Tiv-Jukun tension rises with more casualties

THE crisis between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in Wukari local government area of Taraba State has taken a different dimension.

Two students and a non-academic staff of the Federal University Wukari were abducted and killed on Thursday.

Taraba State Police spokesman David Misal, an ASP, confirmed the abduction of the trio.

“They were abducted at Kasuwan Shanu, near Chonku,” he said.  The authorities of the university has closed down the institution following the incident.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abubakar Kundiri, told reporters that the slain students and staff, being Tiv, sparked off protest by Tiv students, which was joined by other students.

Kundiri said the abductors had used the mobile phone of the non-academic staff to demand for ransom from the university’s management.

The protesting students demanded for the bodies of the slain persons and relocation of the university. Tension was high, it was learnt.

A Committee of Deans and Directors, on behalf of the university Senate, approved the suspension of lectures and closure of the institution till further notice. The committee asked the students to vacate the premises of university.

The vice chancellor said security has been beefed up by the army and police to ensure the safe exit of students and staff from Wukari.

Jukun and Tiv ethnic group have been at war for more than five months.

The killings have increased tension between the two states as Benue State government yesterday evacuated over 812 students from the university.

A witness, Jerry Lorgaen, told The Nation on phone that the students went out to buy provision before they were ambushed and killed by suspected Jukun militia group.

The President of the National Association of Benue State Students, Tyonor Smith, identified those killed as Msughter Vihior Andura (a Micro Biology, 100 level student) and Mark Tsav (a non-academic staff).

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