The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the lingering conflict between Jukun and Tiv people of Taraba State.
Concise News understands that Ortom made the call yesterday during a security meeting between Benue and Taraba States along with stakeholders at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The governor stated that if constituted, the Commission of Inquiry would help to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the prolonged conflict to complement efforts already made by both states to nip the violence in the bud.
Ortom, who decried the spate of crimes in the affected communities in Taraba State and the possible escalation of the conflict to Benue, called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the attacks on innocent people.
He said Nigerians must at all times adhere to the country’s Constitution which provides a guide to lawful conduct of affairs and commended President Buhari for wading into conflict.
The communique, which was presented at the end of the meeting by Governor Ortom, read that proactive measures would be taken to curb further crisis between Jukun and Tiv in Taraba State.
It added that Governors of the two states would visit the affected areas to ascertain the level of damage while military personnel should be deployed to the warring communities.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Taraba State Governor, Dickson Ishaku, promised to cooperate with his Benue counterpart in any way possible to permanently end the conflict.
Ishaku called for the amendment of certain sections of the Nigerian constitution to conform to the needs and peculiarities of states.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the Federal Government would facilitate the implementation of whatever resolutions reached at the end of the meeting for permanent peace to return to the affected communities.
Those who spoke during the meeting included the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, the Aku Uka of Wukari, Senators Iyorchia Ayu and David Mark, as well as Professor Iyorwuese Hagher who all called on the Federal Government to deploy security personnel to Taraba State to end the conflict.
Earlier, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, said the Tiv and Jukun by history, are one indivisible entity who should not take up arms against themselves for whatever reason, expressing hope that the security meeting would yield fruitful result.