By Ushahemba Nongu
Tiv Area Traditional Council has condemned in strong terms what it describes as “the incessant, brutal and mindless attacks (not communal clashes) on innocent, unarmed farmers and farming communities especially border communities” of Benue State by armed herdsmen and bandits.
The Council has therefore called on the Federal Government to reinforce “the numerical and technical capacity” of the Operation Whirl Stroke “to fight the terrorists and bandits with greater firepower and guarantee the safety of lives and property” in the state.
The position of the Council was contained in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the Council in Gboko, presided over by the Council’s Chairman, the Tor Tiv and paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, His Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Professor James Ayatse.
According to a communique issued, the meeting was attended by all the First, Second and Third Class Traditional Rulers of the kingdom, received reports from all the Intermediate Areas in the Tiv kingdom covering all the fourteen Local Government Areas of the kingdom in the State and was addressed by Governor Samuel Ortom, on the Security situation and other matters in the State.
The communique which was signed by the drafting committee Chairman and Secretary, HRH Clement Uganden, Tor Jechira and Shinyi Tyozua, stated the Council “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.”
Other resolutions reached at the meeting according to the communique indicated that the Council “Condemned in very strong terms the incessant, brutal and mindless attacks (not communal clashes) on innocent, unarmed farmers and farming communities especially border communities.”
The Council also “Commended the Federal Government led by His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the deployment of Operation Whirl Stroke 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.”
They traditional Council further “Appealed to the Federal Government to urgently 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.”
It further stated that the Council “Admonished all Tiv sons and daughters to close ranks and face the common securitylecònomic challenges that threaten our very existence” and “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.”
The communique added that the Council “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.”