The chairman Taraba state council of traditional rulers, Dr Shakarau Agyu, has identified the unresolved boundary demarcation between Benue and Taraba states, as the major reason for the incessant upheavals between the Tiv and the Jukun ethnic groups.
The monarch, who made this known on Monday while testifying before the Judicial Commission of inquiry constituted by Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku in Jalingo to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the lingering crisis between the two tribes, believed that demarcating the boundaries would go a long way to put a full stop to the unrest which has led to massive destruction of lives and properties.
Testifying through the secretary of the Wukari Traditional Council, Bala Useni, the monarch who doubles as the Aku-Uka of Wukari, observed that the Tiv in Benue state often cross over to Taraba and end up “claiming settlements” the action which as made known by him often ignite crisis.
According to him “on crossing over to Taraba state, they man signposts carrying inscriptions that proclaim such settlements as parts of Benue state.”
He is sad that “several Jukun have been kidnapped and killed by the Tiv” since the advent of democracy in 1999 “there have not been any boundary adjustments between Benue and Taraba states.”
Aku-Uka, who urged the commission to tread extra legitimate miles in order to come out with recommendations that would permanently put to rest the wrangling between the aforementioned ethnic groups, was also of the view that the clamour by the Tiv to be included in the Wukari Traditional Council, does not hold enough water stating that “we don’t see the reason why Tiv should be included in WTC because we have no common culture and traditions.”
Stressing that the “Tiv have nothing in common with the Jukun culturally” he admonished the commission to endeavour to visit all the communities affected by the crisis in order to come out with recommendations that would be accepted by concerned ethnic groups.
Earlier, the Chairman of the commission, Justice (rtd) Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs, who promised to ensure fair hearings for all the groups, reiterated the determinations of the commission to visit all the communities affected by the crisis.
The Tiv ethnic group, who said they have no confidence on the commission, stated that it would be recalled recently withdrew from participating in the exercises as a result of the alleged inability of the commission to stay proceeding pending the determinations of the suit filed by them (Tiv) at the federal high court 8n Abuja.
Following the decision of the panel to continue with proceedings, the Federal High Court have urged both the state governor and the leadership of the commission to appear before the court on the 26th of this month.