By our Taraba correspondent
The need for government at all levels as well as security operatives to clamp down heavily on all persons found to be frustrating the peace efforts between the Jukun and the Tiv ethnic groups in Taraba state, have become a source of concern to the Southern Taraba Youths Forum.
The group who made the call in Jalingo, during a world press briefing also urged the “Tiv militias ” whom they believed are responsible for the ongoing killings to as a matter of urgency “reopened all the blocks roads in the state.
Led by its spokesperson, Dodo Danlami Magaji, government and security agencies as suggested by them , should also “keep a close watch on the activities of prominent Tiv sons and daughters in the state” whom they said “are alleged to be covertly funding the intractable war in southern Taraba. ”
Flanked by its executive, the group who gave the “Tiv militias “a seven day ultimatum to reopened the affected roads which they believed have not only crippled economic and agricultural activities, but have as well made the roads unsafe for travellers , said “at the end of this ultimatum, we will be left with no other option than to conclude that the Tiv are not ready for peace. ”
The group who are also of the view that the incessant unrest which have led to massive lose of lives and property was necessitated by “lack of proper demarcation of the border between Taraba and Benue states” called on the Benue government to cooperate with the agency assigned with the responsibility of demarcating the area, to complete the demarcation exercise.
Further piqued by the unrest which have engulfed all parts of the state, the need for security agencies to “intensify efforts towards ending the challenges of inter tribal wars, kidnapping and banditry ” they have become necessary for the rapid growth of the state.
The group who also demanded that the “Tiv should desist from insulting or bringing to disrespute the names of our respected leaders, General (rtd) T. Y Danjuma, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, among others” called on the “Tiv militias ” to release persons from the zone who are presently being held captive.”
Among the roads which the group are now demanding to be reported in order to pave way for economic and agricultural activities as well as to enhance free flow of movement includes Wukari to Takum, Wukari to Donga, Takum to Katsina All, Donga to Mararaba, Wukari to Kente, Wukari to Tsokundi among others.
When reached for comment, the President General of the Tiv Social Cultural Association, Chief Goodman Dahida denied the allegations that the Tiv are blocking roads, stating that “the Jukun should give them ultimatum to reopen all the block roads because they are the ones that block all our roads. ”
Citing how he was compelled to travelled several kilometers from Jalingo to Abuja, by going through Gombe, Bauchi and Plateau state instead of going through Wukari-Makurdi road, he pleaded with security operatives to as a matter of urgency call the “Jukun militias to order by directing them to reopen the said roads.
Security operatives who claimed to be aware of the problems often encountered by motorists and travellers on the aforementioned roads told our correspondent that plans are in the pipelines to clamp down on those behind such hideous acts.
Since the eruption of crisis between the two ethnic groups in Kente village early this year, the much desired peace as observed by our correspondent has eluded not only the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups but Tarabans at large as the ongoing killings have remain unabated.