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Buhari calls for action to end Tiv – Jukun crisis
*Seeks end to crisis
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an end to the deadly Tiv-Jukun crisis after the gruesome killing on Wednesday of a Catholic priest in Taraba State.
The President said the killing of the clergyman highlights the “urgency of addressing this embarrassing and persistent conflict.”
Rev. Fr. David Tanko is the latest victim of the crisis that has engulfed several communities in Taraba State.
The clergyman was reportedly killed between Kasuan Haske and Tor-Tsee village on his way to his station at Amadu from Takum on Wednesday.
The Tiv and Jukun, spread across Benue and Taraba states and have a long history of communal clashes, mainly over land and political rights.
The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the governors Darius Ishaku of Taraba and Samuel Ortom of Benue, royal fathers, specifically the Tor Tiv and the Aku Uka of Wukari, religious and community leaders in the two states should immediately find a lasting solution to the crisis
He said, ”I have watched with trepidation and disbelief how hate and bigotry have inhabited the human soul, resulting in brothers killing brothers”.
”On behalf of the Federal government and the entire people of the country, I offer my condolences to the Catholic community, the government and people of Taraba over the losses arising from recent incidents involving the warring communities.
“The persistent deaths and destruction and the seeming desire by the warring sides to push each other to extinction is embarrassing, and this is against the essence of our ethnic and religious diversity in the country.
“Progress is impossible where violence and destruction are allowed to dominate our daily lives.”
While acknowledging the Tiv/Jukun violence to be one of Nigeria’s most persistent and intractable security problems, the Nigerian leaderbassured the affected communities that the Federal Government would not leave them to their fate or treat cases of communal violence with levity and indifference.
“The deployment of security men can only provide a temporary solution.”
”The long term and lasting solution to this deep-seated antagonistic relationship between the warring factions depend on the willingness of those involved to listen to reason and give peace a chance.”
“It is time for leaders of the ethnic groups to come together and draw up a roadmap for lasting peace. The impact of this persistent violence on the social and economic life of the people is incalculable,” the President said.
“To this end, a high level intervention from the federal level made up religious, community leaders and top security operatives is being put together by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to examine all issues underlying the conflicts in the hope of finding a permanent solution.”