The newly installed Tor Tiv, James Ortese Ayatse, has called on the federal government to give more Benue people appointments as they are central to the government’s economic diversification programme.
The paramount ruler stated this in his inaugural speech in Gboko, at a grand ceremony at the Joseph Tarka Stadium.
His full title will be His Royal Majesty, Begha U Tiv, Orchivirigh, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse.
The ceremony was witnessed by many dignitaries, including state governors, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Mr. Ayatse specifically noted that the Tiv people, who are the “fourth largest ethnic group” in the country, are not represented at the Federal Executive Council (FEC)”.
He urged acting President Yemi Osinbajo to rectify the omission.
“No Tiv man has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of any federal parastatal in the current dispensation; we believe God will help you to correct this marginalization,” he said.
He said the marginalisation has become worrisome especially as the Tiv people gave their overwhelming support during the electioneering at the polls.
”As you take stock and make your next series of appointments, kindly be reminded that the Tiv Nation is not represented in FEC and have not benefited from any appointment at the federal level.”
He said the diversification programme of the government was tied to agriculture where the Tiv people have comparative advantage owing their agrarian economy.
The paramount ruler appealed to the federal government to involve the Tiv people in its empowerment schemes to facilitate provision of agricultural inputs and enhance skills.
He said that such measures would enhance food sufficiency and prevent food crises in the country.
Acting President Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, promised to present the demands of the Tor Tiv to the president.
He, however, advised the Tiv people to learn to live together with Fulani herdsmen, with whom they had lived together for ages.
He congratulated the new king for his elevation and prayed for a prosperous reign.
Senate president, Bukola Saraki and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto all appealed to the Tiv nation to co-exist with the Fulani herdsmen and strive to avoid acrimony as both need each other.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara, on his part, prayed for the new Tor Tiv and said that he was convinced of his capabilities in giving good leadership to the people.
He assured the Tiv people that their problems would be considered.
The chairman of the governors forum, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, in his remarks, stated that the governors would come together to tackle the problems of the Tiv nation.
Gov. Samuel Ortom had earlier lamented the recent security challenges confronting the state, but said that measures had been adopted to curtail them.
He reiterated his earlier resolve on ranches as the solution to the perennial crises between farmers and herdsmen.
The governors of Imo, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kwara, Niger, Taraba, Plateau, Kano and Kogi were amongst hundreds of dignitaries that graced the occasion. (NAN)