By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—The people of Igede, the third largest ethnic tribe in Benue State, have decried what they described as gross marginalization and neglect by the state government in the last 16 years of democracy in the country.
Benue State is made of three major tribes and languages, including the Tiv, Idoma and Igede.
The President of Igede Development Association, Anambra State chapter, Mr. Patrick Akobo, stated yesterday in Onitsha that the Igede tribe, which occupies owns half of the state land mass, had not been carried along in terms of political appointments, among other top positions in the state.
He said in a statement that “Igede people of Benue State are indeed an endangered species suffering deprivation, marginalization and suppression.
“We demand the restoration of the identity of Igede people in the political arena namely, the restoration of our first class chieftaincy institutions and the right to represent Nigeria at the ministerial and ambassadorial positions.
“Our rights to identity must be reflected in the Federal Character Commission.
“Our Tiv brothers we beg you: the demand by Igede people for the state governorship seat to be conceded to Igede in 2019 is not negotiable.”
Akobo further said that the association, otherwise known as Omi ny’ Igede, was of the opinion that no amount of intimidation would stop the Igede project to liberate itself from political marginalization, no matter how highly placed the suppressors might be.