…Recommend Inter-tribal Marriage, Peace Education, Others
In a bid to finding lasting solution to the tribal crisis between Tiv and Jukun tribe in Taraba State, essayists have recommended inter-tribal marriage, peace education and improved security architecture among others to tame the menace.
The forty-two essayists make the submission in an essay competition organized by the Luka Agbu Memorial Foundation (LAMF).
LAMF Executive Director Mathias Luka Agbu in an Executive Summary said the competition tagged “Finding Lasting Solution To The Endless Jukun /Tiv Crisis” drawn the forty-two essayists, mainly youths, from both sides of the warring factions to solicit for sustainable solutions to the reoccurring Jukun/Tiv crisis through essay writing.
The essayists surmised that conflict between Jukun and Tiv has a long history and traced back to the early 1950s, with subsequent recurrence in the intervening years of: 1959, 1964, 1976, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2000, and 2001.
They argued that the conflict is widespread across the southern part of Taraba State, with the hot theaters being bordered communities that linked Benue and Taraba States: Wukari and Zaki Biam.
The essayists called for total commitment among stakeholders to end the protracted crisis between the two tribes. They listed the important stakeholders to include: states actors— the federal, states and local government — and the non-state actors at the individual and family units and traditional and religious institutions.
They recommended improved security, addressing the indigene question and creating economic opportunities for the state actors.
Others recommendations for state actors include: “Immediate intensification of border security between Wukari and neighbouring Benue State through joint interstate security patrol teams to avert future conflict and to check the activities of criminals benefiting from the spoils of war.
“Traditional and social media platforms should be utilized by the states and local government authorities for peace-building campaigns and for fast and accurate dissemination of information that builds confidence and abhor hate.
“Constitutional review should be undertaken immediately to address indigenes/settlers’ rifts which is one of the issues at the heart of the conflicts.
“All Lands whose ownership and leasing have been implicated in the conflict should be taken over by the Federal government. Military barrack, tertiary institution, federal hospital or any other institutions that the federal government deem fit should be established in such places.
“The unemployment crisis in the region should be addressed by all levels of government as a matter of urgency.”
Furthermore, the essayists urged the non-state actors (traditional and religious institutions) to lead the way in promoting shared values and activities arguing that both traditional and religious institution can be a great a unifier across the divides.
The recommendations include: “Annual Jukun/Tiv inter-cultural festival should be initiated. The festival should also serve as an avenue for recognizing and awarding persons who have made outstanding contributions to promoting development and peace between the two ethnic groups and those who have done their ethnic groups proud in different fields. This act would encourage a sense of patriotism, love, peace and respect among Jukuns and Tivs.
“Peace education that includes traditional peaceful resolutions and conflict management should be included in the educational curriculum at both secondary and tertiary institutions.
“ Provision of basic amenities —like education, healthcare, water supply, improved means of livelihood etc — that improve the quality of life should be promoted in the affected communities jointly by the government, private individuals and key stakeholders. This can be done through the rebuilding of those facilities destroyed during the crisis and also, the development of new ones. This will give people a sense of belonging and empowerment which will avert the reoccurrence of violent conflicts.
“Periodically, government should facilitate dialogue with youth leaders, community leaders, traditional rulers and religious leaders in the area on issues that affect them, seek their opinion and suggestions where necessary. This will give everyone a sense of belonging and foster the spirit of brotherliness among warring groups. The leaders of the Tiv and Jukun communities should also meet periodically to discuss issues that affect their development and also see areas they could come together to curb crime, conflicts and other negative developments in their immediate localities.
“District heads, chiefs, and their associates who are involved in selling a piece of land to two or more persons, etc or leasing same piece of land to different people because of greed should be made to desist from such or face the consequences of the law.”
Continuing, the essayists posit that individual and family unit can also strengthen connector and weakens divisors through these recommendations: “Inter-marriage should be promoted by Leaders of both ethnic groups. Marriage as a social union binds people together and enhances cohesion. A Jukun man should be encouraged and allowed to marry a Tiv woman and vice versa.
“Tolerance, sincerity, service to humanity and respect for constituted authority (government) should be encouraged among the Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups from the family unit through to public spaces like cinemas, etc.”