By Anawah J.J
Tor-Tiv institution founded in 1946 rotates among the two Tiv sons of Ichongo and Ipusu as the main ruling houses. These two ruling houses are found in Sankera, Kwande, Jechira, Jemngbagh and MINDA (Masev,Ihyarev & Nongov).
Ichongo’s descendants are Masev, Ihyarev, Nongov, Ugondo, Turan, Shangev and Ikyurav while Ipusu has Shitile and Kpar his two sons as descendants. From the Ipusu lineage you will find Shitile the eldest with his brother Kpar. Kpar children are found in what is today known as Jechira, Jemngbagh & Kwande (The Ipusu descendants). Shitile are mainly in the Sankera intermediate with Ukum and
Tongov along some Ichongo children such as Ugondo , Turan & Ikyurav.
The first Tor Tiv , HRM Makir Dzakpe was of Kpar from Ipusu ruling house. He hails from Vandeikya of Jechira intermediate area. He ruled from 19 Sept. 1946 and died 12 Oct.1956 as Tor-Tiv the first.
He was succeeded by HRM Mallam Gondo Aluor of Ichongo ruling house he hailed from Ugondo of Sankera intermediate area. He ruled from 1956 and died 17 Sept. 1978 as Tor-Tiv the second.
Then it was the turn of Ipusu ruling house. HRM Dr. James Akperan Orshi of Ipusu from Kpar descendants ascended the throne. He hails from Tombo of Jemngbagh intermediate area. He ruled from 1979 and joined his ancestors 14 May 1990 as Tor-Tiv the third.
It was again the turn of Ichongo ruling house who produced HRM Dr. Alfred Akawe Torkula. He hails from Ihyarev of MINDA intermediate area. HRM Dr. Torkula ascended the throne 21st April 1991 till date.
I am not in any way capable of mentioning his demise however if his rumoured journey is confirmed by the TATC then his replacement will come from the Ipusu ruling house.
And this time around from the eldest son of Ipusu (Shitile) who appeared suppressed by his younger brother (Kpar) who occupied the stool twice in HRM Sergeant Major Makir Dzakpe, Tor-Tiv the first and HRM Dr.James Akperan Orshi, Tor-Tiv the third all of Kpar descendants from Ipusu ruling family.
The stool should rotate between Ipusu’s two sons, namely SHITILE and KPAR when it gets to their turn. The first Tor-Tiv was appointed by the colonial administration headed by the British D.O Captain Dawnes based on Makir Dzakpe,s involvement in the agitation for Tor-Tiv stool along side Aermbega Samu, Gyuse Doki, etc.
The appointment of Makir Dzakpe of Kpar as first Tor-Tiv was not in the Tiv tradition where the first child takes first in all sharing. However, the colonial administrator who held supreme powers in this regard did what they wanted. Despite this murder of tradition and culture, the Tiv people were happy for at least getting their independence.
It was far better than where the colonial administration imposed a total stranger on Tiv nation in person of Alhaji Audu Danafoda a Nupe man from Niger state who settled in Makurdi as their Monarch. At least the Tor-Tiv as a Tiv man no matter where he came from understands the people’s cultural values and tradition as against the Nupe King in Makurdi a total stranger.
When the turn of Ipusu came round again in 1978/79, the Shitile made a case for the Tiv nation to consider the YA NA ANIGBIAN sharing principle in addition to their position as the eldest son of Ipusu. Late Ezekiel Akiiga was presented for the Tor-Tiv the third position along other Ipusu sons such as Late Asema Yua from Kwande.
This the colonial administration was no longer in place however Late J.S.Tarka held sway in Tiv land in all matters. Tarka drafted late James Akperan Orshi to join the Tor-Tiv race in order to pave way for his ambition to go to the National Assembly. James Akperan Orshi was contesting the Jemngbagh seat to National Assembly with Tarka and late Gbihi Vembe. By compensating Akeperan Orshi of Jemngbagh from Kpar family with the Tor-Tiv stool the eldest son Shitile was once again short changed and left in the cold. Kwande too was schemed out by Tarka where he formulated the theory of no one Tiv ruling family can produce Governor and Tor-Tiv at the same time. It is worthy of note that Tor-Tiv stool is no rotated among intermediate areas of JECHIRA, JEMNGBAGH,SANKERA,KWANDE or MINDA.
This wrong and injustice against Shitile who is the eldest son from Ipusu lineage should not be allowed to continue. Even the YA NA ANGBIAN sharing principle of Tiv people favours the Shitile despite their first position in the ruling family because their younger brother Kpar has produced two Tivs already in HRM MAKIR DZAKPE and HRM J.A.ORSHI.
Culture,Tradition,Fairness and Justice should come to play by allowing SHITILE to produce TOR-TIV the fifth.
Chief Anawah .I.J, Public Affairs Analyst.