By Njoki Githinji
NASARAWA STATE, AUGUST 7, 2020 (CISA) – Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has called for an end to the recurring violence between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic tribes.
“At this point I wish to call on the Federal and State Governments to seriously check the recurring crises which instead of promoting positive viable agricultural activities in the area to attract investors, plunge the populations into greater and greater poverty. Youths seem to look forward to the next crisis, having no employment options,” he said.
The Archbishop was speaking during the Women Peace-Building Conference under the auspices of the Foundation for Peace, Hope and Conflict Management (FPHCM), running August 4-8 at Global Suite hotel, One Man Village, Karu Lga, Nasarawa State.
“Women are veritable peace instruments. You women stand a better chance and have the moral and emotional advantage of talking to your husbands, children and relations. Dear Tiv and Jukun women, please tell your children, husbands or relations to drop the arms; they should avoid prejudices and stigmatization, and learn to forgive and see in one another the image and likeness of God,” the prelate said.
Terming the conference, “a laudable initiative” the prelate recalled past efforts made towards uniting the warring tribes.
“Many efforts at peaceful resolution have been made so far but the tensed Jukun-Tiv relationship seems like a stubborn boil that refuses to go away. Destruction and killings seem to have become a constant! Suspicion, distrust and hatred are so strong that some Jukun and Tiv persons are allergic to the name of the other,” he said.
The Tiv and Jukun, he opined, should be the best of neighbours, but the crises and conflict prevent them from cherishing their beautiful cultural heritage and the gifts of nature abundantly endowed to them in the areas they inhabit.
“I pray that this meeting of you, the representatives of the Taraba and Benue States women, will be a great inspiration for a greater interpersonal relationship among the Tiv and Jukun people and hopefully, the youths, the men and the elders will have something to learn. I believe we can draw the lesson that prejudice, superiority complex, distrust, blame game and violence can give way to genuine friendship and peaceful coexistence, if there is the will,” he noted.