The indigenes of Tyo Mu community in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State under the auspices of Tyo-Mu Concerned Youth Vanguard have called on the security agencies to extend their investigations on the alleged attack on Governor Samuel Ortom to the causes of communal clashes in their community.
In the wake of an attack on the convoy of Governor Ortom, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered for a full-blown investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The governor had earlier accused the Fulani herders of masterminding the attack.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the President of the association, Vershima Tsebee, noted that the from time immemorial there had been an inter-tribal war between the indigenes (Ihyarev) and the settlers (Kparev) over rightful ownership of the land.
Mt Tsebee said while the Ihyareve claimed ownership of the land, the Kparev was regarded as settlers who had been in the land for over 100 years.
According to him, “except a detailed investigation is carried out to ascertain the actual cause of the crises that has characterised the community over the last two decades, efforts on getting to the cause of the alleged attack on the governor may just be exercise in futility”.
“We as a pressure group chose to make this call at this auspicious time because the alleged attack on Governor Samuel Ortom which we condemn in totality has generated a lot of attention from government and the citizens.
“This is why we wish to draw the attention of the government and the various security agencies to do a comprehensive job in the interest of fairness, peace and justice,” the group said.
The group further accused the state government of levity in settling the communal crises which, according to him, has claimed many lives and properties worth hundreds of millions of Naira.
“What we have witnessed here for decades has been land crisis between Hyarev and kparev. The last one led to suspension of district heads.
“We were surprised to later learn that Governor Ortom came from the blues and bought the vast land for his private farm business when the people whose loved ones, houses and properties were destroyed have not been compensated,” the group added.
Narrating the complexity of the crisis and place, Mr Vershima averred that, Tyo-Mu settlement is located on Kilometer 12 along Makurdi-Gboko federal highway.
The inhabitants are 100 percent Tiv-speaking people and predominantly farmers. Because they live on the bank of River Benue, they are noted for massive rice farming, cassava, potatoes, sonata beans, groundnut and yams.
The people thus live on a large farmland that spreads to about 15 Kilometres with a large Fadama that spread to River Benue.