Tor Tiv places curse on politicians who instigate violence


The Tor Tiv, James Ayatse, on Tuesday placed a curse on politicians who instigate violence in the state before, during or after the general elections.

Ayatse, who is the Chairman, Benue State Traditional Council, placed the curse while speaking at a forum where governorship candidates in the state signed peace agreement ahead of the elections.


The event held in Makurdi, the state capital, was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The monarch charged political leaders to shun acts capable of causing crisis in the state.

He said there was no sacrifice too much to make to ensure peace in the state.

“The traditional institution is committed to peace because we are at the receiving end.

“Whoever wants to cause chaos, the land will be against such a person,” the Tor Tiv stated.

He described the signing of the peace pact as a right step in the right direction, stressing that the state desired peace more than any other state in the country after all it had gone through in the last one year.

He added, “We are here to talk about peace ahead of the forthcoming general elections. If there is any group of persons who should desire peace, it should be Benue people. We have suffered a lot. That is why we are talking peace.

“We, as traditional rulers, live with the people and we know the pains they go through. We feel the pains when we are faced with violence. We are totally committed to peace in Benue and we are prepared to pay the price to ensure peace.

“That is why we have taken the step to be apolitical in our dealings. We have suffered long enough. The ceremony is important but the action that follows is more important. The peace pact should not end on paper but must be translated to real action.”

Ayatse urged the electoral body to ensure that the forthcoming elections are free, fair and credible.

He said it was only by doing so that losers would be happy even in defeat.

The traditional rulers also urged all candidates to ensure that their campaigns are issue-based.

“We must be committed to playing by the rules. The political campaigns must be issue-based. The election umpire must be seen by its actions and inaction that it is neutral. The security agencies must not be seen to take sides. These are all important.

“There must be exceptional commitment to peace. We must avoid thuggery. I am therefore appealing to politicians to avoid thuggery.

“It is important that when elections are held, people will accept the results. When people don’t accept the result, we will have challenges. So, there must be equity, fairness and openness in the conduct of the elections,” he added.

Earlier, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Nentawe Yilwatda, said in past elections, the electoral body lost some of its members of staff to electoral violence, hence the need to invite candidates to sign the peace pact.



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