A Lagos-based youth group, Tiv Young Professionals Forum, says only justice, equity and fairness can guarantee peace between the Jukun and the Tiv tribes in Taraba State.
The President of the association, Mike Iorliam, told Saturday PUNCH in a telephone interview on Friday that both the Jukun and Tiv were peasant farmers that needed to live in peace with one another in order to carry out their business.
Iorliam, however, regretted that lack of justice, fairness and mutual suspicion had placed the two groups against each other, especially in the Wukari Local Government Area of the state.
While condemning the wanton killings and destruction of property in the unfortunate crisis in the area, he called on the government to look into the contentious issues in order to solve the problem.
He said, “For the past three years, no Tiv person has been given a certificate of origin from Wukari because they are considered as settlers. But the tax record of 1933 and the census figures of 1944 established the presence of Tiv with overwhelming majority in Wukari district; but today the system is recognising them as settlers.
“How can you guarantee peace in such a system? It’s rather unfortunate that some people are today desperately trying to deny Tiv people indigeneship of Taraba when they were in the area long before Taraba was created. They are only used to winning elections and that’s all.”
Iorliam, therefore, urged the two warring parties to come to the table with a sincere heart of forgiveness and embrace each other in the interest of peace and development of their communities, adding that fighting would only bring hatred and underdevelopment.