Tiv want council poll suspended in Nasarawa
The Tiv Youth Organisation (TYO) in Nasarawa State has called on the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) to suspend all arrangements for the scheduled May 26 local government election pending the return of peace to the affected communities.
The organisation, which also threatened to drag the state government to court over the election said the exercise if carried out as planned would disenfranchise majority of their people who were currently scattered in various Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDP), as a result of attacks and destruction of lives and property meted on them by armed Fulani herdsmen.
In a statement over the weekend, President of the organisation, Peter Ahemba insisted the election must be suspended, to allow for full participation by eligible men and women of the Tiv community in the interest of fairness and justice
According to him, “Ordinarily the Tiv Youth Organization would have maintained silence and watch events as they unfold towards the conduct of the scheduled election.
“We deemed it pertinent to draw the attention of the state government and other stakeholders involved that holding such election at this time would amount to monumental injustice against the Tiv people who are still in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state and beyond.”
He added that it is no longer news that the Tiv people, particularly in the Southern Senatorial District comprising Awe, Doma, Keana, Obi and Lafia local government areas of the state had been chased out of their ancestral homes by armed Fulani herdsmen including the wanton destruction of lives and property.
He said, “While we appreciate and acknowledge the good intention behind the resolve to conduct the council election to allow for the emergence of democratic leadership at the third tier of government, which we also trust will enhance speedy development at the grassroots level, we however note with great concern that the exercise is coming at a time the Tiv people have not had the enabling environment to return to their villages as the attack and killing of our people persist.
“Therefore, holding the election now would amount to disfranchising our people and of course, a violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Ahemba expressed optimism that the state electoral umpire will consider the patriotic call for the suspension of the exercise otherwise the association would be compelled to seek legal redress.