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Benue is located in Nigeria’s north-central sub-region/File Photo

The Presidency says the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), will participate in Wednesday’s Benue and Taraba States stakeholders’ meeting aimed at addressing the lingering Tiv/Jukun crisis, Concise News reports.

The meeting between the representatives of the two states has been called to resolve the unabated Tiv/Jukun crisis, which of recent, has claimed lives of innocent persons and property.

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Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the OSGF would be attending the meeting, slated for today, September 4 at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja, as a stakeholder and guarantor.

According to the presidential aide, in addition to the two state governors, the meeting is expected to be attended by their traditional, religious and political leaders, as well as other stakeholders.

He said the OSGF participation in the meeting would gave full assurance  of the federal government backing toward the implementation of resolutions arising from the meeting.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 30 appealed to Governors of Benue and Taraba States as well as their traditional and political leaders for an urgent de-escalation of the crisis between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups.

The President conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between the Tiv and Jukun neighbours and maintaining peace in the two states which had witnessed series of violent clashes.

Slain Taraba Priest buried

In related news, the Catholic community in Taraba State on Tuesday laid to rest the body of Rev. Fr. David Tanko, a priest who was killed in Takum recently.

Rev.Fr. Tanko was gruesomely gunned down and set ablaze with his white Toyota Corolla car. He was 42 years.

He was reportedly in charge of St. Peter’s Catholic Parish in Amadu, a Tiv settlement in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.

He had gone to Takum to see his fellow clergymen and was killed on his way back to Amadu, between Kasuwan Haske and TorTser.

His death came as a result of the raging crisis between Jukun and Tiv in southern Taraba.

The crisis is an offshoot of a lingering feud based on a claim by the Jukun that the Tiv are “settlers,” in Taraba State, and, therefore, have no ownership right to the land they occupy and should leave.

Tanko was on Tuesday buried at the Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral, Jalingo. His co-parishioners were all in tears.