By Joseph Undu
The paramount ruler of the Tiv people, His Royal Majesty (HRM) Prof. James Ayatse, Tor Tiv V, has blamed the security challenges in Benue state on the illegally acquired weapons by politicians in the state.
The Tor Tiv said the weapons which were used by political thugs in the past elections and still remain in their hands pose great risk to the security of lives and property in the state.
He stated this recently in the United Kingdom (UK) at the 2017 Tiv Day Celebration organized by the Mutual Union of Tiv in UK (MUTUK).
A statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the union, Salome Biam and sent to Vanguard quoted the monarch as saying: “There are still security challenges in Benue state despite the fact that, Governor Samuel Ortom is doing very well on the issue of insecurity. This security challenges can be attributed to the illegally acquired weapons which were used by politicians in the past for election purposes which still remain in the hands of these persons.
“When you have such a weapon, the natural tendency is for you to want to make use of it. This is part of the security challenge we are facing in Benue today.”
He stressed that, implementation of the anti-open grazing bill and unity is the only path way to greatness in the Tiv Kingdom saying without unity, the Tiv people cannot make any progress. He emphasised that “only God can give us unity” and the prescription for unity is love, forgiveness and tolerance for each other.
He also expressed his appreciation to Governor Ortom who was represented by Hon. Terwase Orbunde for updating the gathering on the progress made so far in relation to curbing insecurity including tracking down people with illegal weapons and the punishments that can be meted out.
Nonetheless, he stressed that at the level of the Traditional Council, they are also cooperating with the government on security matters.
Professor James Ayatse and HRM Dr Felicia Ayatse, expressed their appreciation to the MUTUK executives headed by its President, Mr. Kuram Gwakyaa and encouraged them to keep up the good work they are doing in promoting and developing the social, moral and cultural life of the Tiv community in the United Kingdom and providing assistance to the less privileged back at home.
They were also hosted in Oxford by The Lord Mayor, Cllr Jean Fooksat Somerville College where he spoke highly of the University of Oxford and how the university had produced many great leaders including the late BaronessMargaret Thatcher and former US President, Bill Clinton.
After the University of Oxford visit, HRM Prof Ayatse was taken round Pitts Rivers Museum in Oxford by the museum staff, Dr Chris Morton (Curator), Helen Adams (Curator) and Karrine Sanders (Head of Administration).
The annual event according Mr. Gwakyaa is designed to bring the entirety of the Tiv community and their friends together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Tiv people. The Tor Tiv as the Grand Patron of MUTUK was invited as a special guest of honour to address Tiv sons and daughters in the UK.
The Tiv Day was well attended with several dignitaries like the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom, represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon Terwase Orbunde, the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, HRM Dr Felicia Ayatse, the President General Mzough U Tiv Worldwide, Engr. Edward Ujege, General Atom Kpera, Chairman Board of Trustee, Dr Kur, Chief Felix Akiga, Pastor Peter Ichull, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora Affairs just to mention a few.