Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue is expected to face ' Prof. Steve Ugbah, his main challenger in the 2011 general elections and the face of the opposition in Benue state, in a novelty football match on December 31.
The match is one of the scheduled activities by members of 'Ate-u-Tiv', a social network for the Tiv nation, to mark the end of year.
The Chairman, Central Planning Committee of the 'ate-u-tiv' End of the Year Carnival, Mrs Mngunengen Awunah-ikyegh, announced the proposed match at a press conference in Makurdi on Thursday.
She said that "after social interactions online for so many years, members decided to meet and put faces to 'posts and discussions'. "So in 2011, An Ate End of Year party (AEoYP) was put together and it is upon this initial attempt that our "Ate Carnival" is built", Awunah-Ikyegh said.
She said that this year's AEOYP ,tagged 'Ate Carnival' , was aimed at uniting the entire Tiv Nation in order to foster strength, growth and development.
Awunah-Ikyegh said that the carnival was also aimed at creating and showcasing the tourism potential and the rich and untapped cultural heritage of the Tiv. "Our committee believes that the carnival can export the cultural potential to the world to gain economic value and a unique identity.
"The event, especially the programmed symposium, will help the people to reflect on the socio- economic needs and the challenges that face the generations yet unborn in our homeland as evident in our everyday life as a people," she said.
She said it was regrettable that disunity among the Tiv had brought underdevelopment to Tivland. "Over the years, this has gradually affected the economic well-being of the Tiv nation , thus leading to our loss of self-esteem and relevance among other ethnic groups in the country.
"We have tried and made efforts to bring in some prominent Tiv sons and daughters that had seemed to be at daggers drawn in recent past for reasons that are not exactly in the collective interest of the Tiv nation," she said.
She said that the symposium would be built around the theme, 'Uniting and Empowering the Tiv Nation for Development'. (NAN)