EXCLUSIVE! TOR TIV STOOL: WHOSE TURN? KWANDE OR SANKERA? WANTAREGH PAUL UNONGO SPEAKS


By: Samson Kukwa Yanor

Welcome to this interview sir. 
It is indeed a privilege to sit in audience with the legendary Wantaregh.
Thank you very much my young friend, I salute your resilience, you looked for me, you traced me to Abuja, and then you traced me to Jos, Thank you.
THANK YOU SIR. LET US GO STRAIGHT TO THE POINT; WE HAVE LOST THE PARAMOUNT RULER OF TIVLAND, HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, ORCHIVIRIGH DR. AFRED AKAWE TORKULA. TIVLAND OR TIV NATION RATHER IS IN A PROCESS OF TRYING TO FIND ANOTHER MONARCH WHO WILL FILL THE STOOL. SO SIR, YOU HAVE BEEN BOTH A COSMOPOLITAN AND TRADITIONAL PERSON, ONE OF THE FEW TIV MEN OF THAT CALIBER, REMAINING ALIVE NOW. SO, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON A GENERAL NOTE TO THE TIV NATION AS THEY TRY TO SEEK FOR A NEW TOR TIV?
Well first of all, let me sincerely wish the Governor of Benue State, the elders of Benue State, the kingmakers of Benue State, and the entire people of Benue State condolence on the departure of the Tor Tiv, the late Akawe Torkula Ama Orngor, he is my son and my cousin by tradition. I pray that God should touch Tiv people to reflect a while in choosing another Tor Tiv, the choice of Tor Tiv depends on how the Tiv people want the Tor Tiv to be. The institution seems to be confused and it is not the fault of the institution, it is the manner in which it came about but I think the Tiv people should be allowed to dialogue and determine what they want a Tor Tiv to be because the Tor Tiv institution is a modern concept foreign to the Tiv people. It is a creation of the law and Tiv people have been confused about who the Tor Tiv should be What it should be and what they want him to be and what function he should play. They should not just go blindly and select just anybody. Since you asked for advice, I suspect that they will discover that they would make the same mistake they made and they will also bring even this Tor Tiv that they are about to select into disrepute just like they brought the departed Tor Tiv. So I advise strongly that we should not rush in making an appointment without reflecting on what Tor Tiv should be so that he can function effectively depending on what we want.
OK. SINCE THE DEMISE OF THE LATE TOR TIV, THEREHAS BEEN CONTROVERSY IN TIV LAND ON WHICH SEGMENT OF TIV OR WHOSE TURN IT IS TO REPLACE HIM. THE IPUSU IN SANKERA ARE LAYING CLAIN TO THE STOOL WHILE SOME SAY IT IS THE TURN OF THE IPUSU IN KWANDE. AS AN ELDER STATESMAN AND ONE WHO IS VERSED IN THE TRADITION OF TIV PEOPLE, WHAT IS YOUR CANDID OPINION SIR?
I think since they are competitors, both of them are right, because if I want them to love me, I will say both of them are right. The young man who is leading opinion among the Sankera people is my very close relation, Abu King Shuluwa. I love him, and the people of Sankera like what he is saying. It is also factual that there was a colonial administrative sub division of the Tiv into intermediate areas that has affected the Tiv people. My people must forgive me for been honest with them because I am a traditional custodian of Tiv custom, Tiv tradition and Tiv culture by virtue of being an elder from my part of the world and from Ichongo, and because Ichongo is the first son of Tiv and Tiv people talk about “Tumbu” I think I am the only one that was “Tumbuled” . I am the only one that was choosing to continue to represent Jato-Aka who is a legend that always spoke the truth and made pronouncements of blessings and resolution of knotty issues. However, because I was educated I drifted into partisan politics, I am afraid I did not perform my traditional function until the time it came to the selection of the departed late Alfred Torkula Ama Orngor. Therefore, within that context, I can confidently return to your question and assent that there is no borne of contention whatsoever. The Tiv people have only one thing that is unalterable. They have two sons called Ichongo and Ipusu. Until politicians started distorting Tiv history, the son Ichongo is the senior or the elder brother. Unfortunately, because Ipusu was more aggressive and appeared quite clearly more advanced in modern activities, education, business, economics, whatever, some traditional people or more appropriately political people within the Ipusu elements, decided that they will twist the history of Tiv to present Ipusu as the elder son of Tiv. they are wrong. So the Tiv un alterable truth is that if you are a traditional person, and you have to speak on behalf of Tiv people you must always speak the truth. With the help of the God of the Tiv who is the same God that the Jews worship, who is the same God that the Israelis worship, the Tiv call there God “Aondo u Abaver Jua” which means “the God of Circumcision” They acknowledge this God as their own ultimate divine person communicating to them from the universe with signs and symbolisms. Within that concept, this Tiv tradition stresses fairness and at the same time truth or Tiv mythology demand that, the person who speaks on behalf of them must always speaks the truth. There were dire consequences including death if their requirement was violated. In the days of old, they found a good person or the legend called Jato-Aka, the Tor Turan, the first son of the man Tiv and the eldest son of all the “Chongo-akem.”
When I was eventually taken through all kinds of traditional rites when he died, I was allowed to assume the position of been the person who will be speaking on traditional matters I was warned and told how serious this was, that I should always speak the truth, I will just leave it at that for now . I said there is only one unalterable thing because the Tiv have now grown into a race, the traditional way of doing things in Tiv is that when “they ya, they na angbian” (eat and give your brother) which has been bastardized by the politicians – Civil and military!
When the white man came, we interacted with him. Now, we are interacting with modernity through the concept of governance. The white man pretended and even asserted that they had so much knowledge about genealogy and the origin of people so they applied it to Tiv. They grouped Tiv people into five houses supposedly on scientific grounds in dealing with them. This was false I think, it was more of an administrative convenience similar to the grouping of Nigeria into three Regions and purportedly making everybody from Northern region to be related, and making everybody from Western Region to be related, and similarly making everybody from Eastern Region to be related.
The consequence of this was that when politics came tribal sentiments appeared in each of these three regions. It happened like that in Tivland. I wrote something about that when they started deciding to ‘find’ clans. I think they first started with about thirty two Tiv ‘clans,’ then organized them into about forty eight clans. I know this because my father was an NA (Native Authority) scribe, something like an administrative officer. Later on when the politicians came, the Tiv people were organized into about fifty four clans and each of this clan had a chain of Admin Officers and people within the clan believed and accepted that they were members of one family, related as closely as it was possible! At the same time the white man insisted on respecting the delineation of the Tiv into two principal people; Ichongo and Ipusu and within that context, the present impasse that we have was completely unnecessarily. It was a very simple thing to reveal and to throw light, Alfred Torkula was a Ichongo man from Ihyarev and by Tiv practice he came from one of the five intermediate areas the white man called them Ichongo inter mediate area. This was a mistake because there were other Ichongo places spread across the original ancestral home of the Tiv. They merely migrated farthest and for the purpose of identification we called them “Ichongo I shin sule or Ichongo I shin tyev” and stil some of us call them “Ichongo I shin Lobi” which comprises of Ihyarev, Nongov and wan maseityo or Masev. Later on the younger people tried to impose a name MINDA in a modern world and I keep on telling them that they shouldn’t belittle themselves. There is nothing like Minda, Minda represents abbreviation for a Development Association of the three Ichongo clans wishing to develop their areas which were realistically the least developed amongst the Tiv area.
Generally, the people of Ipusu appear to have picked on education, commerce, trade, business and everything more aggressively and they became more developed. So, that resulted in a sort of disrespect for people that were not Ipusu and most recognized big appointments going to Ipusu. If you look at the history of the Tiv people, you will discover that all the people that became Governors until Ortom were all people from Ipusu! Whether it was a military governorship or civilian governorship, the aggressive Ipusu people took the governorship, and people started accepting that well this aggressive person called Ipusu is a very successful group of people. They talk well and when you ask people from the Ichongo they don’t even know how to talk fast and they call any Chongo man “Uindyol” and gradually they saw that Shitile also talk like people from Ichongo, Ukum people too talk and behave as far as Tiv people are concerned in a way that look as if they are ‘meen’ – like Ichongo, so they also called them “Uindyol” so they refer to the whole of Chongo, plus Shitile and Ukum as “Uindyol”. And I see younger politicians trying to divide Ipusu-akem into “Uindyol” and “Non- Uindyol”. There is nothing like that, “Uindyol” is a derogatory epithet that was given to those that were supposedly not sharp, and a bit sheepish-meen we didn’t speak good Tiv as Ipusu-akem people felt, we were slow in reacting and we were doomed, they felt beginning from Turan, Ikyurav, all the Ichongo people, with Ukum, and Shitile. We were all the people that were been referred to as “Uindyol”. Suddenly, somebody decides that there is a sub-division of Ipusu-akem into “Uindyol” and “Non-Uindyol”, it is not true. I am an Uindyol man and I am Ichongo. There is yet another confusion that one young man is bringing from Turan, Tiv people have usually revere their clans: people will say proudly for instance that we are ‘Turan mba Jato-Aka’ we have for over five hundred years been Turan. We have been Chongo. The mountain that Tiv people migrated and spread throughout Benue Valley is in Turan. Then suddenly a young man that wants to become a Tor Tiv at all cost wants all men like me to believe that oh there is this Ipaven in Turan Called “Nyiev” that is not Ichongo, but Ipusu. Their son is the son of Ikyor. Ikyor is Ipusu. The Nyiev that you find in Makurdi is Ichongo but the Nyiev you found in Turan is not because it is Mbaikyor because it is Nyiev within Mbaikyor of Turan. The Mbaikyor in Makurdi around Agan are not Ipusu or they must be Ipusu so that one of our Turan boy can became Tor Tiv.
They know Ichongo people are not in the race, so they fabricate a lie. It is false that anybody from Turan is a Ipusu-akem man. So let me just round off about that, I hope I haven’t confused you. Therefore, sometimes it is one constant and only one constant that must be obeyed. Every family that is Ipusu-akem can vie for the position but somebody must not force him self to be Ipusu. The four Tor Tivs so far how were they chosen? And I was there always, beginning with the first Tor Tiv and I want to tell you the truth, the first person that was selected to become Tor Tiv was not Makir Dzakpe. it was Gondo Aluor and some people have said it is Nongov that selected Gondo Aluor because Gondo Aluor’s mother comes from Nongov, he lived there and some of his brothers even died there. At the time they were making Tor Tiv Gondo Aluor was a Chief Administrator. He was also well known. It was simply because the educated elite of those days believed that they were better prepared to produce a Tor Tiv so he eventually lost out …
… LET ME INTERRUPT A LITTLE; THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT ARE OF THE OPINION THAT UGONDU IS THE FIRST SON OF ICHONGO.
Well, that is their opinion, Ugondu cannot be, they have never argued, nobody in Ugondu have said that, you politicians are just deceiving yourselves. Nobody has ever said at any point that Ugondo is the first born of Ichongo and nobody has argued amongst the Chongo-akems as to who is the first born, Turan is the first born and so it has been for the past six hundred years.
Kwande share a perculiar composition with sankara. They have both Ipusu and Ichongo , can you tell us a little about the Kwande broad divides Sir?
Yes in Kwande, what is called the current Kwande has two divisions; Kwande Barazov. Kwande Barazov have their own clans ranging from the proper people that are called Ukan – Onov mba Abur Benga, then there is Kwande Barakuv, in Kwande Barakuv because of the wars, they are in the traditional area where Tiv people came from and settled and “wan iunda” settled in that place and didn’t move but brother Ikurav didn’t move technically, but what they did when war was going on, they divided, some of them left and followed the fight, some of them held back to fight Akuraior. Kwande Barakuv has its headquarters in Adikpo, There are Chongo-akem also involved in that administration and the Kwande local government of Barakuv rotates Local Government Chairmanship according to the principle of “ya na angbian” and the current chairman of Kwande is the wife of the man who wants to be Tor Tiv on the basis of Ipusu but the chairmanship was given to his wife on the basis of Ichongo-akem – Turan, When it comes to Turan we sit together with our brother Ikurav and we are senior, we take and if it comes to the second time we give it to Ikurav. Tiv people want to do away with their history but as far as I am concerned, the only group of people that can vie for Tor Tiv according to Tiv tradition are Ipusuakem minus one person who is pretending to be Ipusuakem and he is not, no matter how many books they quote because they benefited from what is been meant for Chongo. So what they are doing is not right, those are the people that should be excluded.
Now let me address the issue of whether it is only the Ipusuakem from Sankera who are eligible to contest the Tor Tiv. No it cannot be. I think each of them will make a very good point but that is not the Tiv tradition. Tiv tradition is when a position opens for Tor or leader, they allow the people who are eligible. Thus, the people who are eligible are the Ipusu-akem and the Sankera people should not laugh at Kwande people who are saying of all the four that are appointed, whether it was a Chongo-akem or Ipusu-akem, there has not been repetition of any intermediate area so whether it is by accident, whether it was a mistake, there is only one intermediate area that is left for a Tor Tiv to come from, whether it was a mistake, let’s bring the mistake complete by allowing the people from this intermediate area to produce a Tor Tiv, it’s a valid argument. You just dismiss them by going to court, what are you going to court for? This is practice, the tradition says and the tradition has been practiced, and facts are staring everybody in the face. One came from a place they recognized as Jerchira, Makir Dzakpe. One came from an intermediate area called Sankera, Gondo Aluor – cross Sankera out, this one came from an intermediate area called Jemgbagh, Akperan Orshi – cross Jemgbagh out. Yet another one came from an intermediate area called Ichongo i shin sule or Ichongo I shin tyev, Ichongo I Lobi, they like the name called MINDA (which is Masev, Ihyarev and Nongov Development Association), Alfred Akawe Torkula – cross that one out. So only one place is left and that is Kwande, those who are Ipusu-akem from Kwande are legitimate, they have a legitimate claim to the Tor Tiv stool now. So since Sankera wants to get Tor Tiv now, they should go and negotiate, Tiv people like talking, you will talk to your brother, you will say yes my brother, I know this thing is yours but you see they have been violating our tradition when they go to this place whether it is politics or whatever, look at what happens. Only one sections of way Ipusu-akem are enjoying this position, so allow us this time.
It happens that the Ipusu from Jerchira according to Sankera is from same place as the Ipusu from Jemgbagh but it is a complete different intermediate area and when they came to the third intermediate area, in this case Gondo Aluor, they say he is not Ipusu so we should count him out. How can you say a thing like that? Gondo Aluor was a Tor Tiv, he is from Sankera and above all, all the people called “Uindyol” from Sankera, I think apart from Tongov, Shitile, Ukum, and Ugondu are all the same Uindyol. So what are they talking about? Gondo Aluor is an Uindyol man, if you look at Ugondu’s way of doing things and you look at Ukum’s way of doing things and you look at Shitile’s way of doing things and you look at Turan’s way of doing things, they are all the same, even how they talk. They do not talk fast, and we are supposed to be slow. Tiv people have condemned us the Uindyol people that we are not smart and we don’t fight for our rights, we say “Mo ni yar kwagh gbam sha kwagh la ga, de ior mban kperan kwagh ne yum na ve ve yem” if that is why Abu King Shuluwa wants to fight for his people, they should say so, So maybe he does not know but Udioo does not refer to only Ipusu, Udioo refers to Ichongo as a whole, he is an Uindyol man because he is Ichongo.
HE SAID SO
Yes?
HE IS OF THIS OPINION, THAT THE IPUSU IN KWANDE ARE ELIGIBLE TO CONTEST, QUITE ALRIGHT BUT THERE IS A SNAG, AND THE SNAG THERE IS IF THE IPUSU MAN FROM KWANDE HAPPENS TO WIN AND EVENTUALLY DIES, IT WILL HAVE TO NOW GO TO JERCHIRA WHO HAVE NO ICHONGO TO SUCCEED THE IPUSU TOR TIV IF INTERMEDIATE AREAS ARE USED AS A YARD STICK FOR SELECTION
No, you have a Ipusu man. How will it go to Jerchira? It will not, we would have gone through all the five intermediate areas. Since the Tor Tiv institution is a creation of the law, we can now determine where the circulation can start, we can even abolish it but to abolish it now when you have gone through all the four except one, is iniquitous, it will not be fair to Kwande, King Shuluwa doesn’t know that the people of Kwande can even support him. If he says this thing has happened but we are sorry Kwande people, you can see that is practical. In truth the Tor Tiv has been rotated in all the four intermediate areas of Tivland except one. Kwande people might be more disposed to consider if it is dialogue. It is not about threats and intimidation. There are four Tor Tiv that have died, one came from Jerchira, the other one came from Jemgbagh, the other came from Ukum-Shitile or Sankera, then the one that have just died now comes from MINDA, you young people call it Minda. Then the only place that is left now that a Tor Tiv will come from is Kwande and we Ichongo people in Kwande have eliminated ourselves from it. Anybody who is the son of Nanev and Shangev-ya and all the clans of Kwande Barazov; that is Mbagwaza, Mbagba, Utange and the rest of them, they are all eligible “u kperan Tor”. You have to go and convince those people because they are legitimate, and their claims is much more legitimate than the claim of Sankera because the Sankera people had their own turn and even if it is wrong, this is how the Tor Tiv has been rotating. It is a fact. In my position as a leader, it is demanded of me that I should speak the truth, and the truth is that Sankera has had a Tor Tiv, Jemgbagh has had a Tor Tiv that is two, Jerchira has had a Tor Tiv that is three, Ichongo I shin sule (Minda) has had a Tor Tiv that is four, there is only one intermediate area that has not had a Tor Tiv and that is Kwande therefore it is iniquitous to stop these people from vying. Except if they decided that “angbian ve Sankera doo ve shima je vea na ve injo” it is not by fighting and threatening that they will die, they will not die. Anybody who legitimately ascends the throne of the Tiv people cannot just die, we the Ichongo, we have eliminated ourselves from it. Our son Ikpambese wants to go and disgrace us, we are stopping him and we are saying no, you are a good material for Tor Tiv but wait when it comes to our turn in Ichongo, we will put you forward. Today it is Kwandes turn but it is the time for Mbagwaza, Mbagba, Utange, Ikov, Shangev-ya, Nanev with their brother Usar – that is all, NOT Turan, NOT Ikurav. If that occurs, it will violate the tradition of the Tiv people, and then it will also violate the principle of “ya na angbian”. Just as we have told Ikpambese it is unjust for Sankera to suddenly say Ipusu is divided into Kparev and those people who are called Uindyol-Ukum, Shitile and Tongov. No it is not so. We Chongo-akem people too are called Uindyol, so if you want to think about Uindyol, we are with them and an Uindyol man was made Tor Tiv in the name of Gondo Aluor from Sankera
SO NOW YOU ARE SAYING, IT IS NOT NECESSARY …
…No, it is not so. When you finish the five times, there is a legitimate process , once Kwande finishes their turn just watch what happens to the Tor Tiv stool. Let’s try and see when the Tor Tiv dies or for how long they stay before they die. Ipusu man (Makir Dzakpe) was Tor Tiv and the Tiv people loved him and could have voted for him for a thousand times, but he died in ten years. Then a Ichongo man was made Tor Tiv and what happened? He stayed there for twenty-three years before he died. He doubled the time that an Ipusu man stayed. You don’t want us to discuss tradition, but I want you to get this, an Ipusu man came again called Akperan Orshi, Akperan died at nine years after. So far, no Ipusu has stayed beyond ten years. Akperan died at nine years. Another Ichongo man, Alfred Akawe Torkula Ama Orngor stayed on the throne for twenty four years. All the Ichongo kings stayed for long. They stayed Twenty three and Twenty five and there is a rumour that Gondo Aluor would have stayed even more but he was done away with. Look at a prominent Tor like Makir when he came, “ityo na wua un”. Then Akperan Orshi whatever he did he went to all hospitals, everywhere but died in just nine years. So we are encouraging our young man from Turan who is not in the race but is trying to force himself that he is Ipusu-akem, to be patient. Ipusu people allow their kings to last for only ten years, in ten years time they will kill him and then my son you can come and stay for Twenty five years, don’t rush to break tradition. It will sound as if I am being envious. I am just stating what has happened to all the four utor, two Ichongo, two Ipusus, the Ipusus have stayed only for nine and ten years only, the Ichongo have stayed over twenty years or even twenty five. That is what we call ‘facts in history’. So, it is not right to say Kwande has no claim, they have a legitimate claim that is better than the Sankera people, because a Sankera man and an Udio man from Sankera was made Tor Tiv – that is Gondo Aluor and he was Ichongo Sankera, while Kwande people have no prominent people and therefore, they should not produce a Tor Tiv is iniquitous and unfair.
SIR, LET US LOOK AT IT FROM ANOTHER ANGLE WHERE THE SANKERA PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM. THERE IS THIS DOCUMENT, A PETITION, I HEARD THAT THEY ARE SAYING THAT; SHITILE, UKUM AND TONGOV ARE SONS OF IPUSU AND THEIR SIBLINGS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER CALLED “YANDE NE” ARE KPAR’S OFFSPRING, SO BY SENIORITY, KPAR SHOULD BE CONTESTING WITH THEM AS ONE ENTITY AND NOT HIS OFFSPRINGS SO THEREFORE KWANDE AS ONE OF THE SONS OF KPAR IS EFFECTIVELY KNOCKEDOUT, OR SHOULDN’T EVEN COMPETE OR CONTEST.
That is very bad news. It is immature, and it is not correct. The yande la and yande ne they are talking about is the river Katsina-Ala. River Katsina-Ala run through Jato-Aka. There are Turan people at the other side of river Katsina-Ala, my brothers, the Shitile people are on a different side so are we different? No, you see when people want to get something, they should do the right thing and the Tiv tradition is there for them to see. The tradition is that when you want to be a king, you send your elders to go and beg the man who also wants to be a king with you if you think he is strong. you will give him reasons why he should step down for you and that you will do this for him or for them when you are there. You don’t frighten them with legal matters, what is legal about ‘yande la’ and ‘yande ne”. River Katsina-Ala splits Etulo people who are not Tiv into two, river Katsina-Ala goes between even Nongov people, there are Nongov people on the other side and there are Nongov people on this side are they not the same? So ‘yande la’ and ‘yande ne’ are politicians finding excuses and they are not good excuses. Just do the tradition, the tradition requires that you don’t force people to select you as their king, you dialogue with them, you tell good reasons, you cajole them, you entreat them, you tell them this thing you want, but you see it is so iniquitous, it is so unreasonable, to try to scheme out Kwande when you have a Tor Tiv before. You the Uindyol people from Sankera, your son Gondo Aluor was a Tor Tiv he happens to be Ichongo but is an Uindyol man, what is all this ‘yande la’ and ‘yande ne’ so what about we people and Shitile people, who are ‘yande la’ and ‘yande ne’. So I think the tradition is very clear. There is only one thing that is unalterable, all the rest are open. The thing that is not alterable is that the Tor Tiv must be a Ipusu, then the modern Ipusu people are now advancing an argument that they never advanced before, they are advancing an argument now that we shouldn’t go to all the intermediate areas, we have gone through four and we should stop at the fourth and leave out the last and fifth one, why? I don’t know why and they are manufacturing reasons, they are Uindyol, they are ‘yande la’ they should go back to Ipusu, nobody is forcing that kingship should go to Ipusu, I am pronouncing on behalf of the person they called ‘Aondo u Abaver Jua’ as the representative of Jato-Aka on earth that the Tor Tiv MUST go back to Ipusu nobody whatsoever, anybody who is trying to stop that is not correct and it cannot be right. The next Tor Tiv after Alfred Torkula Ama Orngor must be a Ipusu-akem man, let the Ipusu-akem people decide, let them lead, they shouldn’t make jokes that we are going to court to exclude others, they cannot because if you go to court these people will say it is tactics. We have been given this kingship on the basis of ‘ya na angbian’ but from intermediate areas. There are five intermediate areas and they have gone through all the four when it comes to the turn of the fifth one now, you say no let’s start something new, it can’t be like that. and I am simply saying they should not violate the basic Tiv tradition.
The only person that cannot be Tor Tiv is my cousin, a man from Turan, a very wonderful Justice of the Peace; Hon. Justice Ikpambese Ichor, he is a Turan man but he is late in finding out that he is not Turan, I mean for two hundred years he has been Turan and in my case for five hundred years he did not complain, he was taking what was for Turan and chopping, His wife has been taking what was for Turan, his father took what was for Turan and chopped, and suddenly the time has come for Ipusu to produce a Tor Tiv, he wants to be a Tor Tiv again. Why now? So that is very bad politics, we should not destroy the tradition, I cannot allow and whatever you give to me to make a pronouncement making Ikpambese Ichor the next Tor Tiv, I will not accept. I cannot because it cannot be, it is a Ipusu-akem man but now for me to say Shangev-ya MUST not be a Tor Tiv is a lie, an Ukan man cannot be a Tor Tiv is a lie, somebody from Utange cannot be Tor Tiv is not true, because those Ipusu from Kwande is the only Local Government that the Tor Tiv has not reached, Tor Tiv went to Sankera, Tor Tiv went to Jerchira, Tor Tiv went to Jemgbagh, Tor Tiv went to Ichongo I shin Minda, and now Tor Tiv must come from Kwande.
SIR, ARE ALL IPUSU OUTSIDE SANKARA SONS OF KPAR?
Who told them all the Ipusu-akem on this side are Kpar?
AS I TOLD YOU EARLIER SIR, ACCORDING TO THEIR ARGUMENTS, KPAR IS THE FATHER OF JERCHIRA AND JEMGBAGH, SO IT IS NOT EVEN PROPER FORJJERCHIRA AND JEMGBAGH TO BE SITTING ON THE SAME “TANGE, KWAR KAREN” WITH THEM. THAT THEY SHOULD SIT WITH KPAR WHO IS THEIR BROTHER.
You people in Nigeria are very funny people, I am inviting them let’s prepare this and when they want something they tell all kind of lies that can camouflage their intentions, they cannot eliminate the people from Kwande, no way because they are legitimate contenders of this position because they are Ipusu-akem. but they can eliminate Turan from Kwande and they can eliminate Ikurav from Kwande, but they cannot eliminate Nanev, they cannot eliminate Shangev, the whole of Ukan which is Kwande Barazor, all of them are legitimate because in practice their own area is the only area that has not produced a Tor Tiv whether it was wrong or right, all the four other areas have produced and there should be no argument at all that the next Tor Tiv should come from them. The only people eliminated are the Ichongo people that are not Ipusuakem, Turan and Ikurav, that is all.
Now, once again I offer them a free advice, ‘Tor u yan’ is not by force, it is not with money, it is your cajoling, if you feel so strongly,It is not issue of the courts, it is not the matter of right, it is not their right, it is a matter of you going to negotiate with those people, if you talk to them and they feel like they should allow you, then you will proceed. People always do that, this is what they would have said ‘yes angbianev asev’ you see let’s agree, when we have our own turn and we complete all the five areas, everybody has had a Tor Tiv now, if there was a mistake, let’s sit and change this mistake, and let us write it into a law, that the Tor Tiv now should begin from Sankera, it can be done. For now the Ipusu from Kwande are the most legitimate contenders and should be allowed to have it to balance the principle of fairness, or what the law calls equity.
BUT, IS IT TRUE THAT KPAREV IS ACTUALLY THE ORIGINAL BROTHER OF SHITILE, UKUM AND TONGOV?
I don’t know what you are talking about, I am not addressing that issue, and why is that issue an issue now? It is not, the issue that I am handling, that I have handled is that; the Tor Tiv thing, those people are devaluing it, are politicizing it, they are saying if you are greedy, you can have Tor Tiv in your area two times, and if you are gentle, there shouldn’t be. Did they remember that when the Tor Tiv came to Jemgbagh? Jemgbagh too according to them is the same type of Ipusu-akem with the Jerchira. They are blood brothers. Why didn’t they fight them? Why? They waited until when the thing has come to Kwande now, then they are forcing Kwande people now, all of you in this place you are the brother of Jerchira and Jemgbagh. why is it that anytime something comes to Kwande the Sankera people fight? Something very funny has been happening. Sankera people believe that the Kwande people must be fools, when somebody from Sankera is made a Senator, when they finish then they join the people from Jerchira, they jump Kwande and give it to Jerchira and when the Jerchira man finishes with Senator, he jumps Kwande and sends it back to Sankera and now when the Sankera people finish, they jump Kwande again and send it to Jerchira and now they want to do that thing with Tor Tiv. The people of Kwande will not allow that because this is a traditional thing. you can say in politics you are cleverer than them but what about tradition? If it is tradition they cannot be more clever than them because they have it, the Kwande Barakur are the custodian of Tiv culture, the Swem Karagbe is in their area, the senior son of Tiv is in their area, so on tradition Kwande Barakur cannot be ignored.
SIR, ARE THE UGBE PART OF TURAN?
Yes, they are Turan.
SO, THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL INTERVIEW AND ENLIGHTENMENT TO THE TIV NATION.
Thank you.
And what I have said here, I can tell you that I saw a letter written to my son who is the Acting Tor Tiv now Chief Ivokor Unongu knows this, Abomtse knows this that once they eat something, I can’t eat. I cannot come and manufacture it myself in the night that I am not Ivokor’s relation, that I am not Abomtse’s relation simply because I want to be Tor Tiv and I have become Ipusu-akem, I cannot, that is an abomination, my young man is not in tradition, he cannot know that, and even if there was a mistake made I want to know who was Tor Mbaikyor? If Mbaikyor is Ipusu-akem, I know whatever it is they would have the same thing, Jerchira has a Ter we can hear about Ikyargba Adomakper, we can hear about ‘utor mba Uganden mbaior mba yan ve lu tor sha tar; we can hear about the Mgbanguns, we have heard about the Wannune Kibough, we have heard about the Jato-Akas, who was that equivalent of the so called Ipusuakem, This young man ambitious young man trying to violate the Tiv tradition cannot do it because he is from Ichongo, they are from Turan that I happen to come from and I know them very well and they have benefited from the sharing process of the Tiv people, ‘ya kwagh ya na angbian’ on the basis of Ipusu and Ichongo, the people of Shangev-ya and the people of Nanev have passed something to us the Ichongo, that sharing ‘Kwande Barakur ve ya’ we gave them, they take it, they chopped it, they brought again we gave to them they took it and they chopped it and funny enough, the same family have become greedy. You want to be Tor Tiv, you want your brother to be Tor u Mbaikyor in Turan, Tor u Mbanyiman Zoho la should go to your own brother, Tor Tiv should go to you a Ichongo man because you can now use language and money but I say Ipaven la ka Ichongo-akem,
THERE IS THIS SCENARIO, IF A TOR TIV COMES FROM KWANDE NOW, IT WILL CERTAINLY BE IPUSU,DOES KWANDE STILL HAS ANOTHER LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO CONTEST WHEN IT COMES TO THE TURN OF CHONGO SINCE TURAN AND IKYURAV ARE ICHONGO FROM KWANDE?
Of course, yes, the same thing with the Sankera. Kwande will have a legitimate right to contest, yes just like the Sankera have a legitimate right to contest. That an Uindyol man from there became Tor Tiv and that Uindyol man happens to be Ichongo – Gondo Aluor, does not eliminate the Ipusu-akem people from there (Sankera) to vie for the stool.
IS AKEM REALLY THE ACTUAL FATHER OF ICHONGO AND IPUSU?
Well, Akem is short form of the name Chongo. The full name is Chongoakem, Ipusu-akem ‘wan u Tiv’ but to return to our subject of discussion, Makir Dzakpe was Tor Tiv when he finished, as much as we loved him, his son Tarhemba could not be made the Tor Tiv, people said no. Mkovor Jagera said no, Jato-Aka said no, Wamber said no, Bafun said no, these are our ancestors. So we made Gondo Aluor Tor Tiv and once Gondo Aluor was made Tor, his ascension to the throne stopped everybody from Turan, he stopped everybody from Ihyarev, he stopped Ugondu, he stopped Nongov, he stopped Masev, he stopped Ikurav from presenting themselves because they are all Ichongo-Akem. I want to beg those young people trying to twist facts and history not to convert Turan People who are Ichongo into Ipusu because they are not and they cannot be. Because you people have power, if you do that you have violated Tiv tradition. Abu King Shuluwa is warning them premeditated. If you do that, you may just die. Because the Tiv people originate from God, we are part of the lost tribes of the Israelis and our original God is the “God of Abaver jua”, the God of circumcision, kith and kin of the Jews of the Israelis and the people of Juda, and above all that we must always tell the truth, the truth that no any Chongo-akem man can be a Tor Tiv immediately after Alfred Akawe Torkula because he is our brother, he is our son. so all the greedy young men with their brilliance trying to say the one section of Ichongo should become Ipusu should please stop so as not to introduce untimely death in our traditional way of doing things. so, I stand on the truth and say “only Ipusu-akem can produce the next Tor Tiv because Alfred Akawe Torkula Ama-Orngor was and is a Ichongo, anybody from Ichongo trying to change his lineage to become Ipusu should please desist, even if he is my son like Ikpambese Ichor is my son, I am telling him to desist or else the tradition of our ancestors will catch up with him”.
THANK YOU SIR,
You are welcome. END
EXCLUSIVE! TOR TIV STOOL: WHOSE TURN? KWANDE OR SANKERA? WANTAREGH PAUL UNONGO SPEAKS EXCLUSIVE! TOR TIV STOOL: WHOSE TURN? KWANDE OR SANKERA? WANTAREGH PAUL UNONGO SPEAKS Reviewed by Link Naija on 15:04:00 Rating: 5

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