President Muhamadu Buhari has once again been accused of systematic marginalization against the Tiv people most especially as it has to do with appointments at the federal level.
Addressing a press conference in Makurdi, the Benue State capital yesterday, the National President of Tiv Youth, the umbrella body of all Tiv youth groups, Comrade Msugh Pillar, expressed displeasure over what he termed the non-inclusion of the Tivs in the Buhari administration even as they largely contributed towards ensuring his victory at the polls last year.
Comrade Pillar informed newsmen that for a tribe that ranks itself as the fourth largest in the country going by the last census figures, its continued denial of appointment was in disobedience to the federal character policy stressing that the confidence the Tiv people reposed in the administration was eroding fast.
He pointed out particularly the last Monday’s appointments into Heads of Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Education was disappointing that no Tiv man was found worthy of any appointment.
“We looked at the list and what we saw from Benue was the name of Professor Stephen Onah, who though is from Benue State but hails from Benue South Senatorial Zone.
“This is the same zone that produced the incumbent Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, this same zone has the Special Assistant to the President on People Living With Disabilities leaving the two Tiv speaking zones with nothing and so, we are here first to condemn in totality this systematic marginalization and to also call on the President to do something urgently towards addressing same so we can also be availed the privilege of reaping the fruits of our labour “
The national president said the group had sometime early this year staged a peaceful protest to The Benue Peoples House where it expressed its grievance in that regard to the Benue State governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom and also handed him a letter for onward presentation to President Buhari. It noted however, that their concerns seemed to have landed on deaf ears giving the recent federal appointments by the President.
It called on the President Buhari to seriously look into the issues raised with a view to correcting same, stating further that should the imbalance be allowed to persist, Tiv youths all over the world would be left with no option but to shun the All Progressives Congress (APC) during all subsequent elections in the country.
“This is the first time in history of this country that a Federal cabinet was formed and a Tiv man was not included. During the Second Republic, President Shehu Shagari in appreciating our support gave us three ministerial slots so what has gone wrong that the Tivs which is the only tribe in Benue State that voted Buhari and the APC so why are we not been compensated for our support,” Pillar querried.