Chairman of the Seven-man Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the crisis between the Tiv and their Neighbours in Taraba State, Retired Justice Kummai Aka’as has described the damage done by the crisis as monumental.
Justice Aka’as (Rtd.) who was speaking at a ceremony in Jalingo on Tuesday October 20, 2020 when the report of the Commission of Enquiry was presented to Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku, said the damage done by crisis was worth more than 14billion Naira.
He appealed to all stakeholders to do whatever was necessary to stop the crisis.
He also emphasized the need for the quick demarcation of the boundary between Taraba and Benue states as a step towards achieving peace between the Tiv and their neighbours in Taraba State.
Justice Kummai said the report submitted was entirely based on the findings of members and that there was no attempt by the Governor or any other interests to influence the job of the commission.
Speaking after receiving the report, Governor Ishaku thanked members of the commission for finishing their assignment in record time.
He said the crisis between the Tiv and their Neighbours in Taraba has been on since 1991 and promised that his administration would do everything within its powers to resolve it.
He also joined in the call for the demarcation of the boundary between Taraba and Benue.
Governor Ishaku promised to act decisively on the report of Commission, assuring members that they would discover at the end that he did not bring them to waste their time.
Governor Ishaku emphasised the need for all persons resident in the state to be law abiding and to resist the temptation to be teleguided by outsiders to cause crisis.
– Story by BALA DAN ABU, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity.
The Benue and the Taraba States government on Tuesday signed a peace accord in Nasarawa state to end tensions between Tivs and Jukuns.
This is contained in a statement signed by Engr. Haruna Manu and Engr. Benson Abounu, the deputy governors of Taraba and Benue states as well as Mr.Emmanuel Akabe, Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State on Tuesday at the end of the Joint Peace Conference.
The event, which was organized by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, was attended by stakeholders from Taraba and Benue states.
Part of the communique read;
“Violence from all sides should be stopped to pave the way for the return of internally displaced persons.
“The governors of the two states should meet with traditional rulers in the region, and raise awareness of the need for peaceful coexistence.
“Intelligence should include effective communication using the media to Ensure the return of people who have lost their homes to different homes.
“All those expelled in Taraba State should be allowed to return to their homes as soon as possible under the protection of security forces because of the impending drought.
“This should enable the governments of Benue and Taraba State to identify and arrest suspected Gunmen living in the two states and hand them over to security agencies for appropriate action.
“Even though the Benue State government did not initiate proceedings in Chonku but in the interests of peace the Deputy Governor of Benue should play a role in reconciling with the Deputy Speaker of the two Governors to meet and solve the problem.
“That the Federal Government to establish the boundaries of the two states and facilitate the implementation of all resolutions adopted by the two governments in resolving the crisis permanently.
The Executive Governor of Taraba state, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has done a lot to promote peace in Southern Taraba as the governor has visited the crisis areas at the Taraba/Benue borders more than SEVEN times since becoming governor during which he and his Benue State counterpart met and held meetings with leaders of the Tiv/Jukun communities on the need for peace.
It is obvious that one Benjamin Bako, a Jukun man who resides in Lagos and who has a very shallow knowledge of happenings in his home state of Taraba, is unrelenting in his one-man campaign of calumny against the office and person of His Excellency, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.
This was revealed in a press release signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, BALA DAN ABU on April 14, 2020.
According to the press release, on Monday April 13, 2020, Benjamin Bako took his desperate campaign of hate against Ishaku to the media through a press statement in which he single-handedly passed a so-called vote of no confidence on Ishaku claiming that he was doing so under the umbrella of the Jukun Development Association of Nigeria. Nothing can be more nonsensical than such a move.
It states that Ishaku’s offence, according to him, is that he had failed to resolve the crisis between the Jukun and Tiv in the state. Benjamin Bakos thinking, understanding and interpretation of events in Taraba State, are so beclouded with his hate for the Governor that he has become blind and deaf to the good things that are happening to the state under the leadership of Gov Ishaku.
It reveals that on Monday, while Benjamin Bako was addressing the press to promote negative and unfair sentiments against Ishaku, a high-powered delegation of the Taraba State Government led by Deputy Governor Haruna Manu was on its way to Lafia, in Nasarawa State, for a meeting with its Benue State counterpart on the same crisis he was accusing the Governor of doing nothing about.
It reveals that the joint meeting of the delegations from both states took place on Tuesday April 14, 2020, in Lafia and the Taraba State delegation to that meeting was made up largely of the same Jukun elders whose consent he had forged in favour of his so-called vote of no confidence against Ishaku.
It again reveals that some prominent Jukun and other stakeholders in Taraba State presume that Benjamin Bako’s balderdash against Ishaku is better ignored.
We think so too but our fear is that a lot of people who may not be familiar with the level of ignorance and hate that informs his position on issues may be tempted to believe him. For this reason, we wish to state as follows:
It again reveals that the Deputy Governor of Taraba State also visited those areas many times at the instance of the governor and held similar meetings with Benue stakeholders led by the Deputy Governor of that state on the same subject.
It reveals that in September last year, another stakeholders meeting organized by Governor Ishaku was held at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja with senior Federal Government officials including Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, National and State Assembly members from the two states in attendance. Key traditional rulers from Taraba and Benue states were also in attendance.
The press release states that today’s meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, is one in the series of efforts of Governor Ishaku to broker peace between the Jukun and Tiv.
It describes Benjamin Bako’s attacks as the height of ignorance and mischief for anyone to suggest that Governor Ishaku has not done enough to restore peace in Southern Taraba stressing that only a Benjamin Bako with a mind that is so profoundly intoxicated by hate can contemplate so.
It urged the Jukun nation and the entire people of Taraba to ignore and treat all that was contained in Benjamin Bako’s press statement as the vituperations of a frustrated man.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the government and people of Benue and Taraba States to exercise restraint following the gruesome killing of Rev. Fr. David Tanko at Kpankufu Village on Wukari Road in Taraba.
The President also directed the Taraba and Benue State Governors, traditional rulers, specifically the Tor Tiv and the Aku Uka of Wukari, religious and community leaders in the two states to meet urgently to bring an end to persistent violent clashes between Jukun and Tiv people.
According to the President, “the murder of the Catholic Priest highlights the urgency of addressing this embarrassing and persistent conflict.”
Describing such frenzy of human destruction, violent attacks on people and property in the communities by the warring parties as unacceptable, the President said the Federal Government will not sit idly and watch the deep-seated antagonistic relationship between the Tiv and Jukun people fester.
The President 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.”
Acknowledging that the Tiv/Jukun violence is one of Nigeria’s most persistent and intractable security problems, President Buhari assures the affected communities that the Federal government will 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.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 30, 2019