The paramount ruler of the Tiv people, the Begha U Tiv, Prof. James Ortese Ayatse, has sued for peace in the lingering conflict between the Tiv and Jukun in Taraba State.
The Tor Tiv, who spoke at a meeting with the Abuja chapter of Mzough U Tiv, an umbrella body for the Tiv ethnic group worldwide, yesterday, said he was a peace loving monarch and wanted peace to reign amongst his people and other ethnic groups.
The Begha U Tiv said the crisis was politically motivated but urged all Tiv sons and daughters to remain peaceful, honest and law abiding to constituted authorities wherever they found themselves.
He urged the Tiv people to uphold the virtues of peace and honesty, with which they had always been known for.
He said it was unfair for any group to think that all Tiv people should be squeezed in to Benue State, stressing that other ethnic groups are spread across numerous states of the federation.
"Why should Tiv people be squeezed into Benue when other ethnic groups are spread across states in the country," he queried.
He thanked the Federal Government and the state governments of Benue and Taraba for working hard to mitigate the crisis.
The monarch also enjoined every Tiv person to make monetary contributions to the Ayatutu Ka Se Foundation, so that Tiv land, which has been ravaged by conflicts and extreme poverty, can be rehabilitated.
He said funds realised from the contributions would be channeled in to value addition of agricultural produce, roads construction, improvement in science and technology education, reorientation of youths and vocational training for women and youths.
He called for unity among the Tiv people, as that was the only way they could take their rightful place in the Nigerian polity.
Earlier, the Protem Chairman of the Mzough U Tiv, Abuja chapter, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Nienge(rtd), said they were delighted to welcome the Tor Tiv in Abuja.
He said the people came out overwhelmingly to welcome their monarch because they have bought into his message of peace, unity and honesty which he has preached since he ascended the throne.
In his vote of thanks, Mr. Godwin Ityochimin, said it was a special day for the Tiv people in Abuja as it symbolizes unity for the people and the dawn of a regenerative Tiv nation.