From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A non political organization, the Tiv Youth Council, TYC has urged political leaders in Benue State to desist from m insulting elder statesmen in the state, warning that such acts of disloyalty will no longer be tolerated.
The President, TYC, Comrade Mike Msuaan gave the warning during a media briefing in Makurdi, at the weekend, when he referred to Governor Samuel Ortom’s statement on elder statesman Paul Iorpuu Unongo whom he described as “a liability who does not deserve any good treatment”.
The Governor made the comment during a courtesy visit on him by youths from
Turan district, Kwande local government area.
Msuaan said members of his association take exception to such act and viewed it as ‘Character Assassination’ being meted out on the Tiv leader (Unongo) who doubles as the grand patron of TYC.
According to TYC President, “The action of our Governor at this point is, indeed, condemnable and totally against our ways of life, which guarantees respect for the elderly. We demand an immediate apology by the Governor to our leader Paul Unongo.
“This is even more worrisome that such insults were meted in the presence of his grandsons and grand daughters from the same community during their courtesy visit on the governor. It is sad for a Governor to describe our Leader, Paul Onongo as a liability.
“After all, rendering of assistance to major Stakeholders in every State is a normal tradition. It is not a sin to accept any form of gratification from State Governments; after all such monies belong to the State at large, not a personal account of anybody.
“But, it makes mockery of one to hear that he is a burden and such benefits will seize to follow, simply because he did not share his vision of re-election.
“This act is not acceptable as it is not only seen as betrayal and disrespectful to elders but very dangerous to the Peaceful coexistence of our dear State, as it is capable of igniting a bad blood among the people,” they added.
The TYC President maintained that Wantaregh Paul Unongo is not only a leader, a role model in Benue State and Nigeria, but the whole world.
“This Leader has sacrificed enough to the project ‘Benue.’ It is, therefore, ordinarily Godly that such personality be accorded great respect and worship. He is our pride and as such, we adore him. We shall always protect, defend and appreciate him for being there for us; he nurtured, taught and counseled most of the political leaders, we have today in Benue State,” they stated.
“ We, the Tiv people, are peace loving people; and we should always live to protect such tenets. (But) In as much as we do not want the polity to be overheated, we shall be watching keenly as political events unfolds, “ Msuaan added.
He further asserted that noticing Chief Unongo’s presence in Aso Rocks during the recent visit of APC delegation to President Buhari does not call for calling of names on the elder statesman of such sort.
“We are, therefore, advising that political campaigns in the state should be issue based and not insults to cause distractions or bad blood among the people,” the group advised.