By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Tiv Youth Organization, TYO, worldwide, an umbrella body of Tiv youths across the globe, has distanced itself from an organization, that calls itself the Tiv Youth Council worldwide, saying that as a fake and unknown organization the group is out to disparage genuine Benue leaders and elders.
The President General of TYO worldwide, Timothy Hembaor in a statement made available to Vanguard, Tuesday, in Makurdi clarified that the said group does not speak for Tiv youths in any matter whatsoever.
Hembaor said, “the Tiv Youth Organization, TYO, read a statement issued by a hireling supposedly of Tiv extraction who claims to be speaking for Tiv youths and has been making caustic remarks against leaders and elders of Benue State hiding under a fake group called ‘Tiv Youth Council Worldwide.’
“His latest outing was against Governor Samuel Ortom whom he accused of attacking President Muhammadu Buhari when, according to him, the Governor has not performed well.
“As the legitimately recognized umbrella body of all Tiv youths worldwide, we hasten to distance the Tiv nation from the despicable utterances of this paid group.
“Nigerians should note that there is no known group in Tiv land and indeed the entire Benue State bearing the name “Tiv Youth Council Worldwide”. Therefore, any statement that is credited to a group with such a name is purely the handiwork of enemies of the state who are fighting dirty and have recruited their co-travelers among our people to help them wage a media war against Governor Ortom and any one else who stands in their way.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the clownish utterances of the young man for the churlish manner they came across, but as an organization that represents Tiv youths globally, it is our duty to provide leadership and respond to the perfidy.
“It is unacceptable to hide under a fictitious group to make statements on behalf of a robust cream of youth of Tiv extraction. Decency behoves on any affiliate organ of TYO to follow established protocol.
“This attempt to establish legitimacy on the non-existent group is not only shocking but also portrays us in bad light as a people. It is appalling and preposterous that Governor Samuel Ortom would be called a busy body for standing resolutely in his defence of the Tiv Nation.
“It would look like they have in their delusion forgotten the principal role of governance which is the protection of life and property and this, Governor Ortom has carried on with honour.
“The Governor has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to provide security for Benue people because the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Sadly, Buhari has not responded to the Governor’s call. Rather the armed herdsmen have been emboldened to kill and kidnap at will and this has spread across the whole country. Consequently, Nigerians have reacted by rising up against the Fulani menace.
“It is to be noted that Governor Ortom has found a solution to the killer Fulani question by enacting a law that has ended open grazing and encouraged ranching, but the Fulani herdsmen have refused to obey the law. The anti open grazing law has been adopted across the states of the federation and this must have shown the president that solutions are possible, after all.
“The development has drawn the ire of President Buhari who now perhaps see Governor Ortom as enemy number one.
“The present furore also has to do with the robust defence Governor Ortom extended to Bishop Hassan Kukah when he raised the Nigerian issue with the Congress of the United States of America. The moral strength of Bishop Kukah can not be sullied by someone. Governor Ortom is within his rights as a Governor of a federating unit of Nigeria and his state is at the receiving end of the bad governance of the President Buhari led federal government. If Ortom cannot show kinship spirit with Bishop Kukah, who else will.
“They must realize that for us in Benue, our safety and survival is more important than any other matter in the state. If we become homeless like some of our brethren who are now living in IDP camps, what would become of us. This crisis is the worst thing that has ever happened to us in Benue State. We should provide support to our Governor rather than join the enemy to throw stones at him for doing his best in the prevailing circumstances.
“Governor Ortom won his two terms on the platforms of different political platforms. This settles his acceptability credentials. He has never imposed himself on the state and winning elections is different from the dynamics of the elements of existentialism.
“This issue is beyond those who think that every issue has a price tag. What advice can they proffer other than being sounding boards for vested interests. We have lost thousands of people in this crisis and all it takes is for an anonymous one at that to use free space to take on people who are seeking solutions to mitigate a dangerous situation.
“Finally, we caution them to retrace their steps. Tiv youths will not hesitate to place heavy sanctions on anyone who plays politics with the unfortunate security situation in Benue State. Those seeking crumbs under the dinner table of highly placed people in Abuja should remember that their acts of betrayal are not only suspected but also known.
“The battle for the soul of Benue State is beyond the comprehension of those who are working against the Tiv nation in times of the war between good over evil, justice over impunity and freedom over subjugation.”