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Tiv Groups Tackle Taraba Senator David Jimkuta Over Ethnic Profiling

• Lawmaker Condemns Attack on constituents, Calls for Justice







Various Tiv groups in Taraba state have tackled Senator  for Taraba South Senatorial District, Sen. David Jimkuta over what they described as unfair ethnic profiling of the Tiv Nation.
David Jimkuta had condemned in strong terms the recent attacks on Tsukundi, Kyhazo and pita villages in Wukari local government area by suspected Tiv Militia.
Jimkuta disclosed that the recent violent attacks by suspected Tiv militia in some surrounding villages in Wukari local which has claimed many lives and several others injured was unacceptable.
"I am deeply saddened and outraged by the heinous attack on members of our constituency at Tsokundi, Kyhazo, Pita and other villages in Wukari local government which, unfortunately, resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives.
"This criminal act is a direct assault on the peace and harmony that we have worked tirelessly to foster within our community
"I unequivocally condemn this senseless violence and stand in solidarity with the affected families.
"I call on the relevant authorities, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to swiftly and diligently investigate this appalling incident.
"It is of utmost importance that the perpetrators of this act of terror are apprehended and brought to justice"he said.
He explained that the stakeholders of the area cannot allow such acts of violence to go unpunished as it undermines the fabric of their society and threatens the security of our people.
Jimkuta urged the people of Taraba South in general and Wukari in particular, to remain calm and refrain from any acts that could lead to a breakdown of law and order and further disrupt the peace they were striving to maintain.
"Let us unite as one community and work with entrenched security systems to address this grave injustice" he added.
The Senator similarly urged families who lost loved ones in the unfortunate incident and those who sustained injuries to accept his heartfelt commiserations.
"I share in your grief and pain, and I stand ready to offer any support and assistance that may be required during this difficult period.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that justice is served and that such a tragedy does not happen again.
"As your elected representative, I want to assure you that I remain fully committed to the safety and well-being of our constituency.
Jimkuta said stakeholders must nip this evil in the bud and create an environment where every citizen can live without fear or intimidation.
Meanwhile, he has called on the people of Taraba South to come together in unity and resilience and support one another and foster an atmosphere of peace, love, and understanding.
But Ayatutu Cultural and Social Development Initiative Worldwide and Taraba Tiv Youth Development Forum (TTYDF) expressed disappointment with the Senator Elect, David Jimkuta for profiling the Tiv people as responsible for the attack in Tsukundi and other villages in Wukari local government.
Comrade David Nyiagee said it "received with great shock and disappointment, the unfortunate and unverified allegations leveled against Tiv Nation by the Senator elect, Hon. David Jumkuta, who the same Tiv people of Taraba State massively voted for, leading to his victory against the immediate past Governor of the State".
The statement pointed out that there was no village still standing, from Wukari to Tsukundi for over four years now as the people of the area, had been displaced and are taking refuge in different areas for more than four years now without government intervention.
According to the statement, any attempt made by the people to return to their areas is resisted by the local authorities, especially by the chairman of the council, who most atimes employ the services of some security agencies.
"This has made it possible for Jukun millitials to exhume the graves of our ancestors and spilled out corpses, destroy economic trees from all the Tiv villages along the road even as our churches and pastors residences are not left out. We want the necessary authorities to go on a passionate investigation as regard our claims.
"As a matter of fact, if there are people who deserve Justice and sympathy from the Senator elect, it is the Tiv people. Even before the clash between millitials along the road in which the Senator claimed it was attack on what can best be described as fictitious villages, there was a heavy attack on a Tiv settlement by Jukun millitials on a village called Akinde, in Donga Local Government Area which recorded lost of lives and the people displaced.
"This unprovoked attack on Tiv people was not in secret as it was published by different media houses within and outside Taraba State.
"We expect that the senator elect will be civil and fair in his dealings so as to maintain peaceful coexistence in Southern Taraba. He should always maintain his intergrity and act as the representative of all the people of the Zone and not a representative of only his kinsmen.
"He should call for investigation on the killing of innocent Tiv travellers who were forced out of vehicles and brutally killed in Wukari - Jalingo Federal Highway as confirmed by the Nigerian Police and also take some workable, justifiable and objective moves to broker peace between all the tribes in the Senatorial Zone instead of instigating youth to indulge in killing spree in the area.
"We hereby strongly condemn the unverified allegations leveled against Tiv Nation by the Senator elect in totality and ask him to withdraw the statement immediately if he does not want to become a tribalistic legislator so early but an unbiased representative of the people of Southern Taraba which the Tiv are also part of.
 Also the Taraba Tiv Youth Development Forum (TTYDF) in a statement signed by Torkuma Moses President and Uko Moses Wuaga Secretary General recalled that, when the CTC of Takum was kidnapped along Wukari_Takum road by a group of unknown gunmen, "the Jukun in their usual way of lawlessness accused the Tiv of being behind the act and went about destroying Tiv property in Takum town and killing some. However, when the CTC was released he washed Tiv off of his kidnapping and clearly stated that his kidnapping was political.
"Our greatest shock is where a senator who is elected to by all tribes in Southern Taraba and is expected to represent the entire zone will without any investigation openly attribute the incident to Tiv people. In our understanding and perceptions, Mr. Jimkuta is directly telling the world and particularly the Tiv people that he is representing Jukun and not other tribes even though we collectively voted for him.
"It also shows the direct insult and profiling of Tiv people by Mr. Jimkuta. We as members of the TTYDF are therefore, calling on the senator - elect to desist from tribalism and as well tender an unreserve apology to the Tiv people. Because his recent outreach in which he openly declares his stance with Jukun families without any word of sympathy to the families of those murdered by Jukun militia is enough prove that Jimkuta is not representing others but his Jukun tribe.

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