From Austine Tule, Makurdi
The President-General, Tiv Youth Organization (TYO), Mr Timothy Hembaor, said Tiv people of Taraba deserved to be protected and accorded the same rights as well as privileges enjoyed by other indigenes of the State.
Hembaor stated this in Makurdi while briefing newsmen during the weekend.
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security forces to move speedily to end the Taraba killings, stressing that those found culpable should be arrested and made to face the full consequences of their actions.
”The recent killing of two students of Federal University Wukari and a lecturer both of Tiv origin in Wukari town by yet to be apprehended Jukun militia readily comes to mind.
”These unprovoked attacks in Taraba against Tiv have continued unabated and have assumed the dimension that they are well coordinated and targeted at wiping out the entire Tiv race in Taraba.
”We vehemently condemn these attacks and call for an end to the killings. We make bold to say that as the umbrella body of Tiv youths world wide, we are not satisfied with the manner the crisis was handled from all ramifications,” he said.
”I wish to make it abundantly clear that the Tiv in Taraba are bona fide indigenes of that state and have in the past hundred of years contributed immensely to the growth and development of the area now known as Taraba.
The president-general further called on an illustrious son of Jukun, Gen. TY Danjuma, to prevail on his kinsmen to stop killing the Tiv people. Danjuma had in the past publicly accused the Nigerian military of colluding with herdsmen to kill farmers and take over their lands.
”We equally urge Danjuma to speak out against the ongoing pogrom visited on Tiv in Taraba. Now is the time the elder statesman should demonstrate the true spirit of nationalism.
”We wonder how different the ongoing massacre of Tiv in Taraba is from the attacks by herdsmen that the retired general has not found it big enough an issue to talk about.
”Our findings have proven that the allegation that Tiv militia in Benue were responsible for the attacks on Wukari and other settlements in Taraba which gave rise to reprisal attacks is false and unfounded.
”We call on Gov. Dairus Ishaku to see himself as the governor of Taraba and not that of the Jukun tribe. He should therefore be seen to be concerned about the security of every Taraba person.
”We equally ask the Jukun to as matter of necessity change their negative perception of Tiv people and be willing to embrace peace and also see the Tiv as their brothers.
”We urge all parties involved in the crisis to desist from further hostilities and unguarded statements capable of jeopardizing peace efforts,” he said.