By Matthew Ajai-Kume
The Benue State House of Assembly has resolved that the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) should, as a matter of urgency, abolish a Reality Television Show, Big Brother Naija (BB Naija) .
The resolution was arrived at during its Thursday plenary presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Hyacinth Dajoh during which the member Representing Tarka State Constituency, Hon Manger Manger, moved a motion calling on the State Assembly to draw attention of the National Assembly Caucus of Benue State Origin and Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to the derogatory comments on Tiv ethnic nationality by one, Miss Venita Akpofure on the TV Reality Show, Big Brother Naija.
The House also resolved that Miss Akpofure should officially tender an apology to the Tiv ethnic nationality in two national dailies and television stations as well as be sued to a court of competent jurisdiction to serve as deterrent to others.
“Miss Venita Akpofure should be reported to the Inspector General of Police (IGP)”. The House further resolved.
Moving the motion, Hon. Manger noted that Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended provides that every individual or group of people are entitle to respect for the dignity of his person which has to be respected and protected.
Hon Manger in the motion informed the House that, one, Miss Venita Akpofure of Urhobo ethnic nationality of Delta State made a derogatory statement on the Big Brother Naija TV Reality Show that the Tiv people of Benue State give their wives to visitors and friends for entertainment.
“I am worried that the defamation and false assertion is coming from a lady who once married to a Tiv man with two kids, if not addressed in a proper perspective, may create confusion in the minds of some uninformed people who may take her tale serious and as a reference point” Hon.Manger stated.
He further stated that, the Tiv people of North Central Nigeria who occupy Benue State and are also found in large numbers in the neighbouring states of Nasarawa, Taraba and Cross River have a strong culture and tradition that is highly against adultery.
“There is no place in recorded history and oral tradition where it is established that the Tiv race right from their ancestors of Ichongo and Ipusu once gave out their wives to visitors and friends for entertainment”.
According to Hon. Manger, he is disturbed that the sponsors and partners of the Big Brother Naija TV Reality Show on the television, The Banijay Group of Enterprise has not called the estranged Tiv wife, Miss Venita Akpofure to order
“I am also disturbed that if utterances like this against an ethnic group that is very accommodative and hospitable to other Nigerians and beyond is misconstrued in this manner and buried under the carpet, it may go a long way to affect the corporate existence of the country and National cohesion.” He maintained.
Seconding the motion, Hon. Elias Audu, member representing Gwer State Constituency condemned the comments by Miss Akpofure on Tiv Ethnic nationality, adding that, as a Tiv man , never in his life contemplated in the dream or in reality to give his beloved wife to his brother not to talk of a friend for entertainment.
Supporting the motion, other members of the House including: Honourables Anthony Agom, Thomas Dugeri, Emmanuel Blessed-Onah, Samuel Agada, Abu Umoru , Kennedy Angbo and William Ortyom, unanimously condemned the comments by Miss Akpofure on the Tiv ethnic nationality, describing it as unacceptable and mischievous.
They called on appropriate authorities to call Miss Akpofure to order as well as Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to abolish BB Naija TV Reality show for its corrupt and demonic nature for sanity to reign.