Tiv/Jukun crisis: Buhari condemns killing of Catholic priest, sends message to religious leaders

Tiv/Jukun crisis: Buhari condemns killing of Catholic priest, sends message to religious leaders

- President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of Rev Fr David Tanko at Kpankufu village on Wukari road in Taraba state

- The president has called on the government and people of Benue and Taraba states to exercise restraint

- According to Buhari, the murder of the Catholic priest highlights the urgency of addressing the persistent conflict between Jukun and Tiv people

- The president called on leaders of the ethnic groups to come together and draw up a roadmap for lasting peace

Following the gruesome killing of Rev Fr David Tanko at Kpankufu village on Wukari road in Taraba, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the government and people of Benue and Taraba states to exercise restraint.

The disclosure was made on Friday, August 30, by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu.

According to the statement, the president also directed the Taraba and Benue state governors, traditional rulers, specifically the Tor Tiv and the Aku Uka of Wukari, religious and community leaders in the two states to meet urgently to bring an end to persistent violent clashes between Jukun and Tiv people.

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The president said: "The murder of the Catholic priest highlights the urgency of addressing this embarrassing and persistent conflict.''

Describing such frenzy of human destruction, violent attacks on people and property in the communities by the warring parties as unacceptable, President Buhari said the federal government will not sit idly and watch the deep-seated antagonistic relationship between the Tiv and Jukun people fester.

He said: ''I have watched with trepidation and disbelief how hate and bigotry have inhabited the human soul, resulting in brothers killing brothers.

''On behalf of the federal government and the entire people of the country, I offer my condolences to the Catholic community, the government and people of Taraba over the losses arising from recent incidents involving the warring communities.

"The persistent deaths and destruction and the seeming desire by the warring sides to push each other to extinction is embarrassing, and this is against the essence of our ethnic and religious diversity in the country.

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"Progress is impossible where violence and destruction are allowed to dominate our daily lives.''

According to Buhari, the Tiv/Jukun violence is one of Nigeria's most persistent and intractable security problems.

The president assured the affected communities that the federal government will not leave them to their fate or treat cases of communal violence with levity and indifference.

He said: "It is time for leaders of the ethnic groups to come together and draw up a roadmap for lasting peace. The impact of this persistent violence on the social and economic life of the people is incalculable."

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Buhari said a high level intervention from the federal level made up of religious, community leaders and top security operatives is being put together by the secretary to the government of the federation to examine all issues underlying the conflicts in the hope of finding a permanent solution.

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Legit.ng previously reported a Catholic priest was ambushed and killed at Kufai Amadu, Takum local government area of Taraba state, barely 24 hours after some villages in the state were raided by gunmen, and two people killed.

The cleric was killed on his way to attend a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the persistent Tiv/Jukun crisis.

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Source: Legit

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