Mzough U Tiv: Then and Now

133
636

On 6th August, 2005, three months and fourteen days to his death, His Excellency,  Very Rev Father Moses Orshio Adasu,  former governor of Benue State, was invited as Guest Speaker , to a Community of Tiv Students , CTS, Benue State University, BSU  Chapter’s  Tiv  Day Celebration.

Before he began to speak on the topic, “Introspection, Key to the development of Tiv Nation”, Fr Adasu observed that such a glamorous and elaborate event put together by mere students to engage the Tiv Question should have been organized by Mzough U Tiv and not students. He noted that it was regrettable that Mzough U Tiv and Ijir Tamen were dead!

“I have lamented that Ijir Tamen and Mzough U Tiv which symbolized Tiv Ontology are gone and with them, The Tiv Nation. They must be resurrected.”, Adasu tendered as a solution. He also advised that, ” The Tiv at home and those in the Diaspora must come together and make this happen. The Tiv need a Forum where together as a nation, they will withdraw into selves , recollect who they are , how they live and recreate Tiv identity.”

The huge  successes of Tiv cultural festivals like Kyegh Sha Sha, KSS and Mutual Union of Tiv in America, MUTA Annual Conventions  have once again, caused Tiv men of thought to think in same lines like the good priest had done fourteen years ago. But why has Mzough U Tiv failed where CTS , KSS and MUTA are succeeding? Has Mzough U Tiv, actually failed? Here, I will X-ray the Mzough U Tiv at 34 years of its formation on the basis of the above  problem questions.

According to Prof Mvendaga Jibo, series of activities  that led to the formation of Mzough U Tiv began on 6th April 1985. Jibo revealed that it was during the 60th birthday anniversary celebration of the then Tor Tiv HRM, Orchivrigh James Akperan Orshi, the then  Tor Tiv at his village,  Tse Kur Baka, in Mbatie District of Buruku Local Government, that the he  hinted on  an idea of a Tiv Forum for his people.

His Royal Majesty, Begha u Tiv, Orcivirigh Professor James Ortese Iorzua Ayatse, Tor Tiv  and  CP Iorbee Fidelis Ihyagh (Rtd), the new President General, Mzough U Tiv

When he was elected as third  Tor Tiv on 10th March 1979 after the death of his predecessor, Orchivrigh Gondu Aluor, on 17th November, 1978, Orshi inherited a divided Tivland. Although, he had become Tor Tiv , 19 years after the Nande Nande political crisis or 23 years after the Atem Ityough crisis, the effects of these Tiv Political Riots were still unattended to as at the time he became Tor Tiv . But obviously ,  of most importance and immediate attention to his reign were the crisis and bad blood that ensued from the 1979 Gubernatorial Election between Aper Aku and Mr PRV Belabo and of course the controversy surrounding  his emergence as  Tor Tiv.

Despite the fact that beginning in 1969, when he joined politics , Wantaregh Paul Unongo had further divided Tivland politically as it was the case in the early 1960s, but the overwhelming figure of 1979 General Election, who won and took all was of course  Senator Joseph Sarwuan Tarka. In that election,  Tarkaa installed Aper Aku as Governor, himself as senator and his son , Hon Simeon Mbakorkaa Tarka a House of Representatives member . Tarkaa also ensured that Orshi emerged Tor Tiv even when most of the elders and king makers had  thought it was the turn of Ipusu from Kwande and had even presented a candidate.

He may  have  a used a  proxy in 1979 election, but in the 1983 General Election that Aku was seeking another term, and just  four years after Orshi was Tor Tiv, Unongo decided to go for the governorship election himself. Apart from perhaps the 2011 Gubernatorial Election between Gabriel Suswam and Prof Steve Ugbah, no election in living memory had divided Tivland like the 1983 General Election. Although Aku eventually won, Tivland lost more . We lost lives and the unity that held our people together. We lost much peace that even when the military took over power on 31st December, 1983 to end that dispensation ,  Orshi was too wise to conclude that the military intervention had ended the political crises of his people .

As politicians were winning elections , Orshi was aware that Tiv identity and unity was failing. So on his 60th birthday, he invited all his prominent sons and daughters to the place of his birth. He pleaded that all his subjects should reason and come up with  a non-partisan FORUM  to  lead the process of charting a path for change in Tivland . That was the message he was preaching since he became Tor Tor Tiv but “Saddened by his inability and want of peace and progress in Tivland , which was aggravated by the common phenomenon of incessant intra tribal fighting and killings  of fellow Tiv brothers and sisters as well as ubiquitous pull down syndrome of those who are up at the ladder of success, the Tor Tiv wished the Tiv people to change for the better” , according to Jibo.

Orshi therefore pleaded with his subjects and added that he would reward “any willing Tiv person who would bring Tiv sons and daughters together to share in a common forum for the discussion of Tiv affairs with a token inspiring plea of the sum of 1000( one thousand Naira) only. This plea sunk because there was an immediate response from the influential Tiv sons and daughters of the day

On 17th April, a day after the royal plea, Tiv sons and daughters went into action as they had gathered at Tilley Gyado Hotel, Gboko to discuss the matter that burdened their king and come up with a solution. This inaugural meeting to discuss the  issue  was convened by Mr Akaazua Muemue, a renowned bussiness man. After series of such meetings, Chia Surma, Ezekiel Akiga, Isaac Shaahu, Ayua Num and Akaazua Muemue himself decided to take up the challenge that the Tor Tiv had thrown at them. They in turn selected two people each from the Tiv intermediate areas to go back to the Tor Tiv and discuss the idea of the forum in details and had the Tor Tiv take the lead of  the process to form the forum ,  with a promise that they will support him to succeed.

Those selected to interface further  with Orshi on this matter  were from Jechira, Chief Jerome Tilley Gyado and Judge Angwe Asen, MINDA, Chief Ayua Num and Justice AB Utsaha, Sankera, Hon Joseph Tor Bossua and Ezekiel Akiga , Kwande , Chief Ako Dzungwe Shande and Achirga Abuul, while from Jemgbagh it was Ijir Zever and Chia Surma. The Tor Tiv received these delegates and after listening to their appeal that the ” the perceived Tiv Forum should be started by Tiv Traditional Council which after taking roots, they would then take over ” , he obliged them.

The Tor Tiv on his part called an emergency Ijir Tamen on 27th April , 1985 to receive further inputs from his members of council on the idea. On 1st June, 1985 Mzough U Tiv was born on a day that a  second Ijir Tamenwas  held for the purpose. Many names were suggested for the FORUM but that which was given by Hon Jerome Hwande as MZOUGH U TIV was unanimously adopted.

What were aims and objectives of this Mzough U Tiv?

1. To promote and provide a forum for unity , peace and harmony among Tiv people in particular and Nigerians in general

2. To Promote , secure and enhance social , cultural and agricultural advancement of Tiv people in particular and Nigerians in general

3. To promote, provide and preserve educational, health and other social institutions for our people at all levels permitted by law

4. To promote , provide and preserve a Forum for dessemination of information and exchange  ideas between members of the association or members thereto and to receive and impart such information and ideas

5. To promote , preserve and enhance the traditional institution of chieftaincy, marriage and Tiv Native law and customs

6. To promote and encourage the development of Tiv language and literature

7. To engage in any other area of economic activity for the benefit or well being of the members and the association;

8 To do or perform any other thing or act not expressly provided herein , but which is direct or incidental to the attainment of any or all of the above aims and objectives.

If you look the above lofty ideas and what the Mzough U Tiv has become today then, like Adasu and many other observers had concluded , we can say that the Mzough U Tiv has failed itself and the Tiv people . This failure can  still be  traced basically  from the crisis that the body was set out to solve.

In 1985, the then  leading Tiv politician , Paul Unongo refused to be part of the formation of Mzough U Tiv . Unongo and his supporters , to Jibo, were suspicious of the Tor Tiv’s idea. Unongo felt that Tor Tiv had formed the association to rally the pro -Tarkaa supporters to frustrate Unongo’s emergence as a Tiv political leader( it should be noted that Tarkaa died on 30th March, 1980) . That apart , in the wisdom of Mzough U Tiv, they survived and came up with a Tiv Day.

Dr Tesemchi Makar wrote that the idea of celebrating an annual  Tiv Day in September in Gboko , was designed to be a gathering to  remember and celebrate  the gallant  efforts of Tiv’s ancestors who led the way in  occupying the  Benue Valley, the challenges they faced  as they engaged other tribes and the colonialists and to celebrate  their  successes which led to them to have Gboko as their admistrative center in 1933 and a Tor Tiv as their Paramount Ruler  in 1946.  The Tiv Day was to be used, also ,  to celebrate Tiv Culture and essence and engage  the Tiv question in Independent Nigeria.

In 1987, Paul Unongo who had endeared himself to the military government of  the day , prevailed on the then milliary adminstrator, not to attend the Tiv Day. Unongo also directed Council Chairmen who he had influenced their appointments and were  loyal to him like JA Aligba, Katsina Ala LGA , Jacob Damjor, Gboko LGA and Nyianshima Bur, Kwande LGA,  not to attend Tiv Day. But Due to the pressures from his Tiv colleagues in military like Col JM Inienger and Brig SG Ikya, the then Military Adminstrator, Col J I Bakut shunned Unongo and attended Tiv Day. When he  discovered that Unongo nearly misled him, Bakut was so angry that he fired the chaimen who boycotted the Tiv day.

In 1989, 1992 and 1993, Unongo decided to attend the Tiv Day in Gboko but he ended up having issues with the organisers . The issues became glaring,  especially in 1989 and 1992 editions . At those two occasions, he had demanded to address the Mzough U Tiv, but the leadership refused. “They didn’t want Unongo to get his views and aspirations accross to the masses so easily by using the Mzough U Tiv’.Since those days, partisan politics has continued to stand in the way of organising a very successful Tiv day at home and in making the Mzough U Tiv into a formidable association.

This is a very big vacuum that CTS, Mzough U Tiv ken UK, MUTUK, MUTA, KSS and several other Mzough U Tiv like those in Lagos and Port Harcourt have occupied. Now, do you blame these groups that ordinarily would have been just associates of the Mzough U Tiv at HOME,  for organising more glamorous and elaborate events because local politicians have failed to overcome their differences and do same in Gboko?

The present Tor Tiv MUST rise up and own the Mzough U Tiv . He must return it to its origins and guide it aright along the intension of its founding fathers. Like Adasu observed in 2005, ” the future of the Tiv people has become bleak and unpredictable. Indeed, it is saddled with broken promises and accompanied with untold hardships. A people who once were victors have become victims. In all, the metaproblem is founded on lack of leadership in our human institutions.”

 I think, with Adasu and many others , I can conveniently agree that  Mzough U Tiv and her brain child, Tiv day are dead or lack the proper leadership to steer its affairs , but with Adasu and many other men and women of goodwill, I can’t demonize those who  like, CTS,  MUTA and KSS,  that are still keeping the fire burning by organizing Tiv Days annually.

133 COMMENTS

  1. I just want to say I am just beginner to weblog and honestly loved you’re web site. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You really come with amazing posts. Kudos for sharing your website page.

  2. I just want to say I am just beginner to blogging and really loved this web page. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly come with exceptional article content. With thanks for sharing your website page.

  3. hello there and thank you to your information – I have certainly picked up anything new from proper here. I did however expertise several technical points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I may get it to load correctly. I were considering if your web host is OK? Now not that I’m complaining, however slow loading instances times will often have an effect on your placement in google and can harm your high quality score if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much extra of your respective interesting content. Make sure you replace this once more soon..

  4. It is my belief that mesothelioma will be the most dangerous cancer. It has unusual properties. The more I really look at it the more I am confident it does not react like a true solid human cancer. In the event that mesothelioma is actually a rogue viral infection, therefore there is the potential for developing a vaccine in addition to offering vaccination to asbestos uncovered people who are open to high risk connected with developing long term asbestos linked malignancies. Thanks for sharing your ideas about this important health issue.

  5. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  6. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  7. I truly wanted to jot down a brief note so as to express gratitude to you for these remarkable tips you are giving at this website. My extensive internet look up has at the end of the day been recognized with sensible facts to go over with my friends. I would believe that most of us readers actually are really fortunate to exist in a wonderful website with very many lovely people with valuable advice. I feel quite blessed to have encountered your web site and look forward to tons of more thrilling minutes reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.

  8. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  9. Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  10. Great website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Cheers!

  11. I believe this web site contains some real fantastic information for everyone. “Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.” by Blaise Pascal.

  12. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page for a second time.

  13. This is actually the simplest and best guidance I have ever come across about this topic. Thank you for this very educational blog post of yours. Also, I enjoy writing articles which has a personal tone incorporated. I feel it makes your reader feel more important and also inclined to believe me more. Plus it appears to be more real and not coming from a robot. I love making my visitors feel important and also special. I want to give them the best tips on how to handle important issues such as this.

  14. Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is just great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  15. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Cheers!

  16. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again very soon.

  17. Today, considering the fast way of life that everyone leads, credit cards get this amazing demand throughout the market. Persons coming from every area of life are using credit card and people who are not using the card have prepared to apply for just one. Thanks for giving your ideas in credit cards.

  18. A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he in truth bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If doable, as you grow to be experience, would you mind updating your blog with more particulars? It’s extremely helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this weblog submit!

  19. I truly wanted to write down a small comment to express gratitude to you for all of the superb tips and tricks you are placing on this site. My rather long internet lookup has at the end of the day been compensated with reliable facts and strategies to talk about with my pals. I ‘d point out that most of us website visitors actually are unquestionably fortunate to dwell in a decent site with so many perfect people with helpful tips and hints. I feel somewhat grateful to have encountered the web page and look forward to tons of more amazing minutes reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.

  20. I do consider all the concepts you’ve introduced on your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  21. Get help to stop drinking. Helping women quit drinking alcohol. Coach Mary Wagstaff. Feel better, mind, body and soul. Mindfulness based coaching and alcohol recovery. Yoga for recovery.

  22. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we are looking to trade solutions with others, please shoot me an email if interested.

  23. My spouse and i ended up being thankful Chris could do his reports from your precious recommendations he made from your own web pages. It’s not at all simplistic just to choose to be giving freely hints which usually other folks may have been trying to sell. Therefore we figure out we need the blog owner to be grateful to for that. Those explanations you’ve made, the straightforward site menu, the relationships you aid to create – it is everything awesome, and it is helping our son and the family understand that theme is satisfying, which is exceptionally vital. Thanks for everything!

  24. You could certainly see your skills in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart. “Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.” by Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill.

  25. I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here