Southern Taraba Youth Forum, has refuted claims in some quarters that the Tiv ethnic group in the state have been politically marginalized by other ethnic nationality in the zone.
The group, at a World Press briefing on Saturday in Jalingo, claimed sponsors of such messages were out to smear the good relationship between the Jukuns and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Spokesman of the group, Dodo Danlami, who read from a prepared text, however said they are giving seven days ultimatum for the reopening of roads, which they allegedly claimed had been closed by the Tivs in the zone.
According to him: “the Tivs have never been politically marginalized in Taraba state, rather, the Tivs are the most fortunate ethnic group.
“To mention just a few, Gbaondo Hitler and Dooga Gbashi has been elected into the Federal House of Representatives, and representative of Donga constituency in Taraba state House of Assembly.
“Similarly, many Tiv people have been appointed into political positions under the Administration of Governor Darius Ishaku and other past administration, such as Rebecca Manasseh as commissioner, David Orbee Orchiv, Justin Adagi and Samson Tor Musa as special advisers at different timelines.
“On accusation that Tiv sons and daughters are denied indegenes letter, we are curious as to how Tivs have secured admissions into higher institutions, employments into Federal and State services if they were denied such.
“It is unfortunate that the Tiv whose students at the Federal University, Wukari constitute about sixty percent and a sizeable number of academic and non-academic staff of the institution, are the ones agitating for it’s relocation because of their unexplained hatred for the Kwararafa Kingdom.
“This forum, therefore appeals to Government and security agencies to clamp down heavily on all persons found to be frustrating the peace efforts, whether they are Jukuns, Tivs or any other group of persons as we consider them criminals, and do not represent their ethnicity with their evil behaviours.”
Responding to the allegations, President General of the Tiv Cultural and Social Association in Taraba state, Goodman Dahida said no roads in the state is blocked by the Tivs.
He said, “a Tiv man has been nicknamed an armed robber and kidnapper, but today all those that have been arrested for those crimes are not the Tivs.
“We have been living here peacefully with everyone and just last Saturday, we were with his Excellency and explained our grievances and he promised to talk to the security agents and traditional rulers so that the highways would be opened for every passerby to move freely.
“Today, they claiming the Tivs have blocked the highway is so pathetic and unfortunate.”