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Paramount ruler decries absence of Tiv in Federal Executive Council

By Joseph Wantu, Makurdi
05 March 2017   |   4:50 am
Paramount ruler of TIv nation, His Majesty Prof. James Ortese Ayatse, yesterday, complained to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that the Tiv people, who are the fourth largest ethnic...

Former Vice President and Zege Mule U Tiv (the highest traditional title for a non-indigene of the Tiv Kingdom) paying homage to the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, shortly after the coronation of His Royal Majesty as the 5th Tor Tiv, at the Gboko Stadium in Benue State, yesterday.

Paramount ruler of TIv nation, His Majesty Prof. James Ortese Ayatse, yesterday, complained to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that the Tiv people, who are the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, were not represented at the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Ayatse, who spoke shortly after his coronation as the fifth paramount ruler of the Tiv kingdom, also demanded the inclusion of Tiv into Federal Government empowerment programmes, as well as, provision of agricultural inputs to boost food security of the nation.

‘’As you take stock and make your next series of appointments, kindly be reminded that the Tiv Nation is not represented in FEC and has not benefitted from any appointment at the federal level.

He maintained that the Tiv nation was central to the FG’s vision of economic diversification, which is tied to agriculture and reminded him that the Tiv nation had the potential as an agrarian economy and the Food Basket of the Nation.

The Tor Tiv further appealed to the acting President to approve the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state in general and the dualisation of Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina/Ala-Zaki Biam road to ease the movement of the agricultural produce.

Lamenting that he was ascending the throne at a very turbulent time in the history of the Tiv nation, the monarch regretted the ‘’historical injustices that still subsist against Tiv interests in contemporary Nigeria.”

His words: ‘‘Our people in contemporary Nigeria have suffered untold discrimination, deprivation and relegation and have become vulnerable to simultaneous attacks from hostile neighbours, official victimisation and offensive invasion from bandits and herdsmen.

‘’These attacks sometimes take the dimension of criminality and ethnic haunt organised against the Tiv people. The Zaki Biam massacre without any compensation, when compared to what was done to the Odi community in Bayelsa that suffered similar fate, is still painfully fresh in our minds.’’

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who represented the acting President, pledged to convey the cries of the Tiv nation to the Presidency.