Ortom: I will not relent till peace returns to Jukun/Tiv

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says whatever it will lawfully take his administration to ensure peaceful coexistence between Tivs and Jukuns in Benue and Taraba States, he will do.

Governor Ortom stated this today at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House Makurdi while receiving report from Benue and Taraba Peace Committee, Benue Sub-committee led by Hon. Daniel Abbagu.

He stated that he was taken aback by sustained hostilities between Tiv and Jukuns especially in Taraba, stressing that the two ethnic groups had lived together peacefully for decades before the ugly development.

According to Governor Ortom, he and his colleague from Taraba, Architect Darius Ishaku had met severally and reached certain mutual agreements including the return of Moon and Chanchange communities to Benue and Taraba respectively.

He noted that they had also agreed that any Jukun man living in Benue is an indigene of Benue and any Tiv man living in Taraba remains an indigene of Taraba, pointing out that the two ethnic nationalities had intermarried and had no justification for long hostilities.

The Governor commended the committee for a thorough work despite notable challenges, saying his administration would translate recommendations made by the committee into actions that could engender peace between the two ethnic groups.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Daniel Abbagu had recommended implementation of the Ten Points Agenda by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1991 and 1992 and acceptance of citizenship status to all warring communities in Taraba and Benue.

The committee also recommended that Governors of the two states, accompanied by the Joint Peace Committee and traditional rulers, undertake a tour of affected areas to condemn the crisis and also build confidence in the people.

While suggesting the creation of a new state comprising seven local government areas each of Benue North East and Southern Taraba for peaceful and effective coexistence, the committee also recommended the creation of a Joint Standing Crisis and Conflict Resolution Commission for crisis management.

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