What Atiku told the new Tor Tiv

Atiku Abubakar in Tiv attire

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday congratulated the new Tor Tiv, the monarch of the Tiv people of Benue State, James Ayatse.

Read Mr. Abubakar’s message below:

Your Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Professor James Ayatse,

Congratulations on your coronation as the new Tor Tiv of the Tiv Kingdom of Nigeria. This great day will no doubt be inscribed in your memory and in that of your generations to come, and also in the annals of Tiv history forever. As a firm believer in our country’s unity in diversity, all the way from my home in Adamawa State, I celebrate with you as a fellow citizen of Nigeria. As the holder of the Zege Mule U Tiv title, the highest traditional title for a non-indigene of the Tiv kingdom, I also celebrate with you as a stakeholder in the affairs of Tivland.
Agreed that our various communities have been jolted by needless crisis in recent times, but suffice it to note, however, the bonds of friendship and camaraderie that has long existed between my people and the Tiv. I recall with nostalgia that in late 1945 (at a time of great strife), a year before the coronation of the first ever Tor Tiv, the illustrious late Makir Dzakpe in 1946, a Fulani prince from the Sokoto Caliphate, who incidentally was also known as Atiku Abu’bakr, made entreaties to the Tiv monarch during his coronation. His message of peace, which was read in Tiv, were also accompanied by gifts of two Zebras (an animal striped with the symbolic colours of the Tiv people of black and white), went a long way to end the bloodletting at that time.

Your Royal Majesty, you are stepping into this great role at a very trying time in the affairs of our great country. The Tiv like so many other groups in Nigeria are most likely facing monumental challenges and finding life tougher than we all have in a long time. I, hereby, call on you to bear this keenly in mind as you begin your journey on the throne of your forefathers. Your leadership must be felt from Day 1. All of us stakeholders in the Tiv kingdom are putting our trust in you to lead your people to progress in every facet of human development. Let your people know and see that they can look up to you for a breath of fresh air and for ideas. Let your leadership shine a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Your Royal Majesty, the process by which you emerged as leader may have left a number of bruised egos and bruised relationships. There may be those with whom you have never seen eye to eye on issues. But, today, please, bear in mind that your coronation as the Tor Tiv makes you the traditional leader of the entire Tiv kingdom, of everyone including of friend and foe. Let peace be your most potent weapon. I urge you to immediately set about mending fences and building bridges. Without peace, progress and development become even more difficult if not almost impossible. As someone from the northeast of Nigeria, a region that is still recovering from the devastating effects of the Boko Haram insurgency, I am speaking from sad and bitter experience.

I do not think it is by chance that a man of your advanced educational qualifications has been chosen by God at this time in the history of the Tiv kingdom. Your Royal Majesty, you are an academic: a professor and a former Vice Chancellor of a university. My passion for education is behind many of my investments in Nigeria. Without education, I would not have become who I am today and I suspect that the same is true for you. I call on you to pass on that same passion for education to every citizen of your Tiv kingdom. Let every parent and child understand its vital importance. Let every Tiv child be given the same opportunities that you and I had to expand our minds through formal education. Let them aspire to be literate, and to improve their world through knowledge of both the arts and science and technology.
Once again, I congratulate you on this great day. Remember that, even though this coronation is being executed by human beings, you were actually chosen by God, and it is to Him that you owe your primary allegiance. It is to Him that you will justify whatever you make of the special position in which He has placed you.

May God guide you as you function in this new seat as the Tor Tiv. May he be your wisdom and strength through what I pray will be a long and fruitful journey undertaken in good health.


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  • Mufu Ola

    I used to admire this Atiku but his desperation is nauseating. Like Borno Gov said a desperate man have never been President in Nigeria.And I don’t see it happening with Atiku. He’s so busy hopping every where.

    • musa aliero

      A desperate man is currently nigerias president! Buhari staged a coup against democracy just to have power! He also contested four times just to have power! That is the height of desperation

      • simon tor gideon

        You don`t know anything about history,you are just talking as an unlearned man.Have you not ever heard that PMB never participated in the coup that brought him to power but was rather invited after the coup to come and lead?What is wrong in attempting to get what you want several times if the first trials fail you?And what is wong in one nursing an ambition and pursuing it to have it?We wouldn`t be having aeroplanes and electricity or telephone today if the inventors oh these things had stopped at the first trials because they were not successful at the first two or three attempts to invent them.

        • Say the truth

          If it’s okay for desperate Buhari to aspire to be president it is okay for Atiku to do the same. Atiku is far better than Buhari when the it comes to politics and economic matters.

          • Medugu

            Not at all just say when it comes to stealing and sharing it for personal gain, whether you like it or not it can never be business as usual better get a life.

        • Haba mallam

          That’s what’s scary in this country our education system is a breeding ground for fools. I bet you ayinde will claim to have been to school yet so dumb.

        • Mufu Ola

          U think most of these people read? Many of them just graduate for degree sake. No intellectualism. That’s why they are unemployable.Several accounts have confirmed that Buhari wan’t part of d coup but was only invited to give credibility to it.But these dullards will never know because they have no ability to know.

      • Ayinde

        Yes i agree, a desperate one currently in power. Despite yes of desperate scheming its surprising that the guy has no clear cut vision and purpose for this nation besides parochial personal, clannish and group interest.

  • sirOscie

    Congrats to the new Tor Tiv, HRM Orchivirigh Professor James Ortese Ayatse, May your reign be long and successful.
    Well said Atiku Abubakar the Zege Mule of Tiv Land.