An Open Letter To Tor Tiv: Where Is The Tiv Nation?

Posted: July 2, 2015 in BENUE, life and human interest, Opinion, political, Politics, press releases/ News letter
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By Tor, Shiekuma Felix
His Royal Highness Chief Dr. Alfred Akawe Torkula Tor Tiv IV; the Begha U Tiv (the Tivs’ Lion) and paramount traditional leader of my highly esteemed kingdom, here am I prostrating before you: may God increase and bless my great King. 
As an intransigent flag waver of my highly reputable Tiv kingdom, irrespective of your giant strides to embellish Tiv nation, my heart is still heavy ladened, and my


HRH. Alfred Akawe Torkula

face is scowled to an extent over the ignominious occurrences bombarding the Tiv traditional institution and the great Tiv nation under your surveillance. I therefore used this cyberspace to fire off my missive to you since your palace is like a cavern of lions, and moreover reserved.
There was a king in Judah called Manasseh, an heir of King Hezekiah, who was diademed to hold and exercise sovereign power over the autochthons of Judah. This great King led the natives of Judah to rekindle all the idols that his father, Manasseh, had disposed.
Thence he genuflected and adored these man-made idols in the temple that was built by great King Solomon. This detestable act aroused God’s resentment; and He subsequently entrusted them (Judeans) in the hands of their adversaries (Babylonians) as deportee. The wicked Babylonians plundered and looted all their treasures – gold, silver and others.
My majesty sir, on the 21st day of April, 1991, you were ceremoniously and honorably colonated to watch over the Tiv nation, after your predecessor, Chief Akperan Orshi, went to meet his ancestors. Indeed, your onus is not far from addressing issues pertinent to the Tiv nation and representing her cultural interest outside the purlieu of our prodigious nation. Moreover, venerating and safeguarding the unity and cohesion of Tiv nation.
Admittedly, under your watch the same “idols” that your antecedents got rid of, nonetheless, received red carpet treatment in the great kingdom that was already sanctified. Tiv people who were known with unity are now divided along political lines. The unity that aided us to oust the notorious Jihadist in our land is no longer subsisting. Our oneness has been sold to selfishness and discontentment. This is bad!
This ill has even outstretched its tentacles to our churches. Appointment of reverend fathers and pastors in our holy estates (churches) is now based on political divisions and arithmetic. The people at the helm of affairs in a particular religious zone do everything possible to bring all the parsons, including the unqualified, to such zone. The same thing is applicable to placement of leaders in our tertiary institutions and your council.
Sir, as a Tiv big cheese, has it ever occur to your conscience again that Tiv kingdom ought to be a united nation? Nepotism is never strange in the Tiv traditional council, which you chair. Indeed, people playing from the league you and your council do not support; hardly receive listening ears from the council. Is it good to sit and watch as the Tiv nation falls apart? Really, your hush nature has thrown me into an uneasy perturb!
The 1999 constitution does not make provision for political roles of traditional rulers in governance, including you. Yet, you palace recently becomes a state headquarter for political caucus. This is another “idol”. The Tiv traditional council which is saddled with the obligation of addressing issues affecting the Tiv nation is now an avenue for canvassing votes for political office aspirants, and greasing their palms thereof. Don’t you know that the Politicalization of your council made us lose our value and hard earned reputation before our antagonists?  This is quite uncalled for!
The Late Makir Zakpe Tor Tiv I was suspended from office by the Northern Regional administration that had expected him to play a political role in a community of freedom loving republican Tiv people. The position of the Tor Tiv did not successfully combine politics and his role of being father to all. From the Tiv revolts to the Agbekoya crisis, Nigeria was thrown into a long period of military rule”. Indeed, your position is not a political seat and has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.
Even traditional rulers who are indirectly involved in politics are performing more of coordinating and advisory roles as to enable their sons gain federal presence. This is accompanied with neutrality and openness. However, have you ever coordinated your sons here at home so as to gain more federal relevance? The one-sided role you played between the squabble that recently supervened between your two sons, Akume and Suswam, made so many to doubt your wish for Tiv nation.
On 19th September 1946, Chief Makir Zakpe Tor Tiv I was installed as the first Tiv paramount traditional ruler. The rationale behind his installation was just to secure Tiv nation from alien enslavement, because Fulanis wanted to inaugurate an Emirate ruling dynasty for the Tiv. The great King Zakpe wholeheartedly fought for our freedom until he finally bite the dust.
Now, the Fulanis who were kicked out of Tiv land are back during your reign. This is another “idol”. Yet, no meaningful and convincing measures have been taken by you and your assembly to curb this menace of Fulanis insurgency in Tiv land. Furthermore, your primary responsibility and your council is to address crisis of this nature but this is not just obtainable in your time. Remember hitherto Tiv people are massively entering their early grave because of Fulanis invasion. So, are you still representing our interest?
There was a time they gruesomely onslaught your village, resulting to apocalypse. During that time, they expelled you from your village, making it impossible for you to attend official invitations and perform other functions. So, this is the pickle your subjects have found themselves in. If you compare the unpalatable experience you had, then you will understand what your people are going through. Moreover, it would propel you to rise up from your slumber.
I was expecting you to bow to pressure and devise means to tackle this Fulani irruption, like you spearheaded the affairs of first class chiefs’ appointment. However, my expectation fetched disappointment for me. I am not contesting the fact that tackling insurgency is a herculean task, but my point of concern is that; you’re only active on political issues. This needs to be reversed.
The assassination and kidnapping of Tiv prominent sons is another pro tempore conundrum that is staining our prestige. Yes! Kicking this satanic-induced ill out of Tiv land is never your job alone; it involves partnership with all the security agencies. As a father to Tiv people, I however expect you to boldly come out and issue a resounding admonition that whoever is caught in this act must face the wrath of law.  This alone would make the hair of assailants and kidnappers stand on end.
I can’t delete out of my memory that historic day that the whole Gboko (where you palace is) and Benue State at large was in agony over the assassination of a great humanitarian, Pharm. Ternenge Labe Esq. The aggrieved youths teamed up in front of your palace to register their displeasures, nobody, even a messenger, came out to console them and condemn the vile act. This was so clear that even the pioneers of that wicked act would consider your silence as a sign of approval. Are you a father to a selected few or the entire Tiv people?
The Tiv traditional council is not and it will never be a military council. They ought to put their subjects at heart when formulating policies or taking decisions. The views and suggestions of the subordinates have to be considered and respected. The way you and your council ignored court injunction and youths remonstrance, restraining you from appointing first class chiefs amid economic crunch was obviously an act of tyranny and military dictatorship. So, are you telling us that you are a traditional arbitrator?
Is your council supposed to a democratic gathering or a military zone? It is under your reign that people are being restrained by armed men from entering the Tiv supreme meeting (Ijirtamen). Remember the last supreme meeting that held, if you think I am lying.  This is because you allowed politicians of easy virtue to influence your official duties. So, the fear of impending doom is an alibi for using uniform men to harass people. This is a sign of rubber stamp leaders.
Now, going by my biblical story told from the onset, the aforementioned points are the “idols” you introduced in the Tiv nation, and Tiv people are currently on exile – in the hands of Fulanis, our archenemies, because of the idols you introduced in the Tiv Kingdom. They have plundered all of our treasures under your watch. So, how can you bring back the Tiv nation from exile?

Tor, Shiekuma Felix can be reached via

  1. Ahi Joe says:

    Bravo! This is the much needed elixir, well prepared and delivered! Too many idols and too many failures are almost driving the once unique people to a sad extinct.

    The Tiv Traditional Institution has so romanced politics to the extent that it is now nearly impossible to tell the idolator from the idolatry.

    Things have fallen so flat that we now have more politicking and less winnings, more farming but less reaping, more medicines and hospitals but only more death, more security and more sophisticated weapons than those with which will encountered and engaged the jihadists, but little or not conquests.

    And the question that comes is, how do will go from here?

    You have provided apt solution, institution reforms beginning with the traditional institution and its head. I think next should be the sanctuary and the kind of message exuding from those hallowed pulpits and then surely ourselves, me and you and our brothers and sister.

    Today, I have to remind you that some of us are corrupt as the leaders we accuse or more. That is exactly the pool of workforce for all demonic and destructive tendencies are available for hiring. I must inform you too of a case in time, one Doris Ngorumum who has employed the global platform of facebook to canvass for sodomy, a practice very alien to the Tiv Nation and its people. This shows that for most of us with sinister motives and inclinations, access to some of our leaders is doing great demage to Tiv Nation and our identity.

    You have covered all and I must confess that openly.

    But, I think the way forward is well beyond human efforts alone. The question is who were the Tivs and who and where are we now? In my little and limited opinion, I think this kind of departure and a slump is impossible except God had been really angry with us.

    If with bow and arrow we chased a thousand and with guns and bullets of today we are not able. It means we have disassociated from a divine source and must make haste to return there. Otherwise we may blame and blame and still get no where.

    I am excited about the activities of the group called RePUT, I think it is an arm of MUT-UK. In analysing various ways out of this quagmire, RePUT(Reconciliation, Peace and Unity of Tiv) drew seven-point agenda and top on this agenda is THERE IS AN URGENT NEED FOR THE RETURN OF THE TIV NATION TO GOD!

    Now can we talk of a return where there was no original point of take off? Simply put our weapons did not win wars for us, God did, our brains did not manufacture wisdom, God gave us, our land was not the most fertile thereby producing great yields, God simply gave that bounty harvest, our charismatic and eloquent voices did not land us that political heights of yester-years, God qualified us above our adversaries and opponents etc.

    Now that we are so learned and feel great deal of independence from Him, where are we?

    I do not know what it is now in the TTC(Tiv Traditional Council), but a special office was reserved for Tor u Ajiir a Mbatsav) and Tyoor Masanza Akura, I think from Kwande use to occuppy that position. No position was ever reserved for Kwagh Aondo!

    I am so privileged to belong to the Tiv Youth Empowerment Foundation(TYEF), our thinking recently is that efforts are required to quickly put together a TIV NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYERS AND FASTING to plead with God to forgive sins and cause a restoration in our amidst ga yo kwagh ka tseen seer a seer.

    Thank you and may God bless you more.


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