Rising from an emergency meeting, the Tiv Area Traditional Council told all Tiv people in Nigeria to unite and defend their ancestral lands.
Tiv Area Traditional Council also called on the federal government controlled security agencies to up their game in protecting local communities from criminal herders and bandits.
The meeting which held on 15th November, 2022 at the Tor Tiv Palace in Gboko, Benue State had in attendance all the First,
Second and Third Class Traditional Rulers of the kingdom. It was chaired by the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Orcivirigh Professor James
Ortese lorzua Ayatse, CFR.
The meeting “admonished all Tiv sons and daughters to close ranks and face the common security lecònomic challenges that threaten our very existence.”
The communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part:
That “after exhaustive deliberations the Council noted with deep concern: The continued killings, kidnappings and other nefarious activities by criminal gangs and restive youths with roots in Sankera Intermediate Area (the Local Government Areas of Katsina-Ala, Ukum and Logo) and tentacles virtually all over Tiv land.
“The trending incendiary rhetorics deployed by political leaders, socio- cultural groups and mercenary media practitioners in the build-up to the 2023 elections.
“The appalling condition in which over one million Internally Displaced Persons (IIDPS) continue to live as a result of the crippling insecurity.
“The deteriorating security situation in Tiv land in which rogue herdsmen and bandits have virtually crippled farming, travelling and decent living in border communities and now occupy large territories.
The communique also indicated that the resolutions included:
The meeting “condemned in very strong terms the incessant, brutal and mindless attacks (not communal clashes) on innocent, unarmed farmers and farming communities especially border communities.
“Commended the Federal Government led by Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the deployment of Operation Whirlstroke and request him to expand their numerical and technical capacity to fight
the terrorists and bandits with greater firepower and guarantee the safety of lives and property.
“Commended and pledged to firmly support His Excellency Samuel Ortom, Executive Governor, Benue State, for his visionary legislations in the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017, Community Volunteer Guards Law implementation and for supporting Federal Security Agencies in the State to perform effectively.
“Appeals to the Federal Government to urgenty give the much needed assistance to facilitate the return of the victims of these prolonged attacks, who are in numerous Internally Displaced Persons (DPs) Camps, to their ancestral farming lands and communities.
“Enjoined all politicians and their agents to base their campaigns on issues and exercise restraint in the use of offensive language and hate speeches during electioneering in order to maintain peace and human dignity in Tiv land.
” Selected a Committee to find ways of mitigating the youth restiveness in the land and consult widely to find a lasting solution to this menace.