THEME: “TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP IN COMTEMPORARY TIV ERA”, HELD ON THE 25THMARCH, 2015 AT ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CATHEDRAL HALL, GBOKO.

  1. PREAMBLE

We, the Traditional Rulers met on the 25thof March, 2015 at a Workshop on “Traditional Leadership in Contemporary Tiv Era”. After prayerful reflection, we hereby present the following resolutions:

  1. TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS

We unanimously acknowledge the dwindling moral life and the economic activities in Tiv Land. We affirm our unalloyed commitment to the traditional institutions. While we would like to reaffirm our commitment to work with the Church in order to restore our integral values, we note with sadness that our relationship with other institutions has not been cordial. This poor relationship is consequent on the non-inclusion of our status in the Nigerian Constitution. We therefore resolve that bye-laws should be made such that the traditional institution will be protected and empowered in order to facilitate her activities.

  1. AUTONOMY OF TRADITIONAL COUNCIL

We, in fairness, note with dismay, the unjust election and appointment of some traditional rulers. Elections of rulers previously were done by the people. Today there is much interference from the government and other influential persons. This has hampered true leadership and general acceptability when candidates are been imposed on the people. We call on government to minimize its influence in the process.

We encourage our respective communities to, in the spirit of oneness; support in ways possible the stool of traditional rulers. This will create a sense of full ownership, belonging, respect and allegiance of the people.

  1. THE STOOL OF TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP

Traditional Rulers remain very fundamental to the facilitation of peace, governance and development. We further reaffirm our commitment to respect the stool in words and deeds. We are also committed and resolved to collaborate with the Church and the Government towards the realization of peace and development in all ramifications. In order to be effective therefore, we need every encouragement from the Church, the Community as well as the Government. Weavail ourselves for constructive criticism and dialogue from the Church and the Government.

This forum gives us the opportunity to look inward. We are hereby committed in retrospect to look at areas we have directly or indirectly failed in the discharge of our duties as traditional rulers. We are also resolved henceforth to improve on our relationship with the foreigners in matter of land and peaceful co-existence.

 

  1. INSECURITY AS A MAJOR THREAT

There is high level of insecurity in the society. In the related development we observe the increase in the use of youths as thugs and other agents of destruction. We strongly condemn this practice and call for redress. Every human being has dignity and this must not be misused and violated.

Crime rate has continued to thrive in our society. We would not deter in our efforts to condemn, arrest and persecute perpetrators of these acts. There is the need for us to work harmoniously with the Police. However, we appeal that perpetrators or culprits when handed over to the Police should not be released without due consultation and reference to the traditional rulers, when this due process is abysmally violated it generates a feeling of “Above the Law”, stubbornness, non-conversion by these culprits, the reason why evil has continued to thrive.  

We bemoan the increasing rate of kidnappings, indiscriminate murder, and undue intimidation, crime rate in our society. This development kills entrepreneurship, hard work, creativity, selflessness, and genuine desire for charity and love by those who are willing.

We request that the Government should look into the activities of some of our children who are agents of crime and play the role of ‘godfatherism’, protecting and mobilizing people to, intimidate, terrorize, frighten and kill innocent people. In another related development are the service providers,who sometimes are found to be accomplices in hiding persons and facilitating crimes. There has been an unabated anxiety among our people. This pang of intimidation and fright manifests itself in the anonymous text messages sent to people to threaten them.

  1. FULANI AND THE TIV PEOPLE

Recently the entire Tiv land has noticed an unwholesome tension with the Fulani people. This degenerated to fighting, destruction of lives and property, killings, burning of houses and destruction of farm lands. The Tiv as a people are friendly and generous in nature. We had enjoyed our friendship with the Fulani till very recently when our relationship got bad. As we pray for the repose of the souls of the Tiv sons and daughters who died as a result of the Armed Fulani Herdsmen attack. We respect the Fulani people as created in the image and likeness of God. However, in the spirit of ensuring peace in our land, we request of themto relocate and disengage completely their grazing activitiesin Tiv Land.

  1. MODEST AND DECENT LIFE STYLE

We also condemn the immodest life style of our youths. We observe with dismay that we have all reduced our lives to pleasure. This surely is driving us away from our core values. We must be cautious of what we do today. We vehemently condemn the cultivation and use of hard drugs, consumption of Gin (Gogoro), Indian herm and their likes. These are detrimental to our health. We must stop this. We rather uphold and recommend the use of our local drink Burukutu above these unhealthy drugs.

  1. CORRUPTION

We again affirm that there is great corruption within and outside the institution. As a united body, we are resolved to continue in the ongoing fight against corruption in private and public places. We shall endeavor to enthrone the ideals of justice, peace, fairness, truth and equality to our people. We all must check ourselves again, re-evaluate our goals and stand for what is truth, and where we have gone wrong, strive for redress.

  1. SELF RELIANCE PROJECTS

We recognize with gratitude to God the natural gifts given to the Tiv Nation. We acknowledge that the soil God has given to us is fertile. We also appreciate the inspiration to be more self reliant. Therefore, we are determined to engage more in the production of our yams, and the cultivation of economic trees for commercial activities. We recommend that all the Traditional Rulers generate sustainable ways and suggestions on how to create wealth within our communities. This development will surely alleviate poverty and create jobs, and ultimately encourage families to live comfortably in dignity and respect.

  1. CULTURAL HERITAGE

Culture remains the identity of a people. We recognize the beautiful culture of the Tiv people and are determined to promote it. We are more aware than ever that we should be more responsible in promoting the Tiv Culture, economy, egalitarianism, world view and our convictions. This cannot just come about if we as a people are not united. We have the onerous responsibility to guide, promote, and encourage our traditional values and our language which is the hallmark of a people.

  1. CONCLUSION

We use this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to God, the Catholic Bishops of Makurdi, Gboko, and KatsinaAla for their prayers and support. We thank especially Bishop William Avenya of Gboko diocese who organized and facilitated this workshop. We are also grateful to God for the wonderful cooperation we continue to enjoy through the kind generosity of the Government of Benue State. Our appreciation also goes to the entire U Ter Mba hen Tar Tiv, and Utyombaiorov. They have been working tirelessly for peace and development.

  1. BLESSING

May the God of the Tiv People continue to bless and protect our land and our people.Amen.

HRH TER GBOKO II, CHIEF GABRIEL G.G SHOSUM………………………………

HRH TER USHONGO, CHIEF AMBROSE IORTYER…………………………………

TYOOR (LESSEL TOWNSHIP)ALEXANDER AHAR IKPA ……………………………………………………………

HIS EXCELLENCY, CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GBOKO, MOST REVD WILIAM AVENYA……………………………

HIS EXCELLENCY, CATHOLIC BISHOP OF KATSINA ALA, MOST REVD PETER ADOBOH……………………..

HIS EXCELLENCY, CO-ADJUTOR BISHOP OF MAKURDI, MOST REVD WILFRED ANAGBE CMF………………