The Tiv Youth Council Worldwide (TYCW) has urged the leadership of the Mdzough U Tiv, the Tiv socio-cultural organisation, to live up to its expectation of protecting the interest of the Tiv nation.
The call comes following an open letter by leadership of the Mdzough U Tiv, cautioning Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs over his outburst against the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ortese.
The letter signed by Chief Edward Ujege, President General, Mdzough U Tiv, and his Secretary General, Dr Boniface Ukende, specifically condemned Akume’s criticism of Tor Tiv, while urging him to respect traditional institution.
Part of the letter read: “Mdzough U Tiv joins other well-meaning Tiv sons and daughters and our good friends to unequivocally condemn such utterances; such comments are sacrilegious and injurious to the respect of Tor Tiv stool, the traditional Council and the entire Tiv nation.
“Specifically, we wish to state that our paramount ruler’s reputation and distinguished record are beyond any attempt at character assassination.
“Mdzough U Tiv reechoes the stand of the Tiv Traditional Council that you should urgently appear before the council to clear your name and resolve the issues for the overall benefit of the Tiv nation.
“On a general note, Mdzough U Tiv is calling on you to deescalate the tension in order to keep the peace. We further appeal to you that no matter your elevated position of authority and resources, you should use those blessings to advance the cause of Tiv unity, progress and tradition without preconditions.”
But President of TYCW, Mr Mike Msuaan, frowned at the attempt by Mdzough U Tiv to undermine the duties of Akume as a Minister and wondered why the group woke up now after been silent and almost non-existent in the wake of enormous challenges the Tiv nation faced.
Msuaan reminded the Ujege led Mdzough U Tiv of the existence of hundreds of thousands of Tiv people who had their communities ravaged and their livelihood entirely destroyed.
“We find it very disturbing and we think the high level insecurity in Sankera which is almost grounding commercial activities in the region should worry any sincere leader of a socio-cultural body such as Mdzough U Tiv.
“We have watched the grave silence of Engr. Edward Ujege on this issue, he has not deemed it fit to put up any peace building and crisis management initiative to solve this crisis or any other communal clashes within Tiv land only to find his voice now because Sen. George Akume is involved.
“We urge Engr. Edward Ujege to desist from using the Mdzough U Tiv to fight other prominent Tiv sons or excitedly jumping into feuds especially when it concerns Sen. George Akume.
“We never expected the Mdzough U Tiv to issue open letters concerning this issue, we expected that the organisation will explore every avenue to settle whatever differences between HRM, the Tor Tiv and Sen. Akume for the good of the Tiv nation.”
According to Msuaan, the future of a generation of Tiv children who have become orphans and whose parents cannot send them to schools should be of Paramount concern to Engr. Ujege and the Mdzough U Tiv.
“The plight of IDPs, need organisations like Mdzough U Tiv to meet appropriate authorities, NGOs and other international bodies to assist in reconstructing, rehabilitating and rebuilding these villages and communities for resettlement of these IDPs.
“In our thinking, working with Sen. George Akume who is a cabinet minister and can easily relate the problems of the Tiv nation to Mr President, should be important to Engr. Ujege.
“Sometime last year, pensioners protested the non-payment of their entitlements running into 16 to 25 months. It was a pitiable sight to see these senior citizens spend nights in the cold beside the Benue government house but Engr. Edward Ujege and Mdzough U Tiv claimed ignorance.
“Mdzough U Tiv did not think the situation deserved an open letter to the Governor of Benue State, there has been protracted non-payment of salaries and gratuities with a backlog of arrears of salaries.
“It is our considered opinion that good governance and responsible leadership should also be the concern of Mdzough U Tiv.
“We feel strongly that the development of the state is of utmost importance to every citizen of the state. Elsewhere socio-cultural organization like Mdzough u Tiv go extra miles to lobby for development projects for their state or communities,” Msuaan added. (NAN)