Coronation Of Ten First Class Chiefs in Benue State; Tor Tiv and Ochi’Idoma Mere Spectators
Yesterday, at the IBB Square, Makurdi, ten first class chiefs covering Tiv, Idoma and Igede area traditional councils were coronated and presented with staff of office by the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. This ceremony was enabled by the instruments of “A law to make provisions for the establishment of Benue Council of chiefs and traditional councils in the State and for purposes connected therewith, 2016”.
Those that were coronated were:
- HRH David Afatyo Ajoko, Tor Jemgbagh
- HRH Ambrose Pine Iyortyer, Tor Kwande
- HRH Clement Kparevfa Uganden, Tor Jerchira
- HRH Moses Mfave Anagende, Tor Lobi
- HRH Abu King Shuluwa, Tor Sankera
- HRH Julius Aondoana Adaga, Tor Gwer
- HRH Emmanuel Okochi, Ochi’ Otukpo/Ohimini
- HRH Francis Obande Obeya, Ochi’ Enone
- HRH Baba Odangla, Ochi’ Apa/Agatu
- HRH CP Oga Ero (Rtd.), Adirahu Ny’ Igede.
However, the law creating these chiefdoms first came into effect in 2015 and appointments were made and gazetted May 7, 2015 but was revoked in same year by Governor Samuel Ortom in what was tagged “First Class Chiefs Appointment (Revocation) Order”. Incidentally, of the six first class chiefs in the Tiv Area Traditional Council, only two were not reappointed. They are Chief Terkura Suswam and Chief Goddy Ikerave who were hitherto appointed Tor Sankera and Tor Gwer respectively.
One of the famous songs of No. 1 was the one in which he traced the Tiv genealogy according to the existing kings.
Their coronation yesterday shows how political leaders have almost taken all that belongs to the society including money. Political leaders influence appointments of chiefs, coronates them, take them to their houses and celebrates them, pay their salaries and ask them for “help” in times of need (election). If it were possible, political leaders would have been ordaining even priest. O yes!
For the lovers of Tiv music
There is no way to miss the music of Tarker Golozo otherwise known as No. 1. Golozo was born in Ikumbur, Mbatiav about 1932 and was educated at RCM School, Lough Mbatiav from 1944 to 1950 up to standard four. He later taught at same school by the invitation of Revd Fr. Patrick Turner (a native of Manchester according to what Revd Fr. Numbe Tarbo told me), same man who baptised me in the May of 1983 at St Francis Gboko East. Golozo was later transferred to RCM Azomon, still in Mbatiav. He was a great singer and also had the privilege to sing in the UK. He died December 19, 2000.
The speaker of a House inaugurates his colleagues why not Tor Tiv and Ochi’ Idoma allowed to inaugurate all kings below them?
One of the famous songs of No. 1 was the one in which he traced the Tiv genealogy according to the existing kings. He talks of the day the Tor Tiv, Gondo Aluor was swearing in or coronating or was giving staff of office to the chiefs in Tivland. He talked of Mede Achii Kima of Kunavland who was the first to be called, Kungwa Annune of Mbakor, Aernyi Kungur of Masev, Agyahyande of Ikurav tiev, Atim Dzungwe of Mbatiav, Amaa Bai Atoga of Yandev were all mentioned in the song amongst others. At that time, the Tor Tiv who is the Paramount ruler of the Tiv officiated at the ceremony that Golozo captures succinctly.
Following what happened yesterday
The Tor Tiv and the Ochi’ Idoma who are the Paramount rulers of their kingdoms namely Tiv and Idoma respectively were mere spectators at the ceremony. The Ochi’ Idoma did not utter a word throughout the occasion with the Tor Tiv only giving the votes of thanks.
It may not be possible for traditional rulers to exclusively handle traditional affairs since they draw their salaries from political institutions but it is possible for political leaders to have minimal participation. The speaker of a House inaugurates his colleagues why not Tor Tiv and Ochi’ Idoma allowed to inaugurate all kings below them?
All the same, congratulations to all the newly coronated first class chiefs but they should be mindful that he who pays the piper dictates the tune and therefore, should procure long spoons to dine with those in the political hierarchies especially as we approach the next general elections in 2019.