By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Tiv Youth Organisation, TYO, an umbrella body of Tiv youths, has cautioned herdsmen to stay away from Tiv land or be prepared to face resistance.
The warning came on the heels of an outcry by the tribal leaders of Benue State, who alleged that the personnel of Operation Ayem A’ Kpatuma (Cat Race), were allowing herdsmen to take over Benue land.
Addressing the media in Makurdi, the National President of TYO, Timothy Hembaor, maintained that Tiv people had the statutory rights over the lands of the Benue Trough, where they had lawfully dwelt and earned a living in the past three centuries and had been so recognised by law.
Hembaor said: “Therefore, Tiv people will resist with all means at their disposal the confiscation of our land and transmutation of same into grazing areas for herdsmen and their cattle. In essence, the Tiv people are saying no to grazing areas of whatever sort in Tiv land.
“We, therefore, call on President Buhari to respect his oath of office and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, both in content and spirit, and sincerely intervene now and halt the killing of the Tiv people by his kinsmen.
“Failure to do so, the Tiv people are capable of defending themselves against any occupation of our ancestral dwellings.”