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.
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.