Group urges FG to lead resolution efforts on Tiv-Jukum crisis

In view of seemingly unending crisis between the Tiv and Jukum, two neighbouring tribes co-habiting Benue and Taraba states, a group of diaspora Nigerians have asked for Federal Government’s intervention.

The Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA) in a statement at the weekend recalled that following its missive to President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001, the government immediately put a stop to alleged massive killing of Tiv in Taraba by militias.

According to the statement issued by Prof. Joseph T. Zume and Engr. Simon Kusugh, “eighteen years later, a more vicious pogrom has been visited on the Tiv people of Taraba by the Jukun.

“In 2019, the violence killed scores of Tiv people and caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands from their communities.”

The group further alleged that in addition to renewed killings, the names of about 30 Tiv villages and towns in the state have also renamed them to obliterate their Tiv histories.

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“In the meantime, the Taraba State government even denies the Tiv IDPs the courtesy of make-shift camps for temporarily accommodating displaced peoples.

“Instead, we understand the Chairman of Wukari LGA, for example, has stationed soldiers in Tiv villages like Tor-Iyorshagher to prevent them from returning to their ancestral homes.

“The renaming of Tiv communities and towns signals the unequivocal intent of the Jukun to uproot Tiv people from their legitimate ancestral lands.”

MUTA, however, stated that contrary to what the Jukun were doing in Taraba State, their kith and kin enjoy peace and acceptability in the Abinsi community of Guma LGA of Benue State.

“The Tiv of Benue accept the Jukun of Abinsi as indigenes of the state, having settled there for generations.

“MUTA calls on the Federal government to lead efforts, not only to resolve the displacement of Tiv people in Taraba but also ensure that the threat to their citizenship rights is eliminated.

“MUTA does not believe that the government of Taraba State will sincerely resolve the issues involved because it has spearheaded the campaign to obliterate Tiv history in the state.

“The renaming of Tiv towns was carried out by the state government and when attacks on Tiv communities began, the state government refused to provide places of safety for the victims.”

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