Tiv traditional council blasts Sanusi over inflammatory statements on Nasarawa massacre, confers titles on Ortom, wife

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Tiv Area Traditional Council has condemned in strong terms the coordinated and deliberate attacks on the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom by a group of Fulani elite led by deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.

The Council bared her mind Monday, February 13th, 2023 in a 9-point resolution at the end of its supreme council meeting ‘Ijirtamen,’ held in Gboko.

The enlarged council meeting was presided over by the paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Prof. James Ayatse.

The Council also conferred the honorific chieftaincy title of “Inyamkyume i Tiv” on Governor Ortom while his wife, Dr. Eunice was honoured with “Shima i Inyamkyume i Tiv.”

Prof Ayatse who read the three page press statement “Condemned in very strong terms the coordinated, unwarranted and deliberate attacks by the group led by former Emir of Kano, Khalifa Muhammadu Sanusi, orchestrated to impugn the person and office of Governor Ortom and calls on the group to embrace patriotism focusing on issues that will foster unity and peaceful co-existence rather than incitement of one group against another.

He further stated that “The 52 persons that authored the letter to the President in their statement blamed the Benue State Government as being responsible for the incident in Nasarawa State” without first waiting for the findings of the panel of investigation of the bombing which they called for in their letter. 

Their action, the Tor Tiv reasoned, “Appears unfortunately premeditated and prejudicial.”

He noted that “Similar premeditated actions of some Fulbe groups and their sympathizers in Nasarawa State could have been what led to the killings, maiming and the destruction of properties of the Tiv people in Nasarawa

The Council then  “Expressed strong support for and solidarity with Governor Ortom over the issue of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 as a way of ending perennial conflicts between crop and livestock farmers in the state.

The Council, while commending President Muhammadu Buhari, for the deployment of security personnel to checkmate banditry and terrorism in Benue and her sister states, called for increase in numerical and technical reinforcement for the security agencies to stimulate their performance.

The Council also commended the actions of the Nasarawa State Governor with the Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs in taking timely actions to arrest the killings of Tiv people and the destruction of their property in Nasarawa State.

However, the Tiv traditional Council appealed to the Nasarawa State Government to “Take necessary steps to facilitate the return of the Tiv people displaced due to the attacks to their homes by providing the needed relief and protection.

Prof Ayatse in the statement admonished all Tiv sons and daughters to close ranks and face the common security and economic challenges threatening them and continue to be law abiding even in the face of provocations against them.

On the forthcoming general elections, the Tiv Traditional Council warned against violence, thuggery, and other sharp practices during the electioneering campaigns and voting in the general elections. 

The Tor Tiv also enjoined all Tiv sons and daughters to make themselves available to be counted during the national population census.

The Supreme Council  then directed all traditional and religious leaders, party chieftains and elders to fully mobilize their people to  fully cooperate with all the officials and staff of the National Population Commission during the exercise.”

In his address, Governor Ortom, expressed appreciation to the Tiv traditional Council for the full backing the traditional institution has given to his administration amidst the challenges.

He also lauded the traditional institution for the honorific chieftaincy title conferred on him and his wife and pledged to continue to fight for the interest of the Tiv nation.

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