Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia
The paramount ruler of Tiv nation, Prof. James Ayatse, has assured Tiv people in Nasarawa State that he would wade into their plight to bring the menace of herdsmen attacks to an end.
The paramount ruler stated this on Saturday at his palace in Gboko, Benue state, when Tiv leaders in Nasarawa state, under the umbrella of Mdzough U Tiv-Nasarawa state chapter, led by its president, Mr. Thomas Gaar paid him a courtesy visit to intimate him of the unending attacks on the Tiv indigenes of Nasarawa State, which have killed scores.
Tor Tiv said: “My major concern at the moment as the father of the Tiv people in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States is to ensure the security of lives, property and the general welfare of my subjects in these states.
“I am fully aware of the incessant killings, destruction of farmlands, foodstuffs, burning of houses and displacements of the entire Tiv settlements in Nasarawa state. Some of the crises that led to this are political, others are as a result of land disputes, market disagreements, while others are due to the law enacted in Benue State.”
He noted that he was also aware of the role being played by some few Tiv sons in Nasarawa state against the plight of the Tiv people, just as he prayed God to forgive them for the atrocities they are committing against their kinsmen in the state.
“I will soon initiate a peace and security meeting with the Emir of Lafia as well as the governor of Nasarawa state, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, and the head of the army in Nigeria with a view to bringing in a permanent solution to the plight of Tiv people in Nasarawa state so that they can go back to their homes ahead of the rainy season,” he said.
He however urged the Tiv people in Nasarawa state to be united under one umbrella of the “Mdzough U Tiv”, adding that only unity can help address their challenges and ensure development in their area.
He described the Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in Nasarawa State, whose leadership tussle has caused more harm than good, as a political association which does not represent the interest of the Tiv people.
According to Ayatse, “the TIDA officials are out for monetary gains and not to fight for the interest of the Tiv people in Nasarawa State.”
Earlier, Gaar had told the paramount ruler of the Tiv nation that herdsmen have displaced all the Tiv people in Nasarawa state with a good number of them being killed, even as houses and foodstuffs were being destroyed.
He said: “Efforts by the Tiv leaders in the state to come under one roof to address the challenges that have bewildered our kinsmen failed as some have taken side with some forces in the state against the innocent Tiv farmers.