Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku has commended the priests of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo for their intervention in the ongoing communal crisis between the Tiv and Jukun and other ethnic groups in the state and the general spate of crisis in the state.
Mr Bala Dan Abu, the spokesman for the governor, who gave the commendation in an interview with Daily Sun, said that the role of the Church generally and the pastor’s in particular in preaching peace and awakening the conscience of the people is indispensable towards achieving lasting peace in the state.
Governor Ishaku said that he shared the concern of the priests on the state of insecurity in the state and the country at large as they were the closest to the people and are in a position to understand their concerns.
He assured that the government would do everything possible to bring about lasting peace in the state.
‘The state governor Darius Ishaku shares the concern of the Catholic priests on the state of insecurity in Taraba and the nation at large. Their concern is a reflection of the fact that everybody in the state is worried because they are the Church and are in the right position to know the feelings of most of the people. The government too is not very comfortable with the situation and that is why the government is up and doing in order to ensure that people directly or indirectly involved in the crisis in Southern Taraba do something to end the crisis…
‘The governor has been involved in so many peace efforts and, even as we are talking, I am aware that some leading minds from both sides of the divide are talking and trying to find ways to end the crisis. We share the concern of the Catholic priests and urge all the people, especially those from southern Taraba, to listen to the appeal of the Catholic priests and give peace a chance. His Excellency, the governor of the state, has done a lot to bring about peace. A lot of peace meetings have been held and resolutions made. What has not quite happened is the strict obedience to these peace accords by the people directly involved. The governor will do everything possible to bring about peace in the state,’ Abu said.
The National Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA) had on Wednesday called out the Taraba State Government for complacency in the ongoing crisis and the general insecurity in the state, stating: ‘W believe that not much has been done and there is a feeling of abandonment of common people by government.’
The crisis between the Tiv and Jukun and other tribes in the southern part of the state has been a persistent issue since April last year, defying several peace meetings and efforts and calls from stakeholders from both sides. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds and resulted in the destruction of the livelihoods of the people in the area.