Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku and his Benue State counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom on Wednesday in Abuja disagreed over the setting up the commission of inquiry by the federal government to look into the protracted Jukun/Tiv crisis in Taraba.
While Governor Ortom in a remark at the stakeholders meeting on the Jukun/Tiv crisis held at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja called on President Muhammadu Buhari represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha to set up a commission of inquiry into the crisis, Governor Ishaku kicked against the request.
Ortom had said, “The crisis in Taraba is entirely a Taraba problem, but since the crisis has persisted and affected both Taraba and Benue states, I want to call on the federal government to set up a commission of inquiry into the crisis.
“From the issues discussed here, a lot of issues are still on the ground. The federal government should set up a commission of inquiry to unravel issues in the crisis,” he said.
But Governor Darius Ishaku disagreed with Governor Ortom on the setting up a commission of inquiry into the crisis.
Ishaku said the problem in Taraba was not beyond his capacity to handle and setting up of a Commission of inquiry was not necessary.
“Mr. Governor I want to disagree with you over your call for the commission of inquiry into the crisis in Taraba.
“I am capable of handling the problem in Taraba and its not necessary for us to have a commission of inquiry.
“I know you love your people and I love my people too. On the issue of Chieftaincy, ours in Taraba is hereditary and we cannot abondon our culture because of laws and the constitution that is not working.
“I suspect that there is a conspiracy of silence among the Tiv in Taraba. They are not telling you and the Tor-Tiv the truth.
“I have Ten Wards in my local government and when I was appointing Commissioners, I gave a Tiv Woman a Commissioner. I was attacked by my people but I stood my ground.
“I employed 3000 teachers in Taraba and 400 of them are Tiv. Unless you want me to carry the whole State and give it to one ethnic group,” he said.
But in a reaction Dr. Yakubu Tor-Agbidye, a member of the Governing Council of Federal University Abeokuta expressed disappointment in the way Ishaku spoke.
Yakubu who attended the meeting told journalists that for the Governor to say the culture of the Jukun supersede the constitution means there is a lot more than meet the eye.
“Eveybody spoke well on the need for peace, but for the Governor to have talked the way he talked is most unfortunate.”
The communique which was issued at the end of the meeting called for immediate ceasefire and expressed the commitment of the federal government to facilitate early resolution of the crisis by lending support to the peace building process.
Part of the communique read; “the crisis is an internal affairs of the Taraba State Government and not between Benue and Taraba State.
“The crisis has brought economic activities to a halt and has led to loss of valuable lives, wanton destruction of property and displacement of communities.
“That the two Governors should make strong pronouncement condemning the crisis and should visit the affected communities as a confidence building measures,” part of the communique read.