Tiv Taraba adopts Central Traditional leader


Tiv Taraba adopts Central Traditional leader

Jethro Yerga, Jalingo

The Tiv Community of Taraba State has adopted Zaki David Gbaa Tela JP (Ter Bali II) as the Tiv Central Traditional Leader, known in Tiv language as TER Tiv Taraba to help in the coordination of the Tiv Traditional Leaders Council in Taraba State.

The development is contained in a communique issued at the end of the maiden Taraba Tiv summit held at the NKST Central church, Mayo-Dasa Jalingo, Taraba State which was anchored on the theme: The Leadership Question and the future of the Tiv people of Taraba State

In the communique signed by the chairman Central Planning Committee, Rev. Fr. Simon Akuraga and the Secretary, Mr. Justin Tyopuusu, the people arrived at the adoption of the central leader owing to their desire to address the plethora of challenges confronting the Tiv people of Taraba State origin.

Prof. Daniel Gungula reads out the communique at the summit

The communique highlighted Some of the issues critically examined by the summit to include the leadership question, the unity among the Tiv, security of a Tiv man in Taraba State, the place of a Tiv man in the Taraba State political space, the future of Tiv youth and women in the State among others.

Determined to change the narrative, the delegates at the summit, who were drawn from all the Local Government Areas across the State where the Tiv people are found in sizeable numbers, adopted the central leader among other resolutions after their two days of intensive deliberations and critical examination of issues around the summit theme.

Some of the other resolutions reached as contained in the communique indicate that, Across the local government areas, the existing TER structure would be Maintained, where “Ter” will be the highest traditional leader of Tiv at that level with his subordinate traditional leaders.

“There shall be constituted leadership across all the strata of the Tiv society including political, youth, women, professional groups and the clergy among others.

“The Summit encouraged the promotion of social justice, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and the diversification of the Tiv economy through entrepreneurship and vocational skills for the empowerment of women and youths for a more peaceful prosperous Tiv society.

“It also resolved that religious leaders of Tiv extraction should intensify efforts towards promoting learning programmes that would promote peace, unity and progress among the Tiv people.

“It was agreed that the summit shall be an annual event where the Tiv people meet to discuss and map out development plans”. The communique read in part.

The summit condemned in strong terms the senseless killings, maiming, displacement and destruction of valuable property belonging to the Tiv in Taraba State, and called on the Taraba State government to take urgent steps to ensure the return of all displaced people to their ancestral lands.

It equally condemned the misunderstanding that led to security breach in Takum LGA among Tiv themselves even as it agreed for the setting up of peace committee at local government level and promotion of oneness of the Tiv above clannish and self-interests.

The Tiv Central Traditional Leader (left), Zaki David Gbaa with the chairman, Central Planning Committee (CPC), Rev. Father Simon Akuraga in a snapshot shortly after the summit

While urging the Tiv people to participate actively in all political processes, summit further resolved that the Tiv people are open to acceptable political alliances that will uplift or emancipate them.

Recall that the Tiv people of Taraba State have for some years now, engulfed with several challenges in the state including senseless attacks leading to lost of several lives and properties worth billions of naira.

The situation has become worrisome to the people especially in Wukari Local Government and other Local Government Areas of Southern Taraba where some displaced persons who fled their ancestral home during the Tiv/Jukun crisis have begun to entertain fear that they might be disenfranchised in the forth coming elections as the Taraba State Government has not yet taken any visible step towards resettling them after three and half years they had been taking refuge outside their ancestral homes.


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