Communities living along the border areas of Benue and Taraba states have been enjoined to live in peace for the purpose of peace, progress and development.
The Governor of Taraba state , Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku said this during a town hall meeting in Ukpa, Loco local Government Area of Benue state, with a plea on the people of the two divide to see one another as brothers and sisters.
Governor Darius Ishaku stated that when God created man he did not seek anybody’s consent as to where we will all belong, saying that sharing common borderline should serve as an instrument of mutual fraternity instead of bickering and fighting.
He pleaded with the Jukuns in Benue State and those to be affected by the demarcation exercise to humbly respect constituted authority and report all problems bedevilling them to Governor Ortom and assured Tiv in Taraba State of their full right as citizens of the state.
Darius Ishaku tasks both Tivs and Jukuns to learn to accommodate one another for the purpose of development and stressed that the language barrier should rather be used as an avenue for proper integration and not hate that will do both sides harm instead of good.
He told the gathering that, he and his Benue counterpart, Governor Ortom transversed some northern parts of the two states, Moon, Chanchaji and Kashimbila to encouraging proper interaction and peaceful coexistence among the people.
The Taraba state Governor said today, the two of them again have toured Kente, Akwana, Arufu and Anyii and rounding it in Ukpa, Loco Local Government Area to taking the message of peace to the door steps of both Jukuns and Tivs, saying that the two of them are determined to make lives of the people better and meaningful.
Darius Ishaku mentioned that, since the two of them came on board as Governors, the first thing they agreed on was creating mutual trust among the two ethnic groups which will eventually translate into peace and peaceful coexistence and pointed out that when people begin to relate together without any form of bickering or acrimony, it will definitely create room for synergy.
The governor added that the peace accord embarked upon is a message from God and urged the people along the border areas to key into it.
In his contribution to the ongoing sensitisation which is aimed at bringing the Tivs and Jukuns living along the boundaries of the two states, the Benue state Governor, Simon Ortom says the initiative is to find lasting peace along the border lines and to bring the two ethnic groups that have lived in the affected area as brothers and sisters.
Simon Ortom maintained that during the boundary adjustment exercise which will soon be carried out by National Boundary Commission, any Jukun settlement that falls in Benue state are automatically his responsibility and same to Tivs that fall in Taraba state, urging them not to see the demarcation as an instrument to create division but rather for administrative convenience.
He informed the gathering that the issue of Moon, Chanchaji and some parts of Kashimbila have been resolved and called on the people of the two states, particularly those living in the border areas to cooperate with the two Deputy Governors who are the Chairmen of the Boundary Commissions of the states, including the technical people who will work with them from the National Boundary Commission, so that they will be able to come up with an acceptable border lines for the two states that will usher in peace, progress and development for the two states.
He blamed poverty to some of the clashes that has occurred between the Jukuns and Tivs in the past and reminded the two major ethnic groups along the border that both Taraba and Benue are civil servants states without any formidable industries hence the need to jettison reasons that will destroy them, their priced possessions and further compound their psychological torment.
The Benue state Governor said if people in the border areas are united, no forces would be able to break them.
Earlier, the Aku Uka of Wukari, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi in retrospect, said the Tivs and the Jukuns have historical antecedents and wondered why they have continued to fight on trivial issues, particularly in the areas of demarcation of boundary in the past and challenged the two ethnic groups to begin to channel their energy in doing what will benefit them and the two states.
He appreciated the zeal and vision of the two Governors of both states to establish peace in the border communities and added that no religion preaches the killing of fellow human being.
On his part , the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse warned Tivs in Taraba that sanctions would be meted on those who think they can cause trouble and run to Benue state.
He stressed that he has large numbers of Jukuns in his domain who are enjoying full right as his subjects and thanked Governors of Taraba and Benue for their well structured peace initiative.
Ayatse pledged the support of Royal fathers in Benue to the success of the demarcation exercise.