The Taraba State command of the Nigerian Police Force has kick-started moves, to resolve the conflict between Jukun and Tiv communities, at the border between Benue and Taraba states.
Commissioner of Police, Alkasim Sanusi, laid the foundation for reconciliation, during a visit to flashpoints in Taraba, where at least twenty persons lost their lives in a recent attack.
Correspondent, Owolabi Adenusi reports that the quest for the return of lasting peace has become a major challenge for many troubled boundary communities in Taraba and Benue states, home to the Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups respectively.
With the spate of violence severely escalated, the police is now leading the battle for peace.
Meeting with both sides involved in the conflict, the police chief outlines what he and his officers and men are doing to forestall further fighting which has often resulted in losses worth millions of naira.
The Tiv leaders not only give a background to the crisis, they also suggest the way forward. Their Jukun counterparts also give perspectives on how the protracted challenge can be brought to an end.
“I will like to earnestly thank you commissioner for this courtesy visit . CP as you may be aware, this community we are in has been in existence for over 300years. It happens to be the 9th king in succession of this land and I have been on the throne for 27years now. As long I have always received the support of my fellowers despite tribe and religion, we have always been one living in peace. We want to urge you to kindly look into the kidnap, robbery cases that are on increase apart from communal crisis we experienced here,” a Royal father said.
Taraba residents believed that a permanent solution to the conflict can only be reached if the two sides agree to put their differences behind them devoid of external interference.
The crisis between the Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups has been on for decades usually in a contest for land and political relevance.