The Tiv People of Benue State

The Tiv a Semi-Bantu-stock from the Katanga region of Congo-Zaire had migrated to seven hills in the West of Cameroon between the year 1750 to 1800 when all the communities in the Apa region of the Kwororofa were in a state of turmoil.

Hence it was easy for the arriving Tiv to fight their way into the land until they reached the banks of the River Benue and Katsina-Ala, thus forcing the Idomas, for example, to move further westwards.

By 1800, all the people in the area to be known later as Benue State had arrived in the area and had learned to co-exist with one another.

The population of the Tiv people resident in Benue State spread over fourteen (14) Local Government Areas and in Zone A and B.

Zone A comprises of:

  1. Logo Local Government Area
  2. Ukum Local Government Area
  3. Katsina-Ala Local Government Area
  4. Ushongo Local Government Area
  5. Kwande Local Government Area
  6. Vandeikya Local Government Area
  7. Konshisha Local Government Area

Zone ‘B’ is made up of:

  1. Gboko Local Government Area
  2. Tarka Local Government Area
  3. Buruku Local Government Area
  4. Gwer-West Local Government Area
  5. Gwer Local Government Area
  6. Makurdi Local Government Area, and
  7. Guma Local Government Area

NOTE: Nationally, the Tiv people in Nigeria who are indigenous to Benue neighboring States of Plateau, Nasarawa to the North, and Taraba to the North-East share the same cultural heritage with the Tiv people of Benue State.

The People Called ‘Tongov’

Tongov are the children of Ton, the son of Ipusu (Ipusu was Tiv’s first son). At the time Tiv left Swem for Nigeria, Tongov were already inhabiting a mountain known in Tiv language as Sonkwalla. And during the migration of Tiv to Binda, Tongov were the last people to migrate.

Some elders in Tiv land have claimed that, in those days, Ukum (the children of Ikumura also known as Kum, who was the daughter of Ipusu) went to the farm and while working, they saw some people who came to them and the Ukum seized them. Continue reading