FG Has To Lead Efforts In Resolution Of TIV-Jukun Crisis In Taraba, Says TIV In America
Over the years, Taraba State has grown increasingly hostile to its Tiv population. Back in 2001, the Tiv diaspora community had cause to write to then President Olusegun Obasanjo, expressing concerns about the massive killing of Tiv people in Taraba State by Jukun militias.
A swift government intervention then brought succor, albeit temporarily. 18 years later, a more vicious pogrom has been visited on the Tiv people of Taraba by the Jukun.
In 2019, the violence killed scores of Tiv people and caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands from their communities.
What makes the current crisis deserving of special attention is that the Jukun have not only violently overran about 30 Tiv villages and towns, but they have also renamed them to obliterate their Tiv histories.
To provide just a few examples, the Jukun have captured and renamed the following towns and villages: In Takum LGA, Peva has been renamed Chanchanji and Tse-Ahmadu renamed Kufai Ahmadu.
In Wukari LGA, Tse-Ayu has been renamed Tsokundi and Toho Abanyon renamed Adikyan.
In Donga LGA, Ananaum has been renamed Wutobi and Ishagogo renamed Sabongida Suntai.
In Gassol LGA, Dan-Anacha, the biggest Tiv settlement in the local government with a population of over 150,000 people has been renamed Kwararafa. The list is much longer.
In the meantime, the Taraba State government even denies the Tiv IDPs the courtesy of make-shift camps for temporarily accommodating displaced peoples. Instead, we understand the Chairman of Wukari LGA, for example, has stationed soldiers in Tiv villages like Tor-Iyorshagher to prevent them from returning to their ancestral homes.
The renaming of Tiv communities and towns signals the unequivocal intent of the Jukun to uproot Tiv people from their legitimate ancestral lands.
We have it on good word that the nefarious acts of the Jukun receive tacit approval from the Taraba State governor, Arch. Ishaku Darius, himself a Jukun. All these actions run contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.
In contrast to what the Jukun are doing in Taraba State, their kith and kin enjoy peace and acceptability in the Abinsi community of Guma LGA of Benue State. The Tiv of Benue accept the Jukun of Abinsi as indigenes of the state, having settled there for generations.
The Mutual Union Of TIV In America, MUTA calls on the Federal Government to lead efforts, not only to resolve the displacement of Tiv people in Taraba but also ensure that the threat to their citizenship rights is eliminated.
MUTA does not believe that the government of Taraba State will sincerely resolve the issues involved because it has spearheaded the campaign to obliterate Tiv history in the state.
The renaming of Tiv towns was carried out by the state government and when attacks on Tiv communities began, the state government refused to provide places of safety for the victims.
We demand that the changes to the names of Tiv towns and villages in Taraba be reverted to their original names.
Signed by Prof. Joseph T. Zume and Engr. Simon Kusugh on behalf of THE MUTUAL UNION OF TIV IN AMERICA (MUTA).