Tiv Group known as the Development Association (TIDA), has described a publication designed to blackmail and bring Hon. Peter Ahemba, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Public Affairs to humiliation by some uninformed members of the Tiv Community in the state as malicious and unfounded.
BrandNewsDay understands that Hon. Ahemba has recently come under criticism by a former president of TIDA, Boniface Ifer for defending Governor Sule’s policy and programs in the state.
However, reacting to the criticism in a statement signed by its President, Solomon Chunku and Secretary, Emmanuel Tseem and made available to BrandNewsDay Wednesday in Lafia.
The group said: “The sponsored media attacks on the SSA as scripted by enemies of the Tiv Community is ungodly 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 was in the performance of his duties as the governors spoke person and not as a representative of the Tiv Community as portrayed in the ill-motivated publications.”
The group further said “it is a show of envy and petty jealousy against an innocent and promising young man coming from a former President of TIDA, Boniface Ifer and his scriptwriter, 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.
The group explained that 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), who subsequently convened a congress meeting where the nomination of Solomon Chunku of Mbabai clan to complete his tenure was unanimously approved, in line with the provisions of TIDA constitution (2019 as amended) which 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.”
They added that Unlike Boniface Ifer, whose tenure as TIDA President was characterized by abysmal performance, leading to his impeachment and replacement with Mr Emmanuel Agba Igba, Hon. Peter Ahemba demonstrated selflessness in leadership with integrity and has so far remained 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.
TIDA explained further that In case Boniface Ifer and his co-travellers have forgotten so soon, the crises affecting the Tiv people of Nasarawa state predate the administration of Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, added that the Tiv Community came under heavy attacks and displacement during the preceding administrations, a situation the current government of Engr. Sule inherited and has been working hard to put a permanent stop to it.
“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 it takes to be able to restore total and permanent peace in our villages and the state as a whole.
“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, while also condemning the wicked acts of blackmail and mischief calculated to pull down a vibrant and fearless young man in the person of Hon. Peter Ahemba, who has become a shining example for the young generation.
“Let it be known that the Tiv people did not demand any apology from Hon. Peter Ahemba was 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 scriptwriter (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.
“We wish to draw 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 of 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,” the group said.
The group however called on the general public to disregard the malicious publication which they consider as an act of impersonation perpetrated by Boniface Ifer and his collaborators.
They also dissociate the Nasarawa State Tiv Community completely from the blackmail and mischievous act of pull-him-down, which has regrettably remained a practice by some self-centred 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 passed 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.”