The Tiv leaders in Nasarawa state have reached out to Governor Abdullahi Sule, urging him to take further action in order to swiftly address the ongoing invasion of their homes and farmlands by suspected herders.
This appeal comes despite the establishment of a probe panel aimed at investigating the land grab crisis in the southern senatorial district of the state.
The situation remains dire in the southern senatorial district of Nasarawa State, as the land grab crisis continues without any signs of resolution. This has resulted in the loss of both lives and property.
In response to these alarming developments, Governor Abdullahi Sule has taken the initiative to form an investigative panel tasked with examining the disputed areas between the Tiv Communities and other communities in the southern region of the state.
During the resumed sitting of the probe panel in Lafia, Dr. Tseku, a well-respected clinical psychologist, spoke to journalists and made serious allegations against the traditional rulers of the affected areas. He claimed that both the district head of Adogi and the Osakyo of Asakyo, Osula Inalegu, have vehemently refused to attend the panel as requested by the governor.
Dr. Tseku expressed concern over the suspicious behavior of the affected traditional rulers, as they have consistently declined the panel’s invitations. He highlighted that the Tiv people have been facing continuous attacks by suspected herders who are allegedly being recruited to forcefully take away their homes and farmlands.
“I have been a refugee in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja, since 2014 due to persistent attacks. My house has been taken over, as well as farmland.
Despite the persistent outcry by the Tiv Communities over the seizure of our ancestral lands in the southern senatorial district of Nasarawa state over the years, our people have not seen peace for a long time now”, Dr Tseku lamented.
The clinical psychologist urged Governor Sule to take further action by involving the traditional leaders in order to address the issue of land grabbing in the area.
They emphasized the importance of the probe panel being respected and honored by the traditional rulers to find a lasting solution to the crisis. Additionally, the psychologist appealed to the governor to ensure that the herders are relocated, allowing the Tiv Communities to return to their ancestral lands.
On another note, Joseph Orjeme, a leader within the Tiv community, allegedly accused certain traditional rulers of instigating the land grabbing crisis in the Tiv settlements in the southern senatorial district of Nasarawa State.
As a result, Orjeme refused to appear before the panel. He emphasized the urgent need for a swift resolution to the land crisis, as the Tiv community was feeling besieged in the affected senatorial zone of the state.
Orjeme vehemently objected to the situation where the indigenous inhabitants of a region have become unfamiliar with their own homeland. He emphasized that the creation of states was solely for administrative efficiency.
“Our ancestors were settled in Nasarawa long before the formation of Benue and the plateau province. The Tiv people in Nasarawa State have no other place to call home except where their grandparents were born. It is unthinkable that the Tiv in Nasarawa would be considered strangers in their own ancestral land,” Orjeme stated with concern.
During the ongoing hearing in Lafia, the President of Tiv Youth Organisation (TYO) and representative of the complainants (TIV Communities), Barnabas Zayol, informed journalists that numerous appeals were made, resulting in the establishment of the panel.
Zayol expressed optimism that the committee would bring hope to the communities, aligning with the state governor, Eng Abdullahi Sule’s objective of resolving the crisis and ensuring peaceful coexistence of the Tiv people in their ancestral lands.
Zayol acknowledged the commendable policies and programs of Governor Abdullahi A. Sule’s administration, particularly in the areas of security, development, and state unity. He emphasized the importance of aligning their actions and inactions with the governor’s vision.
Furthermore, Zayol appealed to all parties involved to show respect for the committee established by the governor. He urged them to cooperate whenever called upon, in the best interest of peace, progress, and the development that the governor is known for in the state.
William Akika, the Chairman of the Committee, urged the affected Communities to remain patient as the committee would conduct a comprehensive investigation. He assured them that justice would prevail and a sustainable solution would be found for the land grab issue in the southern part of the state.
“We have been entrusted with this assignment by His Excellency, Abdullahi Sule, and we will approach it diligently. Our goal is to facilitate a resolution that both parties involved can agree upon,” he stated.