By Florence Ugbem
The Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC) has decried the deplorable condition the over one million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have continued to have as a result of crippling insecurity.
In a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting presided over by the Council’s Chairman, the Tor Tiv and paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, His Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Prof. James Ayatse, held recently at the Tor Tiv Palace, Gboko, the council, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to urgently facilitate the return of the victims of the prolonged attacks, who are in several IDP camps to their ancestral farming lands and communities.
The TATC, through the communiqué signed by the drafting committee Chairman and Secretary, HRH Clement Uganden, Tor Jechira and Shinyi Tyozua,
also noted with deep concern the continued killings, kidnappings, and other nefarious activities of criminal gangs in the Sankera intermediate area of the state which is eventually spreading through to other parts of the state.
The council also condemned the inflammatory utterances of political leaders, socio-cultural groups, and mercenary media practitioners in the built-up to the 2023 elections.
The council recommended the performance of the military and other security agencies, and operation whirlstroke, a security outfit deployed by the federal government to the state, as well as several other complementary initiatives of Governor Samuel Ortom, including the establishment of Community Volunteer Guards to maintain peace and check insecurity without which local resistance would long have crumbled.
According to the communiqué, the deteriorating security situation in Tiv land has led to rogue herdsmen and bandits virtually crippling farming, traveling, and decent living in border communities and now occupy large territories.
According to the communiqué, “the council condemns in very strong terms, the incessant, brutal and mindless attacks (not communal clashes) on innocent, unarmed farmers and farming communities, especially border communities.”
It, however, commended the federal government for the deployment of operation whirl stroke and requests the expansion of its numerical and technical capacity to fight the terrorists and bandits with greater firepower to guarantee the safety of lives and property.
Council also commended Governor Ortom for his vision in legislation in the enactment of the Open Grazing and Ranches Establishment Law 2017, and Community Volunteer Guards Law implementation which supports the federal security agencies in the state to perform effectively.
The council admonished all Tiv sons and daughters to close ranks and face common security and economic challenges that threaten their very existence.
The royal fathers enjoined all politicians and their agents to run issue-based campaigns and exercise and restrain the use of offensive language and hate speeches during electioneering.
This they noted would ensure peace and human dignity in the land. The TATC also set up a committee to find ways of mitigating youth restiveness in the land and consult widely to find lasting solutions to the menace.