At least ten persons have been confirmed dead while several houses and other properties were destroyed in renewed communal clashes in Kente village of Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The Chairman of Wukari Local Government Area, Mr. Daniel Adi, who confirmed the ongoing clashes between Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups on the fringes of Benue and Taraba states border in an interview with newsmen in Wukari on Sunday, also disclosed that about 10 communities had so far been burnt down around the area.
“As I am talking to you now, several households including Government Day Secondary School (GDSS) Kente were burnt down by the attackers in the early hours of today. I am making efforts to contact my counterpart in Ukum Local Government in Benue State to appeal to his people to lay down their arms and embrace peace,” Adi said.
He disclosed that the local government was footing the bills of several injured persons currently receiving treatment at the Wukari General Hospital.
Meanwhile, an elder statesman, Mr David Kente, has condemned the wanton destruction of lives and property in the area.
Kente who described the crisis as unfortunate because the Tivs and Jukuns in Kente have coexisted peacefully for many years, appealed to the warring parties to embrace peace and sheath their sword, while promising that all those who lost their property to the current crisis on both sides of Benue and Taraba states would be compensated.
“You see this crisis is most unfortunate because, after the 1991 clashes between the two ethnic groups in Kente area, the people have lived together in relative peace ever since.
I personally provided succour to all the affected communities by providing roofing sheets, cement, and related building materials. I also provided boreholes to the affected communities both on the Benue and Taraba sides. But most importantly, we agreed that there was no point for us to fight as any misunderstanding could be discussed and resolved on a round table”.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Taraba police command, Mr. David Misal (ASP), confirmed the ongoing clashes.
He said after the death of two persons at the initial stage of the crisis on April 01, 2019, the police was yet to ascertain the actual casualty figure.
He, however, disclosed that the command had deployed additional officers and men to restore peace and order in the area.