Posted by News Express | 16 March 2018 | 1,595 times
Tiv Youths Initiative for Progressive Democracy (TYIPOD) has expressed its displeasure to the National Chairman, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, over the way the party abandoned Tiv nation despite promises made to the people while soliciting for votes.
A letter by the group dated 23rd February, 2018 and signed by the National Coordinator, Comr. Terkuma Jiki, and Secretary General Comr. Luper Damkor Chairman, said that despite the massive support the party enjoy from Tivland, the APC has constantly and continually put the Tiv people of Nigeria in perpetual neglect and held her in utmost contempt.
“The party has completely neglected one of its most benevolent partners in the Nigerian state. Else how would you describe a situation where there is complete disregard for federal character, the dislodgement of prominent Tiv sons and daughters from positions and offices held prior to emergence of the party into power – the likes of the director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Executive secretary of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the director general of the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIMBank), etc.
“It is rather difficult to describe as anything other than cruel, Mr. Chairman, the deliberate absence of Tiv representation at federal executive council for the first time under the APC-led federal government and the total absence of federal presence in Benue State in terms of Infrastructural development. For a people who gave their all in support of your party, this symbolises absolute neglect sir, to put it mildly,” the youths said.
It noted: “In all the aforementioned, the Tiv nation has remained steadfast, loyal and
hoping against hope that the APC-led government would have a change heart of heart, turn around and deliver on its campaign promises to us but alas, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came inform of the conspiracy of silence that followed the systematic and tactical cleansing of the Tiv nation duly superintended over by the APC led government as was evident in the utterances and in action of the federal government and even the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria himself,” adding: “Till date, Mr President has not deemed it necessary to pay our dear state a condolence visit in the face of a genocide that claimed over a hundred lives, all to our greatest dismay. “Rather, Mr. Chairman, the President acted non-nonchalantly, in fact, biased. “Pitifully too, your party (the APC) at the national level failed to issue an official statement in condemnation of these acts or deem it fit to visit the IDP Camps. Even when a delegation of Benue elders visited the President at the Presidential villa and tried to impress on him the need to visit and identify with the people of Benue state, all the President had to offer was a provocative call for us to accommodate our fellow countrymen, something the Tiv nation has been known for, for millennia prior to the premeditated attacks and planned annihilation of her people,” the youths stated.
The youths pointed out that in the face of these challenges, “we’ve had a number of sympathetic governors from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) visit our state and specifically affected areas, donating over two hundred million naira and items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), sadly not even one APC governor has thought it wise to identify with a state that happens to share the same political umbrella with them. “Instead, they were personal attacks on the person and office of the executive governor of Benue state, first by Governor Simon Lalong of Plataeu State, then Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State all of whom are governors under the APC platform.
“A police spokesman nailed it on another level by calling our governor, an elected executive governor of a state under the platform of your party ‘a drowning man’, yet your party, Mr Chairman, never deemed it fit to condemn or even call these people to order. It seems therefore with these clearly sanctioned acts that, there is a conspiracy to humiliate not just the person and office of the Executive governor of Benue state but also the entire Benue people.
“Mr Chairman Sir, it will only be right to make reference to other democracies in the African region. We can only hope to move forward as a people if we truly work at upholding the values of a true democracy as was the case recently in South Africa where the African National Congress (ANC) in preserving and protecting its integrity and in line with the wishes of the people, refused to shield former President Jacob Zuma in the face of abysmal failure. This however is not the case with Nigeria, where the APC has opted instead to protect and shield President Muhamadu Buhari for selfish and ghoulish reasons to the detriment of the common man. Of a truth, this has become the greatest undoing of the party.”
“Having said all that has been said, Mr. Chairman Sir, it would be sacrosanct to state that this ‘marriage’ between the APC and the Tiv nation has failed us. The APC has betrayed the trust and commitment bequeathed to her by the Tiv nation. It is in view of this Mr. Chairman that we the Tiv Youths wish to categorically state that we can no longer afford to ride with this failed ‘vehicle’ known as the APC as it has become evident that your political party does not represent our interests. We therefore unequivocally assert our support for our governor in light of his stand against the bastardisation of his people by the ‘powers’ that be and urge him to vacate the sinking ‘ship’ of the All Progressives Congress (APC), because political party(s) don’t decide for us, we decide our leaders and 2019 won’t be different,” the statement declared.
Talking about the earlier perception of the APC by Tiv people, the statement said: “Barely five years ago, change movement was launched called the APC as a realistic succor and replacement for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that had ruled the Nigerian state since the return of democracyin1999.The new party, the APC held a lot of hope and attracted a lot of men and women of good will across the nation, and in all these the Tiv people were not left out. “In the buildup to the 2015 general elections, the APC as a new political party won the heart and the support of Tiv nation. Through some of her most respected leaders like Senator George Akume, the then minority leader in the senate, senator JKN Waku and later Senator Barnabas Gamade, etc, the Tiv nation gave the leadership of Benue state to the APC; the two (2) senatorial seats from the Tiv speaking areas of Benue state and five (5) out of the six (6) Federal House of Representatives seats also in the Tiv speaking areas were won by the APC. Elsewhere in Nasarawa State, particularly the southern senatorial districts where the Tiv people are predominantly in three local governments, namely: Awe, Obi and Keana local government areas, the APC also won the Senatorial seat and the Federal House of Representative seats. The above Mr. Chairman is to elucidate on the massive support from Tiv people which the APC enjoyed, so you could only imagine the level of expectations from this party of which we gave our all to.
“However, like an abusive marriage, the APC has constantly and continually put the Tiv people of Nigeria in perpetual neglect and held her in utmost contempt,” the youths lamented.
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