President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the government and people of Benue and Taraba States to exercise restraint following the gruesome killing of Rev. Fr. David Tanko at Kpankufu Village on Wukari Road in Taraba.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu said 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.
According to the President, 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, the President said the Federal Government will not sit idly and watch the deep-seated antagonistic relationship between the Tiv and Jukun people fester.
According to the statement President Buhari had watched with trepidation and disbelief how hate and bigotry have inhabited the human soul, resulting in brothers killing brothers.
Acknowledging that the Tiv/Jukun violence was one of Nigeria’s most persistent and intractable security problems, President Buhari assures the affected communities that the Federal government would not leave them to their fate or treat cases of communal violence with levity and indifference.
The statement explained that The deployment of security men can only provide a temporary solution, But the long term and lasting solution to the deep-seated antagonistic relationship between the warring factions depend on the willingness of those involved to listen to reason and give peace a chance.
The president stated that It was 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, he said.
The statement added that high level intervention from the Federal level made up religious, community leaders and top security operatives has being put together by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to examine all issues underlying the conflicts in the hope of finding a permanent solution.