Sen Akume Pleads With Warring Tiv, Jukun To Sheath Their Swords

The Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has called on the warring Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in Taraba State to lay down their arms and embrace peace in the interest of growth and development of the North Central geo-political zone.

Senator Akume, who spoke in his Maitama residence while receiving the delegation of General Assembly of Otukpo Government Secondary School Old Boys Association, OGSSOBA, who paid him a visit on his ministerial appointment, said there was no need for the two brothers to fight at all.

The former Senate Majority Leader, while condemning the crisis said what is happening between the Tiv and the Jukun is totally uncalled for.

Going down the memory lane, the former Governor of Benue State, said: “Well, the Jukun and the Tiv have always lived together as brothers and sisters. And, in the days of the colonial situation, the Jukun were in what they called Munchi Province. Not just the Jukun but what was known as Wukari Federation.

“And in that Federation were the Tiv, the Jukun, the Hausa, the Fulani, the, Chamba and so on.

“So, it was a very harmonious relationship and most of the Jukun leaders who are today in the forefront of our political and economic life, went through the schools in what later became Benue.

“Don’t forget that the Province that was later transformed into Benue was called Munchi Province. Munchi was the Fulani name for the Tiv. So, if we show you the preponderance of Tiv in that province.

“When I was Governor, I built on what I had also inherited and I interacted in a very meaningful and purposeful manner with my colleagues, Jolly Nyame who was then the Governor of Taraba State. In the same vein, I interacted purposely with his Excellency Abdullahi Adamu who was also the Governor of Nasarawa State.

“You see when Governors interact the followership will always follow/. There is no doubt that there are some mischief makers at work.

“What is happening is totally uncalled for between the Tiv and the Jukun; it is totally uncalled for. I want to believe that the intervention of the President which led to the hosting of a conference in the Yar’ Adua Center will go a long way to re-establish normalcy in that area.

“We need peace. We need progress. When there is no peace there will be no progress. The Jukun too will not know progress, Taraba State will also not know peace and when you don’t know peace you will not know progress.

“We have Jukun in Benue State; they are also living at home. We interact with them and they are also members of the Tiv traditional council.

“I believe the leadership in Taraba will also rise to the occasion. When you lead people, there are certain decisions you take which your own core people may not necessarily agree with but in the final analysis, we are doing so for the benefit of all, irrespective of ethnic, political and religious background.”

In his speech earlier, the leader of the delegation, and National President of OGSSOBA, Barrister Paul Edeh, pleaded with Senator Akume to take Tiv and Jukun crisis as the first priority project of his Ministry by providing a lasting and enduring solution.

According to Barr. Edeh, “Today, this bond is fast being eroded with perennial boarder crisis, the most recent of which is the Tiv/Jukun crisis which has existed for many years.

“A couple of weeks ago, the Executive Governor of Benue State and his Taraba State counterpart held a peace meeting intended to chart a peaceful course for the two warring States.

“But we know it will take more than the two State Governors to bring about lasting peace.

“We therefore use this occasion to call on Your Excellency to take the boarder crisis between the two States as well as the Tiv/Jukun crisis as the first priority project your Ministry and provide a lasting and enduring solution.”

Calling on the Minister to intervene in the issue of bandits, the National President of OGSSOBA said, “Your Excellency sir, it is not breaking news that the issue of banditry has become an issue of national emergency especially in States in northern Nigeria.

“Daily, Nigerians are being killed by bandits who have no value for human lives, which calls for urgent attention by the Federal Government.

“Other than the military approach, there is need to develop a more proactive strategy towards creating lasting peace in this regard and we are certain that your Ministry is better positioned to lead the way in this regard.

“We therefore call on you to please develop a strategy with a human face to curb the activities of bandits by directly interfacing with community heads, traditional rulers and State Governors towards finding a lasting peace in the affected parts of the country.”

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