The Tiv Development Association (TIDA), an umbrella body of the Tiv people of Nasarawa State, has dissociated itself from unwarranted attacked on Senior Special Assistant ( SSA) to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Public Affairs, Hon Peter Ahemba by his selfish kinsmen.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Solomon Chunku, TIDA President and and Mr Emmanuel Tseem, TIDA Secretary General and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia.
The statement said that the sponsored media attacks on the SSA as scripted by enemies of the Tiv Community is ungodly.
“This is because, Hon. Peter Ahemba’s recent fearless and well articulated views on an African Independent Television (AIT) live programme where he discussed matters arising from the recent verdict of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in the state.
“He was performing his duties as the Governor’s spoke person and NOT as representative of the Tiv Community as portrayed in the ill-motivated publications,” he said.
The statement said that TIDA read with serious concern, a malicious publication designed to blackmail and bring Hon. Peter Ahemba, immediate past President of the association and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Affairs to Governor Abdullahi A. Sule and the Government of Nasarawa state to disrepute by some uninformed members of the Tiv Community in the state.
“Ordinarily, this show of envy and petty jealousy against an innocent and promising young man coming from a former President of TIDA, Boniface Ifer and his script writer, both of whom are men of questionable characters with known criminal tendencies within the Tiv Community deserves no response.
” However, it has become necessary to caution against dragging the name of the Tiv Community in the mud for selfish gains, as well as put records straight for the sake of the reading public.
“First of all, Hon Peter Ahemba, upon his appointment as Senior Special Assistant by His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, resigned his position as TIDA President and handed over the affairs of the association to the Tiv Council of Elders, led by the Ter Tiv of the state, His Royal Highness, Chief Clement Ibo (JP),
“Ibo subsequently convened a Congress meeting where the nomination of Solomon Chunku by Mbabai clan to complete his tenure was unanimously approved, in line with the provisions of TIDA constitution (2019 as amended).
“The Constitution states that, “where a serving TIDA official is appointed into a political office, he/she should resign his position in TIDA to face the new office,” he said.
The statement said that Boniface Ifer, whose tenure as TIDA President was characterized by abysmal performance, leading to his impeachment was replacement with Mr. Emmanuel Agba Igba.
” Hon. Peter Ahemba demonstrated selflessness in leadership with integrity and has so far remain one of the best TIDA Presidents in the history of the Tiv nation in terms of service to the Tiv Community and humanity in general,” the statement said
The statement further said that Mr. Boniface Ifer and his co-travellers have forgotten so soon the crises affecting the Tiv people of Nasarawa state predates the administration of Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule.
“For instance, the Tiv Community came under heavy attacks and displacement during the preceeding administrations; a situation the current government of Engr. Sule inherited and has been working hard to put a permanent stop to it,” the statement said.
The TIDA President and Secretary General said that Tiv community would remained grateful to Gov. Abdullahi Sule for the protection of lives and property of their people and others.
” As a Community, we remain grateful to His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule for his government’s commitment at the security of lives and property of the citizenry, especially the restoration of relative peace in our villages
“And pray that God will give him the wisdom and that it takes to be able to restore total and permanent peace in our villages and the state as a whole,” the statement said
They assured Gov. Sule of their loyalty and support to his policies and programmes to succeed.
” We wish to, again, place on record, our unalloyed loyalty and support to the policies and programmes of the Engr. Sule’s administration for the good of all and sundry,” they said.
The Tiv officials condemned the wicked acts of blackmail and mischief calculated to pull down a vibrant and fearless young man in the person of Ahemba, who has become a shinning example for the young generation.
” Let it be known that the Tiv people did not demand any apology from Hon. Peter Ahemba as portrayed in the publications by Boniface Ifer because, the Governor’s aide and a worthy son of the Tiv Community has not done anything wrong.
“Rather, we demand an unreserved apology from Mr. Boniface Ifer and his script writer(s) for trading with the Tiv Community for selfish reasons.
“The Tiv nation is not a political party and cannot be seen to be responding to issues of one political party versus the other,” the statement said.
The statement further drew the attention of the general public to the fact that, the Tiv Development Association is the only recognized umbrella body that speaks for the Tiv nation in Nassrawa state
“And anyone or group of persons speaking in such capacity other than its leadership amounts to impersonation and a crime punishable under the laws of the land.
” We call on the general public to disregard the malicious publication which we consider an act of impersonation perpetrated by Boniface Ifer and his collaborators.
“We also dissociate the Nasarawa State Tiv Community completely from the cheap blackmail and mischievous act of pull-him-down, which has regrettably remained a practice by some self-centered individuals within the Tiv Community.
“We stand firmly by Hon. Peter Ahemba, who has so far demonstrated capacity in his assigned responsibility as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Affairs and hereby pass a vote of confidence on him for his effective representation of our people in the government of Engr. Sule. He is indeed, making the Tiv nation proud,” the statement further said.