• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Unresolved border dispute blamed for unending Tiv-Jukun crisis

Tiv-Jukun crisis

The chairman Taraba State Council of Traditional Rulers and Aku Uka of Wukari, Shakarau Agyu, has identified the unresolved boundary issue between Benue and Taraba States as the major reason for the incessant crisis between the Tiv and the Jukun ethnic groups.

While testifying before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry constituted by Darius Dickson Ishaku, Taraba State governor, to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the lingering crisis between the two tribes, the monarch said demarcating the boundaries would go a long way to put an end to the unrest which has led to massive destruction of lives and property.

The Tiv people had earlier withdrawn from the commission citing percieved injustice as their reason.

They had also instituted a case in the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking the termination of the Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Ishaku.

Testifying through the secretary of the Wukari Traditional Council, Bala Useni, in Jalingo, Agyu said that the Tiv in Benue State often cross over to Taraba and end up “claiming settlements”, an action which he said often ignites crisis.

“On crossing over to Taraba State, they mount signposts carrying inscriptions that proclaim such settlements as parts of Benue State,” he said.

He said it was said that “several Jukun have been kidnapped and killed by the Tiv” and that since the advent of democracy in 1999 “there have not been any boundary adjustments between Benue and Taraba States”.

The monarch urged the commission to tread extra-legitimate miles in order to come out with recommendations that would permanently put to rest the wrangling between the aforementioned ethnic groups.

He was also of the view that the clamour by the Tiv to be included in the Wukari Traditional Council does not hold enough water.

“We don’t see the reason why Tiv should be included in Wukari Traditional Council because we have no common culture and traditions,” he said.

He stressed that the “Tiv have nothing in common with the Jukun culturally” and admonished the commission to endeavour to visit all the communities affected by the crisis in order to come out with recommendations that would be accepted by concerned ethnic groups.

Earlier, the chairman of the commission, Justice (rtd) Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs, who promised to ensure fair hearing for all the groups, reiterated the determination of the commission to visit all the communities affected by the crisis.