By; DEKERA NICHOLAS, Kaduna
Chief Goodman Dahida, the President General, Tiv Cultural and Social Association in Taraba on Saturday expressed sadness over the renewed attacks and looting in Wukari despite the peace efforts by the Taraba and Benue states governments.
Dahida made this known in a media briefing in Jalingo.
An expanded meeting of the Deputy Governors of Benue, Mr Benson Abounu and that of Taraba, Alhaji Haruna Manu as well as Traditional rulers of the two states at the Federal University Wukari was held on Monday April, 15. 2019.
Dahida explained that at the end of the meeting, an eight point communique was issued calling for a complete halt of hostilities on both sides.
According to him, other than heed to the resolution of the meeting which had in attendance the Tor Tiv Prof James Ayatse and the Aku Uka of Wukari, Dr Shekarau Angyu, some Jukun youth continued unprovoked attacks on Tiv villages.
He explained that immediately after the peace meeting on Monday, some Jukun youth allegedly attacked Vaase, a border village on Tuesday April 16 and on Wednesday April 17 ,Tse-Ali Kaakigh was attacked, the attackers took their provocation on Ikyaior, Gborgbor and Gidin Mangoro villages on Thursday April 18 and Friday 19, burning and looting people’s property at Ikyaor village.
Dahida said during the attack on Ikyaior village, All Saint Catholic Pastoral Area was not spared by the aggressors as they looted valuable property in the Parish not minding it was a Parish House and in the Holy Week of Easter.
He lamented that the plea by the Parish Priest Rev Fr Livinus Orji to the attackers fell on deaf ears.
Dahida said these attacks perhaps led to a reprisal on the outskirts of Wukari on Friday morning by suspected Tiv youth.
“We condemn these attacks both from the Jukun and the Tiv in the area and we wish to once again reiterate our earlier position that we are not at war with the Jukuns and those fanning the embers of war should desist from such act forthwith.
“As we speak, a good number of Tiv people are still living and cohabiting well with the Jukuns.
“Some Jukun traditional rulers in some part of Wukari have stopped their youths from attacking Tiv villages.
“What is happening in some parts of Wukari is purely an act of criminality and those benefiting from the looting don’t want to see an end to the unfortunate situation,” he said.
Dahida noted that those who were against the escalation of the crisis were now enemies of the miscreants and people of good will must collectively rise up against this act of criminality that was causing disaffection among in the two ethnic groups.
“Both Jukun and Tiv are mostly farmers and the concern of an average farmer now is to prepare for their farms especially as the rain has commenced.
“What happened in Kente which sparked off the unfortunate incident was a misunderstanding that was not supposed to escalate, but unfortunately the Caretaker Chairman of Wukari, Mr Daniel Adi did not handle it well and this has brought us to where we are.
“We want to call on the Taraba and the Benue State governments to jointly provide enough security to flush out the criminals causing trouble in the area and restore normalcy for our people to resume their normal lives,” he said.