Following a recent crisis between Tiv and Jukun communities in Ukum and Wukari local government areas of Benue and Taraba states, governments of both states have resolved to set up a peace committee to visit the affected communities in a bid to assess the level of destruction and find a lasting solution to the crisis.
Concise News reports that they also appealed to the youths of the affected communities to sheath their swords and embrace peace to put an end to the crisis. It will be recalled that in the last two weeks, Tiv and Jukun farmers in the border communities of both states have been locked in a bloody conflict triggered by a minor quarrel between two friends, leading to the death of over 25 persons and razing of more than 300 houses.
In a communiqué issued at the end of a joint security meeting of both states led by Deputy-Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu and Taraba State Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu, the meeting condemns the wave of wanton destruction of lives and property in the two states as a result of the crisis.
Part of the communiqué reads: “The joint security meeting emphasized the need for Tiv and Jukun people, who are indigenes of Benue and Taraba states, to be loyal to the political and traditional leadership of the two states and accept the indigeneship of the state they belong.
“The meeting agreed that the political and traditional leadership of the two states should constitute a committee consisting of two co-chairmen and four others from the border communities affected by the crisis to work out modalities for peaceful co-existence.
“The meeting further stressed the need for communities/security collaborations by reporting all forms of criminality appropriately and not to shield criminal elements in both states and that criminals must be treated as criminals.
“The meeting stressed the need for full and strict implementation of all the resolutions in the past communiqués issued at the joint security meetings held at Kashimbilla Dam Site in February, 2017, Ugba Township Hall in July, 2017 and the Federal University, Wukari in December 2018 so as to resolve the contentious issues that have always resulted to crisis between the Tiv and Jukun communities in the two states.”
As well, the communiqué, which was signed by governors of both states resolves to provide relief materials to persons affected by the crisis.