Group kicks over alleged imposition of district heads in Tiv-dominated areas of Taraba

By Suru Charles

The alleged imposition of district heads in Tiv-dominated areas of Taraba state by Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has continued to generate dust.

The aggrieved Tiv community has called on the governor to immediately reverse his decision and appoint Tiv Sons to oversee the traditional affairs of their communities in the state.

The ethnic group who on Saturday made their positions known through Ayatutu Cultural and Social Development Initiative (AYACASODI), in a world press conference held in Jalingo, the state capital, fumed at Ishaku over the imposition of District Heads on Tiv-dominated areas in Takum and Donga local government councils.

Led by both its National President Chief Timothy Baaki and its National Secretary respectively, David Nyiagee, they said “We call you here today to brief you and indeed the entire world on the grave injustice being meted on our people by His Excellency, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku over the imposition of District Heads on Tiv-dominated areas in Takum and Donga councils.”

They called on the respective authorities involved to immediately reconsider their decisions and ensure that the right thing is done in the interest of peace and development.

The group who went ahead to give the historic background of the Tiv-dominated areas in the state, could not fathom why the governor has decided to impose none Tiv persons to preside over the affairs of the Tiv in the areas.

The group said that the Tiv under Ishaku’s administration has been classified as second-class citizens in Taraba. They there appeal to the governor to insert the right peg in the right hole before leaving office.

“It may interest you to know that since 2018, Governor Ishaku has further created chiefdoms and districts in almost every village and hamlet in Taraba State, but he did not deem it fit to create even one chiefdom for the Tiv people in the entire Taraba State, despite historical records that clearly favour the creation of Tiv Chiefdoms and districts.

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“This same state government under Ishaku had in the past, changed the name of Dan-Anacha in Gassol council to Kwararafa and created a Chiefdom, and imposed a non-Tiv person as the Head, whereas the chiefdom is predominantly Tiv People”.

According to them “it is extremely strange as the Darius Ishaku’s administration has abysmally distorted both the pre-colonial and colonial historic records which are visible in the national archive”

Citing the number of proposals so far submitted for the creation of a Shitile Chiefdom in Takum, and how Tiv in Donga council has as well tread the same path, they expressed sadness at the alleged inability of the state government to allow the proposals to see the light of the day.

“Injustice and maltreatment of the Tiv people of this area is a joke taken too far. This act of slavery in this 21st century should be totally condemned by all peace-loving and well-meaning individuals.

“It is clear that the objective behind this act by Governor Ishaku by changing the names of Tiv communities in Taraba and appointments of non-Tiv as traditional heads are to permanently erase Tiv identity, occupy Tiv land, and enslave our people in this 21st century. This cannot happen and we reject it in its entirety.” They said,

Calling on their people to remain calm and law-abiding, they appeal to all peace-loving individuals or groups of people from Taraba State and Nigeria at large, to rise and condemn this “neo-colonialism in the 21st century by Governor Darius Ishaku”.

The governor, in his recent statement, said the reasons for the creation of additional chiefdom and appointment of district heads, were geared towards ensuring peace in Taraba communities.

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