Letter to the people of Ajio, Ishagev-Ya, Benue State
Sir: Let me start by appreciating your understanding, cooperation, unity, care and love you have for one another and most especially the peace that has been existing among you for years. You have so far demonstrated maturity and civilisation in your character and it will be good if you can continue to do more.
However, the ongoing misunderstanding in-between you on land matter that is causing panic and making some residents to shift their base far away from Ajio for their safety, can be resolved amicably without bloodshed. The house set ablaze so far as a result of the misunderstanding in question should please be the only lost that will be recorded in the act.
You should know that the existence of Tiv nation, which you are part of, is threatened by many, who want to force you out, occupy your land and erase your clan to replace with theirs by all means. Therefore, this is the best time to grow more love, peace and unity among you, rather than fighting yourself for the same thing the enemies want to take away from you. Your unity at this time is desperately needed if you must exist.
The Fulani herdsmen are killing you, the Jukum are eliminating you and you want to kill yourself to make it easier for them? The killing of your fellow Tiv by their own Tiv brothers in Katsina Ala over a piece of land is rather a scandal and a demonstration of illiteracy, which can be more scandalous and uncivilised if you do same. Violence is never a solution to a problem and I will advise you to ignore violence in this issue and go with dialogue.
Let me at this point call on the Benue State government despite its failure in the area of protecting the lives and property, to quickly move to Ajio and do the needful. The Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse and the Council of Tiv Elders should as well act fast to prevent the escalation of this act of anti-love, anti-unity, anti-peace and anti-development. Prevention is indeed better than cure.
Awunah Pius Terwase wrote from Mpape, Abuja.