Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Tiv Traditional Council (TTC), culturally known as Ijir Tamen, has unanimously agreed to stand by Governor Samuel Ortom in the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
The Council,, which made its position known at its meeting, in Gboko, the traditional headquarters of the Tiv nation, on Friday, maintained that if Governor Ortom would be crucified because he chose to resist the invasion and occupation of Benue land, they were ready to be crucified with him.
The traditional rulers enjoined the governor to stand firm and resist any attempt to surrender the land to herders under whatever guise.
The decision of the Tiv supreme council was taken after the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, conducted a voice vote which saw representatives of all intermediate areas of Tiv land, namely: Jemgbagh, Jerchira, Kwande and Minda unanimously rejecting any attempt to suspend the ranching law of the state.
The Tor Tiv warned Tiv sons and daughters against politics of violence and acrimony, stressing that anyone who encourages political violence would face unpleasant consequences.
Addressing the Ijir Tamen, Governor Ortom said it was his refusal to support the organised pogrom against his people that signaled the beginning of his travails.
He stated that some prominent Benue sons had connived with enemies of the state to work against the people, saying that the probe of his security vote and the failed impeachment move were part of the plot to get him out of the way.
The governor noted that he left the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because the interest of his people as a state was not protected in his former party.
Both Governor Ortom and the Tor Tiv, however, charged Benue people who were yet to registered in the ongoing voter registration exercise to do so within the two weeks extension, even as they urged those who registered but were yet to get their permanent voters cards (PVCs) to go for their collection.