting which held behind closed doors was chaired by the Deputy Governor, Emmanuel Akabe and had the deputy governors of Taraba, Haruna Manu and his Benue state counterpart, Benson Abounu in attendance.

Also, in attendance were security personnel, traditional rulers, lawmaker and government functionaries from the three states.

This is not the first meeting held between the two groups but the governor hopes that this mediation will ignite a lasting solution to the conflict.

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.

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“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.