Sunday, 7 April 2019

Ortom, Ishaku, Security Chiefs Brainstorm On Tiv/Jukun Clashes

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his Taraba State counterpart, Darius Ishaku, have met on the intermittent communal clashes between the Tiv and Jukun in the border communities of Benue and Taraba states, which have claimed many lives.

Security chiefs in both states and other stakeholders have also commenced joint meetings to discuss ways to amicably resolve the conflict.

Ortom, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, confirmed the series of meetings held on the crisis.

The governor said he had met Ishaku on the crisis at the border areas.

He stated that besides the two governors’ meeting, he had also sent a strong team, led by the Benue State Security Adviser, Col. Paul Hemba (retd.), to Taraba State for a meeting with key stakeholders, including the Aku Uka of Wukari as well as the chairman of the Wukari Local Government Area.

Ortom added, “We have taken far-reaching measures to end the conflict and restore lasting peace to the border communities.”

Ishaku also expressed worry over the incessant conflicts between the neighbours in the two states.

The governor, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Bala Dan-Abu, condemned the unending conflict that had claimed many lives.

Dan-Abu, in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH in Jalingo, said, “Following the governor’s directive, a meeting of stakeholders has already been held to douse tension and to find ways of ensuring lasting peace in the area.

“The meeting was attended by the SA Security, chairmen of the Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba and his counterpart in the neighbouring Ukum LGA of Benue State as well as leaders of various security agencies.”

Ishaku urged residents of the border communities to live together in peace and harmony.

“Frequent conflicts can only lead to disruption of economic activities and aggravate poverty and hunger. As neighbours, the two groups need each other for economic survival. Therefore, they must co-operate in protecting their communities against any form of threat to peace in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, police in Benue State said more officers had been deployed in the troubled areas.

The spokesman for the command, Catherine Anene, stated, “There are more men deployed in the area.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Taraba State Police command, David Misal, also said security personnel had been drafted to the area and peace restored.

He, however, said he had yet to be briefed by the Divisional Police Officer of the Wukari LGA on the number of arrests made in connection with the crisis in the communities.

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