Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom (MUTUK) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the governors of Taraba and Benue states, to re-double their efforts to end the destruction of lives and properties in Taraba South Senatorial District.
A statement, signed by the Publicity Secretary of MUTUK, Ms. Salome Biam, on behalf of the management committee, read in part: “MUTUK expresses deep concern over the endless violence, killings, arson and wanton destruction of properties by the warring communities of Jukun and Tiv in Taraba South. It is also regrettable that these unfortunate conflagrations have spiralled into the border communities of Taraba and Benue states.
“MUTUK finds it extremely difficult to understand why the internecine conflagrations fail to abate, despite several interventions by security agents, including the Nigerian Army, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and his Taraba counterpart, Darius Ishaku.”
According to him, the intervention of traditional and religious leaders as well as other political leaders has also failed to calm frayed nerves.
“We consider it an unreasonable response to these pleas by these warring actors. We are not only astounded at this reality, but the further shameful confirmation that the over one year of violence, killings, displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, dislocation of social life and the damaging of economic treasures for a people who are basically agrarian farmers are potent existential threats now and in the nearest future.”
President of the union, Dr. Kohol Iornem, stated in clear terms that nowhere had violence and bloodletting, rather than dialogue, resolved any dispute.He added that it was not MUTUK’s intention to blame any group of persons or community for the reprehensible conflict. “But our desire is to appeal to the warring factions to sheathe their swords and embrace peace for the sake of humanity, posterity and God.”
While noting that development and prosperity do not thrive in the absence of peace, MUTUK stated: “Our brothers and sisters must realise and court the wisdom to live in peace and consciously work towards it to bring development to our people and communities.”
It noted the first and non-negotiable duty of any responsible government as protection of lives and property and implored government and other concerned leaders not to relent “until peace and security is achieved” in the troubled Taraba South and environs.
“MUTUK believes that whatever must have caused the crisis is not a problem beyond stakeholders of both groups to handle. While we pray God to touch the heart of everyone to drop arms, we pray for the repose of beloved ones who have lost their lives in the bloody skirmishes. May their families be consoled,” they added.