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Tiv/Jukun Crisis: Conflict in Southern Taraba- Will Prayer make a difference?


By Mathias Agbu

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I am just a concern citizen who is overwhelmed by the future of my community and home, that is Taraba state. I am interested in a permanent solution and not temporary fixes. I am worried that the problem our parents’ generations couldn’t solve is left for us to solve.

I am mostly worried that we are also taking the same approach in solving the problem and by implication we are postponing the it to the future generations.

Conflict reinforces our values, clarified our vision and stiffened our resolve. History has often presented us with the choices of hope and fear.

I believe in prayers, but if the cause of our problem is not lack of prayer, then prayers will never solve it. Will our society become peaceful and great if we continue to just pray for peace and greatness? We have been praying, yet the problem has surfaced and exploded in our faces.

Whatever you see happening today was sown as a seed yesterday. Just as there is no smoke without a fire, there is always a cause for every effect.

Cause and effect is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other or others. Whatever you see happening to either people or a community, there is a cause behind that.

We cannot change the effect except we first change the cause. You cannot change the fruit until you first change the seed. If we keep doing the same thing (cause), we will always have the same results (effects).

There is no way we can solve the problem if we do not first try to change the cause. No one can tackle the effects and have sustainable results. It’s a waste of time, effort and resources.

The on and off crisis we have in our community is the effect of a cause that is hidden. For many years now, the seed of disunity due to tribal and religious differences have been sown. No matter how long it takes, seeds will grow and bear fruit.

Yet you find government and our leaders over the years trying to just address the effects and not the root cause of the crisis. This is why we cannot have sustainable results. I think our problem is that we think the government and not us, own our societies.

But that’s wrong. When things go bad, it is not the government that is affected, but us, who live in that community or in the communities. We have to take responsibility for our communities. We cannot wait for the government to solve our problems.

I believe if we have respect for each other and love one another, our relationships in our communities will never disintegrate to the level it has reached.

Prayer cannot nullify or change the seeds that have been sown. We have to stop sowing the seeds that produce the fruit we are getting. We have to start sowing seeds that will make us respect each other and live in unity and peace.

If we continue to have crises, there is no way, we will ever have prosperity. That’s because crises in our communities do nothing but destroy our commonwealth. There is no way that, we can even attract people to invest in our communities when they know that we are prone to crises.

Peace ensures that we have prosperity and prosperity ensures that we maintain peace. No development ever takes place in crisis or war; the result has always been the destruction of lives, and properties.

If we make pursuing peace our priority, we would not focus on who is wrong or right, but we would seek for common ground. We would go out of our way to ensure that peace is secured.

Our world and circumstance is a mirror of what we are continually sowing. You will never harvest something different from what you have sown.

Life is an Echo. What you sent out- comes back. What you see in others – exist in you.

Radiate and give love – and love comes back to you.

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