Insecurity: group ask Gov Ishaku to correct travesty with creation of new Chiefdoms
Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Ayatutu Cultural and Social Development Initiative (AYACASODI), Worldwide, on Sunday kicked against the creation of Jukum and chamba new chiefdom in the Tiv dominated areas in Taraba state as against the 1961 Gazette.
National President of the Tiv social cultural group, Chief Timothy Baaki, also asked governor Darius Ishaku as well as the authorities involved to reconsider their decisions, correct the injustice and ensure that the right thing is done in the interest of Justice, peace and development in the areas.
The association decried the injustice and maltreatment of the Tiv people in the areas, described it as a joke taken too far, as the act of slavery in this 21st century should be totally condemned by all peace-loving and well-meaning individuals, alleging that It is clear that the objective behind the act by Governor Ishaku by changing the names of Tiv communities in Taraba and appointments of non-Tiv’s as traditional heads is to permanently erase Tiv identity, occupy Tiv land and enslave the people.
“We are here to brief the entire world on the grave injustice being meted on our people by governor Darius Ishaku through the Gara of Chanchanji, Alhaji Tanimu Kumbera, the Gara of Donga HRH Ambassador Sanvala Shimbura, and the Government of Taraba State over the imposition of District Heads on Tiv-dominated areas in Takum and Donga Local Government Areas. We condemn the injustice done to our people in the creation of Chiefdoms and Districts by the Governor Darius Ishaku-led administration and to call on the respective authorities involved to reconsider their decisions and ensure that the right thing is done in the interest of peace and development.
“As you may be aware, in 2018, Governor Darius Ishaku created and upgraded 54 chiefdoms in Taraba including the creation of Chanchanji Chiefdom which is predominantly Tiv but named after Jukun-Chamba name. We did not protest in public because we had also submitted a proposal for the creation of a Shitile chiefdom with headquarters at Peva. Chanchanji as a village has its small territory with a culture totally different from the Tiv culture who is in the majority. It is also on record that Chanchanji ward which is 98 per cent Tiv with over 38,000 registered voters has barely 2 per cent Jukun-Chamba population.
“It may interest you to know that since 2018, Governor Ishaku has further created chiefdoms and districts in almost every village and hamlet in Taraba State, but he did not deem it fit to create even one chiefdom for the Tiv people in the entire Taraba State, despite historical records that clearly favour a creation of Tiv Chiefdoms and districts. Apart from the submission of a proposal for the creation of a Shitile Chiefdom in Takum, our people in Donga LGA also submitted a proposal for the upgrade of the already created and gazetted Ugondo district to a Chiefdom with headquarters at Tor-Damisa. A similar proposal for the restoration of the Shitile district was also submitted.
“It is worthy of note that the Shitile village area was created on the 1st of May 1961 and approved on 6th January, 1962, alongside four other village areas of Ugondo, Gidin Dutse, Gayama, and Suntai. The Barde administration in 1981 also made use of these units in creating LGAs and districts in the defunct Gongola State. But while we were waiting for the Governor’s action on our request, Governor Ishaku suddenly approved the creation and installation of Wetibi district in the place of Shitile district and Samgambe district in the place of the already created and gazetted Ugondo district. This is a clear case of neo-colonialism in the 21st century.
“The Shitile district with its headquarters at Ananum and Ugondo district now renamed Samgambe are predominantly Tiv with a 99 per cent Tiv population. In Takum LGA, just two weeks ago, the Gara of Chanchanji appointed, coronated, and imposed Chamba district heads on the people of Mbajir and Mbatyula clans under the Chanchanji district and the Mberev and Kwan-Mbayongo clans under Tse-Amadu Districts.
“It may interest you to know that, over 98 per cent of the population of both Chanchanji and Tse-Amadu Districts are predominantly Tiv people. The Chanchanji district is made up of majorly the Mbatyula and Mbajir Clans of Shitile, with few Chamba and Hausa; The Tse-Amadu District is made up of majorly the Mberev and Kwan-Mbayongo clans. In all fairness, what is the justification for the appointment of Chamba people as District Heads of Chanchanji and Tse-Amadu? What does the government of Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku, and the Gara of Chanchanji want to achieve by this act? What were the criteria that were used in such appointments?
“It is instructive to note that Tiv’s existence in those communities predates Nigeria’s Independence and there are historical and archival documents to back up this fact. It is extremely strange as the Darius Ishaku’s administration has abysmally distorted both the pre-colonial and colonial historic records which are visible in national archives. Recall that this same Taraba State Government under Arc. Darius Ishaku had in the past, changed the name of Dan-Anacha in Gassol LGA to Kwararafa and created a Chiefdom, and imposed a non-Tiv person as the Head, whereas the chiefdom is predominantly Tiv People.
“This injustice and maltreatment of the Tiv people of this areas is a joke taken too far. This act of slavery in this 21st century should be totally condemned by all peace-loving and well-meaning individuals. It is clear that the objective behind this act by Governor Ishaku by changing the names of Tiv communities in Taraba and appointments of non-Tiv as traditional heads is to permanently erase Tiv identity, occupy Tiv land, and enslave our people in this 21st century so, we reject it in its entirety.
“We hereby call on Gov. Darius Ishaku, the Taraba State Government, the Gara of Chanchanji, Alhaji Tanimu Kumbera, and the Gara of Donga HRH Ambassador Sanvala Shimbura to immediately reverse the appointments of the District Heads in Chanchanji, Shitile District (now Wetibi), Ugondo district (now Samgambe) and Dan-Anacha chiefdom (now Kwararafa), and appoint Tiv Sons who are the rightful people to be appointed as District Heads for the sake of peace, equity, justice, and fairness” Baaki posits.
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