Tiv/Jukun Crisis: The Chance(s) Of A United People
Musa Affos (Rhapsodi)
Ordinarily it is impossible to reach out to God except he chooses to visit you or you have reached a certain level of spirituality.
Considering the tower of babel. Some decided to build a tower till it reaches God. Ordinarily it doesn’t make sense.
Though their intention was selfish & egoistic in nature but because unity was involved, because they had a single voice & vision, they started the tower of babel & no man was able to stop them. It took God himself to stop them; God stopped them by separating their languages and hence there was division. That’s the power of unity.
It is said that a house divided against itself cannot stand, are we not falling already?
The need and call for peace will continue to be a meaningless repetition of words if what we say in public, peace meetings and dialogue doesn’t coincide with the yearnings of our hearts as individuals, as an ethnic group, religion and as a people.
We used to be the most peaceful state among our contemporaries in the north eastern subregion, enjoying relative peace and less BokoHaram invasion except for the herdsmen Farmers crisis which is more of a nationwide ‘pandemic’.
I have always stated that peace is the panacea for development and the basis in which developmental strides can be built on. For the past one week there has been tension in some villages of Donga resulting in the loss of lives and destruction of properties worth millions.
It’s no longer news that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the world’s economy and set it on pandemonium resulting in the lockdown of several cities, towns and even countries. It’s worrisome that when other towns are trying to find the cure of the coronavirus pandemic, we are busy killing ourselves and neglecting our common enemy.
The lingering crisis between the Tiv & Jukuns have deterred the development in the region, at a point the road from Wukari to Zaki biam, Wukari – Bye pi has been deserted by motorist & passengers for the fear of being killed.
The same crisis that has touched local governments like Donga, Takum has resulted in commercial banks threatening to close down their business.
About a year ago, Federal University Wukari was closed for two weeks due to a tribal inclined protest and to avoid the protest turning into a violent one, it was necessary for a mid term break.
From all indications, there’s going to be a food shortage in the southern region of Taraba & thus Taraba by extension.
Farmers now fear to go to their farms for fear of being killed. Few days ago, a father & his daughter were ambushed and killed while farming.
From my findings, at least 107 people have been killed so far including the lynching of priest & that of an 80 year old woman, and thousands of people displaced and rendered homeless.
The evil of this crisis is so tragic and traumatising. It’s a pity that we are using our own hands to destroy our land.
No sensible investor will want to invest in a place that is so chaotic and prone to violence. No student will want to study in a town where gunshots & chaos are routine.
If God wanted us all to be either Tiv or Jukun he would have done that. But he created us all as humans from different race & ethnic groups. We might be Jukun or Tiv, but diversity makes it thick & unique.
We have more factors bonding us together than that separating us.
We are created as humans, if we can’t be united as humans let’s be united as children of God.
If we can’t be united as children of God, we can be united as Africans, as black people.
If that is not enough to make us unite, we can be united as Nigerians, as northerners, as people who share the same geographical location, as people who intermarried. There are more reasons to unite us!
The life that has been lived for years can be ended by a gunshot within a second.
The trust & friendship that took years to build & maintain can be destroyed by a single act.
Businesses that took several years to build are destroyed within a blink of an eye.
Let’s not take pride in destruction, it takes more effort to build, grow and maintain.
THE WAY OUT
I will suggest the following
1. Let criminal offenses and acts be treated as such and to face the consequences of the law.
2. Criminality has no religion, tribe or geographical location. Let’s stop attributing criminality to a particular ethnic group.
3. Peace is everybody’s responsibility and hence let’s embrace it.
4. Let’s stop politicizing the crisis; The people that were killed, the occupant of the houses that were burnt weren’t asked if they belong to PDP, APC or APGA..
5. The media should be controlled from exaggerating happenings just for selfish reasons and certain interests.
6. Let’s discourage reprisals. If it continues, it will go on a rate ad infinitum. Someone got to cut off the chain & that is the strong Person.
7. Religious leaders, traditional leaders should partner sincerely with the government in providing a long lasting peace for all & sundry.
OUR ROLES AS YOUTHS
I understand that as youths we are prone to social vices & violence is inclusive.
Idleness sets a platform for easy manipulation, the popular adage says an idle man is a devil workshop. Once you’re engaged with something that fetches you little money, you will be busy with such acts.
It is said that the most expensive peace is cheaper than the cheapest war or crisis.
If our energy can’t be used for productiveness
If after our education we still involve ourselves in such barbaric acts, then the sole aim of learning has been bastardised in our lives as youths.
The most expensive peace is cheaper than the cheapest war.
Peace is everybody’s business. Am neither Jukun nor Tiv, not even from southern Taraba but this is my fourth article regarding this crisis; I am a Taraban, Nigerian and a lover of peace, so I come to you this day with a song of peace saying “Let’s give peace a chance so we can sing the song of development and dance In progress”.
Musa Affos (Rhapsodi) is a Blogger & Social Media Activist.
Affos writes from Federal University Wukari, Taraba state.