Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Forum of Clergy of Tiv extraction in Taraba State on Sunday condemned the lingering crisis between Jukun and Tiv in the state and called for urgent steps to end the killings.
The clergymen who rose from a meeting held at Mutum-Biyu in Gassol local government area expressed concern over the prolonged nature of the crisis and killings, describing it as evil in the sight of God.
In a communique signed by Rev. Fr. Simon Akuraga and Pastor James Unongo, the group lamented the spread of the crisis without control, resulting to killing of dozens and rendering thousands homeless in southern and central zones of the state.
Part of the communique read; “the spread of hate speeches and blackmail sometimes orchestrated by some organs and functionaries of government remains worrisome.
“The implications for the lingering crisis remain quite grievous. There is already widespread hunger and starvation in our state; the Nature’s gift to the Nation.
“It is rainy season again and people in the affected areas cannot access their farms due to fear of attack. Many people have been killed and properties worth millions destroyed. Shamefully too, Churches are not spared, and the growing hatred between members of the warring ethnic groups is alarming even as our landscape is littered with IDPs.”
While acknowledging the numerous peace meetings initiated by the Taraba State government to address the crisis, the forum called on government to rethink her strategies as the current approaches seemed to have failed to address the crisis.
The forum called for the deployment of security to the affected areas, provision of relief materials to the victims and the setting up of a commission of inquiry into age long crisis for a permanent solution to the crisis.
“We entrust our State and the different ethnic warriors and conflict merchants in the hands of God who can turn the heart of stone to heart of flesh.
“This forum is praying every day to God to lead our governor in providing leadership to that bring all Tarabans to feel that we are equal in this state irrespective of ethnic or religious background,” the communique read.
Daily Sun reports that the ongoing hostilities between the Tiv and Jukun, which started since April last year have claimed hundreds of lives include that of a Catholic Priest who was brutally murdered and his body set ablaze, and left thousands homeless and stranded.