From GODWIN AGIA, Jalingo
There is palpable fear of outbreak of renewed hostilities between the Jukun and Tiv in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Our correspondent gathered that the decision of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who fled their homes during the crisis to return, has not gone down well with the local authorities.
The local authorities are insistent that returning IDPs should remain at the various places they had been taking refuge for almost four years now.
One of the villagers, Terfa Akombo, a peasant farmer from Daa Village, located along Tsukundi Road of Wukari Local Government Area said they are beginning to understand that some strange faces had started building and occupying their ancestral homes.
He added that their economic trees had been cut down even as the graves of their ancestors had been exhumed.
He however, noted that all the issues have been reported to security agencies who promised to do justice to it.
Akombo said;”We are surprised that our Jukun brothers prefer us to continue in crisis rather than come together to see how we can bring development in our area for the benefit of our children and unborn children. They prefer crisis over peace. Our people are already tired of staying in IDP camps and have decided to come back to settle down in peace.
“They did not demand any rehabilitation from anybody as it is usually done in every part of the country, they decided to mend their destroyed houses and fend themselves. Yet they are under constant threats every blessed day by the Jukun brothers, it is really quite unfortunate. It is unfortunate because crisis anywhere does not benefit anyone.
“Another Internally Displaced Person who hails from Tor-Iorshaer Village of Rafinkada Ward, Wukari Local Government Area narrated that “since we came back to reclaim our ancestral homes, we keep receiving threats from our Jukun brothers.
He said; “A group would come in the morning, another in the afternoon and yet others in the evening and the message is just same. That we must not settle down. In fact, one of the groups told us that as they were leaving us after delivering their message, if they come back and see us, they will kill all of us just like they did in 2021 here in Tor-Iorshaer.
“We summon courage because this is our home. We buried our parents here. We have nowhere to go and since there is no more crisis, we see no need of returning to IDP camps. We prefer to mend some of our destroyed houses so that when rain comes, we will continue with our usual farming activities.
“We pray God to speak to all the authorities to understand that crisis does not benefit any one and anywhere there is crisis, no one is safe. Peace is sacrosanct for any meaningful progress but if the local authorities consider crisis as the best way to go, it quite unfortunate”.
All efforts to reach the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Council, Hon Danladi (Adigrace) proved abortive, as he could not pick his calls or respond to messages sent on his phone.
Recall that since 1st April, 2019 the IDPs who fled the area had been taking refuge in the neighbouring villages in the surrounding states.
The Governor of the state, Darius Dickson Ishaku had long declared a cease fire which had been sincerely honoured by both parties for sometimes now but the local authorities in Wukari Local Government Area seem to defy the peace process as they kept threatening the returning IDPs in their ancestry communities.