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TEKAN should mediate between Jukuns and Tivs for peace- Kefas Sule



Kefas Sule is the Governorship candidate of the All Blending Party, ABP in the last general election, he opinioned that Christian leaders are not doing enough to end Jukun Tiv crisis.

No headline for this story: It is unfortunate that our two communities,( the Jukun and the Tivs) who have coexisted for ages, sharing common values and practices in our geographical locations through intermarriages, commerce, agriculture, industry, religion and education continue to exhibit animosity towards each other, in spite of the great number of things we share together. The problems confronting our teeming masses are also the same; poverty,illiteracy, lack of infrastructure and basic social services, prevalence of diseases, unemployment or insecurity, just name them. These challenges do not discriminate whether you are Tiv or Jukun. Our people continue to suffer the same debilitating effects of these unmitigated existential challenges, caused by a number of factors, the bulk of which can be put on the doors of bad leaderships; past and present.

The opportunities for development available to our peoples are almost also the same,given that the bulk of our populations still depend on the natural endowments of our area, in this case, the resource -rich heritage of Southern Taraba. We are abundantly blessed with everything from agriculture to aquaculture, mining to natural and cultural tourism, cross boarder trade among others, which regrettably have failed to translate into higher standards of living for our people.

Solutions to the incessant crises between the Tivs and Jukuns can be develop from two perspectives, the short and long time.

For the short term, I recommend
- Scaling up of conventional security deployment on the side of Taraba and Benue States to bring the current crisis under control. The number of security personnel available for deployments have always been in short supply especially with the proliferation of insecurity situations in different parts of the country. But this can be surmounted if there is adequate logistics to boost operational efficiency. For example sustained frequent patrol and systematic surveillance of crisis spots will make the shortage of personnel less significant. Attackers are embolden when the know their target will not receive early intervention from security agencies.
- once the situation is stabilised to an extend, the process of dialogue should resume immediately. As it is said, it is better to continue to jaw jaw than to war war. Engagements by way of continuing conversations on the crisis will deliver peace in a sustainable way than the resort to violent means for enforcement.
- The traditional institutions should also not stop playing their key roles. There are however some of them who are deeply involved in fanning the embers. They should be identified and their actions neutralized.
- Apart from the regular high power meetings by officials of the two States, a non conventional committee selected among high visibility people from the two states who have schooled in locations dominated by the tribe other than their own should be established to exploit personal contacts for lasting mediation.
- Religious institutions should also evolve new strategies for helping resolve the clashes. Thankfully members of the two tribes predominantly belong to the NKST and CRCN who have one umbrella body, TEKAN. Their leaders must look for new strategies to make peace happen.‎

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