Tivs will not re­lease land for graz­ing re­serves – Tor Tiv

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Hope Abah, Makurdi

Para­mount ruler of Tiv people, the Tor Tiv, Dr. Al­fred Akawe Torkula, has said that he will not con­cede any piece of land in his do­main for the pro­posed graz­ing re­serves.

The Tor Tiv, ac­cord­ing to his spokesman, God­win Ber, made his po­si­tion known when the Tiv Pro­fes­sional Group (TPG) paid him a cour­tesy call at the weekend.

He ar­gued that due to the cur­rent grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, it is pre­pos­ter­ous for Tiv people to let go their lands for the pur­pose of graz­ing.

“Within my pow­ers, I will not con­cede one inch of Tiv land for graz­ing re­serves or graz­ing routes. My sub­jects are farm­ers and they need the land to farm. In mod­ern times, and glob­ally, those in­vest­ing in cat­tle ac­quire lands for ranches. They then source for food for their cat­tle. This solves a lot of con­flicts,” he said.

He con­tended that open air graz­ing model of cat­tle rear­ing is ar­chaic and un­sus­tain­able and there­fore should be jet­ti­soned. He fur­ther stated that the pro­vi­sion of graz­ing re­serves would not solve the farm­ers/herder cri­sis in the state.

“Farm­ing is our oc­cu­pa­tion and we don’t even have enough land. Tiv lands in Taraba and Nasarawa States are grad­u­ally be­ing taken over. They still want us to give up the lit­tle land we have left for graz­ing. That is too much to ask; it is un­ac­cept­able,” he said.

The Tor Tiv, who lamented that his an­ces­tral home was sacked and razed down by herds­men, ex­plained how it took the pres­ence of mil­i­tary es­corts for the people to bury their dead.

“The corpses of kiths and kins are de­cay­ing, yet no one can go bury them be­cause my an­ces­tral home has been oc­cu­pied by herds­men,” he added. He called on se­cu­rity agencies to re­claim the oc­cu­pied Tiv ter­ri­to­ries so that the na­tives can go back to their farms just as he called for the re­sus­ci­ta­tion of the mori­bund Mzough U Tiv As­so­ci­a­tion, a plat­form where Tiv sons and daugh­ters share ideas for de­vel­op­ment.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Tiv Pro­fes­sional Group, Dr. Zachariah Gundu, ex­pressed sup­port for the Tor Tiv’s po­si­tion on graz­ing re­serves, adding that they would do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to re­vive the fo­rum that will en­able in­di­genes of the land meet and de­lib­er­ate on is­sues.

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