Magaji Isa Hunkuyi, Jalingo
Many people were feared killed in fresh crisis between Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups in Taraba state.
Daily Trust gathered that many houses were burnt down as several persons from both sides of the conflict were confirmed injured.
The conflict it was further gathered has affected all Jukuns and Tivs villages along Wukari Kwatan Sule in Wukari local government areas of Taraba state.
A witness, Jerry Luka told our reporter that trouble started in Kente village on Monday evening when youths from both ethnic groups clashed over a misunderstanding.
The misunderstanding led to the killing of two persons in Kente and this morning, two others were killed around General Hospital in Wukari town,” he added.
It was gathered that the misunderstanding was caused by a long standing dispute between the two ethnic groups centred on cultural heritage.
Another witness, Mr Gabriel Hosea told Daily Trust in a telephone interview that apart from the cultural heritage issue, there was also long standing land dispute between the two ethnic groups.
“As I speak to you, many houses were burning while the entire villages along Kente Kwatan Sule were deserted,” Hosea said.
He stated that hundreds of Tivs have fled to Benue state.
The chairman of Wukari local government area, Mr Daniel Adi, who confirmed the outbreak of crisis in the area, said two people were killed and houses burnt.
According to him, trouble started on Monday when some Tiv youths in Kente prevented the Jukuns kinsmen from bringing goods to Kente market.
He said a Jukun woman who defied their order and brought yams to the market for sale was molested by some Tiv youth, adding that the action of Tiv youth sparked reprisal from Jukun youth who disliked the action of the Tiv youths.
“I have since reached out to the Chairman of Ukum local government in the neighbouring Benue and the Security Adviser to the Benue Governor and we are making efforts to stop the escalation of the crisis,” the council chairman said.
Reports said commercial activities have come to halt at the popular Wukari Yam Market as commodities were looted and the place deserted after traders fled away.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP David Misal, could not be reach as at the time of filing this report as his mobile line was switched off.