INTRODUCTION

The Great Tivoid Reunion is non partisan, non political initiative dedicated to the socio-cultural development of the Tivoid and related nationalities through research and innovation. The initiative exists to develop empowerment strategies that use Tivoid cultures as the bedrock of all of her efforts. We place the Tivoid regions at the centre of our policies while cueing in into global knowledge.

In our pursuit, we see a strong and vibrant cultural development, preservation and promotion of this common heritage for the benefit of all as key. We also strongly believe in the transmission and the propagation of this common wealth for the benefit of all of mankind. The cluster of Tivoid group hugging the Nigeria and Cameroon border will be consistently encouraged to increase the volume of trade and commerce amongst them and other adjoining regions as a critical poverty alleviation strategy with an understanding that the international boundaries globally are an inexhaustible economic resource. The vision is anchored on promotion of intra- and inter-ethnic peace through robust cultural diplomacy and dialogue.

The group in perpetuity will shy away from all political skewed activities and discuss, a component of culture it considers extremely engaged in our society.

BACKGROUND

The organisers of ZaSwem Pilgrimage in an effort to creatively engage the Tiv migration landscape for the purpose of stoking up strong cultural identity for members of Tiv nation and accelerating socio-economic growth through the use of a sustainable resource, culture, met with a litany of groups along this migration path to/around Swem and beyond that share a common history and ancestry with the Tivs and also found out that the knowledge of this history and association was scarce amongst a large population of the group.

This drove the desire to create a platform to creatively bring about increased interaction amongst members of these groups; and in the future distant groups that together will tell a more complete story our a common historical experience as a people. All this is dipped in an understanding that a people with a strong knowledge of their history move into the future with more confidence and resolve.

A BRIEF ON TIVOID LANGUAGES

The word Tivoid is gotten from the language family tree to which these groups of the Southern Bantoid languages have being assigned. They are currently fifteen (15) of such Tivoid nationalities in Nigeria and Cameroon documented thus far. They are namely Utanga, Iceve, Ipulo, Eman, Caka, Uyive, Ovande, Undir, Ugar, Bitare, abon, oliti, Tiv, Batumo and Batu ( and still counting).

The oral history of a great majority of these groups makes reference to Ikyoor as the common ancestor and mention his progenies as Iceve- Ikyoor, Utanga- Ikyoor, Ipulo-Ikyoor, Ugar-Ikyoor, Ovande-Ikyoor , Uyive-Ikyoor , Orkura(Tiv)-Ikyoor etc. There is however a oral history amongst the Orkura(Tiv)-Ikyoor of an ancestry to Takuruku which is not common amongst the others.

The linguistic affinities and cultural similarities amongst these groups form a major excitement particularly for students of anthropology where the concepts of cultural diffusion and assimilation practically stick one in the face. The Utanga/Becheve man says nam ijor mma, while his sibling Orkura says nam mngerem mma. The concept of kyur as called by the Orkura(Tiv) and ikyulu as called by the Iceve-Ipulo person is the act of covenanting which is a major relationship sustaining strategy amongst members of the group. It is from this background that the saying wan kwase u doom kpa u ngu utange emanated. The Kunav and Utanga progenies vowed never to marry or engage in sexual activities.

THE GREAT TIVOID CELEBRATION

The Great Tivoid Reunion is the window through which the activities of this group interfaces with the general population for whom its activities are geared to create sustained fraternal bond and engender culturally-steeped development. Our activities as such are designed include all strata in the society (sex and age inclusive).

In 2015, these nationalities came together for the first time in recent history in Utanga District in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State to initiate a process to increase interaction, trade and promote peace amongst members; and also with their neighbours.

At this historic event, we had a forum Elders Talk were discussions and decisions were made and a communiqué issued. We also had cultural performances, a symbolic reunification rite and church service. The Church service was officiated by the Bishop of Gboko Diocese Most Rev. William Avenya in company of the Bishop of Katsina Catholic Diocese Most Rev. Peter Adoboh and the Vicar General Ogoja Catholic Diocese.

It was an emotional moment for all and the collective consciousness of the people had a boost!

THE FUTURE

The event is to be held every year and rotated amongst members of the group. The 2016 event is scheduled to take place from 2nd to 3rd December at the Obudu Mountain Resort, which is located on the homeland of the Iceve subgroup of the Tivoid family.

While we continue to have the annual reunion festivities to drive sustained interaction and engagement, at the hub we shall be pre-occupied with relevant research and generation of innovations, strategies and interventions that will drive us towards our goals

SPONSORSHIP

So far the Great Tivoid Reunion has being sponsored majorly by members of the Central Planning Committee, who have surprised even themselves by using very meagre resource to achieve such feats. When there is a will there is a way!

We will not fail to mention the invaluable role of our partners namely Radio Benue, Harvest FM Makurdi, Water First, Oracle Business Ltd, ZaSwem, ASKiNG RADiO and Passion for Cultural Preservation and Humanitarian Initiative (PACPHI).

We believe in a crowd funding approach to raising funds rather than depending on few individuals with the attendant vicissitudes inherent in such a strategy. Sponsorship opportunities are therefore open to all people of goodwill who believe that this event and activity is worth their thought. We will also be very glad to have referrals to corporate establishment that will want to participate in the sponsorship of this event and our activities.

Join us in making this better and bigger ! You can!!

Chief James ABELLEGAH

Chairman, Central Planning Committee, The Great Tivoid Reunion.