The Need For Ending Tivs/Jukuns Crises In Taraba State (1) – By John Akevi


The Tiv / Jukun crisis has persisted for so long. We have lost thousands of precious lives and immeasurable property and resources. Many are  maimed for life or living in displacement. Tens  of thousands of children have been orphaned by conflict and millions of our fellow citizens now face threats of starvation in the face of rising food security. Our society has been degraded far beyond anybody’s imagination. It seems there is no end to our disillusions and predicaments.

History teaches us that since the creation of man,the human race lived with violence and conflicts. In the biblical Book of (Genesis 4:1-8 KJV), Cain and Abel  are the first two sons of Adam and Eve between whom the first human conflict and violence started, which led to the death of one of the two brothers ,since then  violence never ceased.
Violence will always occur till the end of time. However, all subsequent conflicts and violence since Cain and Abel ended at one point or the other. All the horrendous wars, battles, expeditions in what ever form ended at  some points and human kind were able to embrace peace and lived together.

Violence is a free commodity. Nobody has exclusive right to possess and perpetrate violence. Even the most peaceful and the most pious may be cajoled to indulge in violent activities. In  Taraba state the Tivs/Jukuns have lived with violence and destruction for so long to the extend that our people are no longer afraid of violence. We are more and more becoming immuned to death and destruction. The Tivs/Junkuns live side by side with violence, they walk through violence, and are now taking instability for granted.

Since 1959 to date, our children and grandchildren were either born into or grew up in violent circumstances. Beyond that, since the advent of party politics in 1998, thousands of our youths were recruited in violence as political vanguards and thugs.
When violent broke out between the Tivs/ Jukuns in year 2000, the two ethnic groups did not find it difficult to recruit their adherents because of the availability of readymade violent elements. The knowledge, culture, tradition, custom, costumes and attitudes of a child are reflected in what he watches and observes while growing up. Today, many of our children see nothing wrong in negative behaviors. Many of them are savering relationship with their communities. Disrespect to elders, constituted authorities and rudeness to parents are most prevalent.

It is apparent that all the good deeds, struggles, and all that hold dear as a people are at the verge of extinction.
Therefore, we must understand and appreciate our unfortunate state of existence and change for peace and peaceful coexistence. It is the only panacea for us as a people. We must individually and collectively swallow our prides, primodial considerations and preconceived positions in order to reach out to all violence proned individuals and groups to convince them to embrace peace. It is difficult but nothing is impossible with the intervention of the Almighty God.
As stated earlier, there were no permanent wars or conflicts. Wars and conflicts must end at a point. And peace is always attained when a common ground is accepted by both the victims and the aggressors. Unabated aggression claims more victims and expands to consume humanity. Ours should not be an exception.
We must bring an end to all forms of conflict, violence and destructions.

For now we  have lost our precious, cherished and beloved sons and daughters in all spheres of life- our soldiers, police, SSS, Civil Defence etc and indeed thousands of innocent people who knew next to nothing as to why they died.

The surest way to end the Tivs/Jukuns conflicts is for the two groups to have a rethink and deeply reflect on the consequences of their activities to their motherland.
They must retrace their steps back to peace and peaceful co-habitation.
The Tivs/Jukuns must know that conflicts must and need to end at a point in time. It is needless to continue to suffer in the bush inflicting death, destruction and hardship on your own people.
The Tivs/Jukuns must be reminded and guided to accept that all of us have equal stake and rights in Taraba state.
Taraba state is collective project, we must stop hate speeches, threats to one another, accept our common humanity and heritage. We must live together in peace and progress. God Almighty in His infinite mercies and wisdom created us in Taraba state, and we are Tarabians. It is not by choice but divinely ordained.
To be continued..

Citizen John Akevi



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