Tiv-Jukun Crisis:  Buhari directs Taraba, Benue State Governors, traditional rulers to meet

Tiv-Jukun Crisis:  Buhari directs Taraba, Benue State Governors, traditional rulers to meet

President Muhamadu Buhari, Friday, called for an end to the Tiv-Jukun crisis after a Catholic priest was ambushed and killed in Taraba state.

The massacre of the priest, Rev. Fr. David Tanko at Kpankufu Village on Wukari Road in Taraba, was the latest killing in a series of communal clashes between Tiv and Jukun people in Taraba state.

Barely 24 hours before the priest was murdered, gunmen had raided villages in Taraba and killed two people.

“I have watched with trepidation and disbelief how hate and bigotry have inhabited the human soul, resulting in brothers killing brothers,” the President said in a statement released by his media aide, Garba Shehu.

The Tiv and Jukun, spread across Benue and Taraba states, have a long history of communal clashes, mainly over land and political rights. But successive governments have been unable to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

Buhari, however, directed the Taraba and Benue state Governors, traditional rulers, specifically the Tor Tiv and the Aku Uka of Wukari, and religious and community leaders to meet urgently to bring an end to the persistent violent clashes.

“The deployment of security men can only provide a temporary solution,” Buhari said. “The long term and lasting solution to this deep-seated antagonistic relationship between the warring factions depend on the willingness of those involved to listen to reason and give peace a chance”.

“It is time for leaders of the ethnic groups to come together and draw up a roadmap for lasting peace. The impact of this persistent violence on the social and economic life of the people is incalculable.”

Apparently responding to Buhari’s position, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, is now in the process of setting up a high-level intervention made up of religious, community leaders and top security operatives, according to Mr. Shehu’s statement

The committee will “examine all issues underlying the conflicts in the hope of finding a permanent solution,” Shehu said.