By Avese George
By the end of the Second World War, and about 1948, the Tiv personnel among the last batch of Nigerians that took part in that war returned home to meet a Lobi (Makudi) about to be taken over by a Hausa group of merchants who had moved in majorly from Lokoja. It was easier to get to Makudi by water way than it was by road then, and Lokoja was the main route. The agenda was to establish an emirate; as was the case in Kafanchan, Keffi and Lafia in that order.

While the Second World War was ragging in Europe, one Mallam Audu Sule mai ido daya (he was blind in one eye) was the anchor of this project. Little money was expended. In fact, it was not required as majority of the Tiv leaders around cherished the gifts of thick blankets, knives, machetes, den guns and the accompaniments than the future of their town about to be taken over by a crafty group of foreigners with expansionist ideology in the guise of friendship and good neighborliness.

That episode is being replicated now, the twin brother of the Hausas, Fulanis, in another carefully and deliberately planned attack on our land, are making incursion into our political leaders’ bank accounts to soften their resistance. Now they claim constitutional provisions allowing them rights to live anywhere in the country. By this claim, they kill members of resisting communities, destroying their means of livelihood with ignominy. In the initial efforts, the return of the war heroes saved the situation which could have resulted into a regrettable occurrence, a planting of paramount leadership, which could have been a devastating mistake.

Suffice to note that the autonomous ruler ship style, a tradition of the Tivs, negated a cluster system and centralize traditional ruling pattern operated from some centre. This is the tradition of the Hausas of Islamic origin. The later was to be hoisted on our people in the subtlety of ceasing the traditional ruler ship by paying to them (leaders) then, only a morsel of bread for an everlasting servitude and with it, an institution of aristocratic feudalistic system known to the Islamic world. Citizen Makondo Igbom, is among notable sons of Tiv who resisted that devilish arrangement. He almost served his entire life time in prison for his non conformist stance.

For the near success of that ignoble plan, three times, an emir was to be crowned for Makudi which till date, the Hausas refer to as Makurdi na (or) gerin Audu ( Makurdi founded by Audu), without success. Listen to BBC (Hausa), Dotchevelle (Hausa), Radio France International (Hausa) and recently China radio Hausa services.

Every nominee for the throne died mysteriously just before the coronation day between 1942 and 1947 before the World War and after it ended. Findings reveals that, the first Imam of the mosque on Kaduna street, one Mallam Buba, in refusing to become the next nominee for the throne of the emir of Makudi fearing death, told the Hausa elders who came to compel him to accept the nomination that, abun da ba naka ba, da wuyan samu, meaning, what is not yours, is difficult to take or get. Implying that, the people here also has a tradition that was resisting their foray.

Truth spoke for the Tivs in mysterious way and put the fears of our ancestors and God in our detractors.

The issue of an emir for Makudi is known to be a burning one in the expansion configuration of the combined tribes of Hausa/Fulani. Their dream of a northern hegemony securely under their grip is not complete without a major form of control over the Tivs and the Benue valley.

In recent times therefore, their seeming study of the past efforts, the recognition of economic frailty of our political class and their propention to break free from lack not minding the means by which such is achieved, the docility of a population consistently ignoring communality and what build and sustains it, and only conscious self, has embolden the enemy's attacks on our collective identity reminiscent of a cascading coals of fire on us. Everyone fighting to set himself free and independent of each. Effectively dividing us for a rule, their trade mark.

Will the current crops of leaders defend what was passed to them or allow a relentless enemy has his way? That the true story of our land is been circumvented to pave way for an unfriendly friend with a menacing eye over us to cash in frightens many of us. The complexity of some personalities mentioned anytime the issue comes up, is indeed unbelievable.

But historically, land ownership in the medieval times was by conquest. According to late erudite historian, coincidentally of the Hausa/Fulani extraction, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, a guest speaker at the reception in honour of the former senate president, Dr. Iorchia Ayu at the IBB square in 1992 organized by the government and people of Benue state said, the senate presidency of Dr. Ayu was a reassertion of political power of the Tivs who dominated the Benue valley in military might between the 13th through the 18th centuries, a period of over 400 years. The question is, were these people anywhere close?
To be continued.

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