The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, has described as bizarrely outrageous online reports suggesting that the governor ordered an ethnic cleansing of the Tiv people if they resisted the alleged renaming of their communities.
Online news outlet was recently awash with narratives of how the Governor directed an attack of Tiv indigenes from their homes if they reject the purportedly renaming of their communities.
In a swift reaction, Bello said such an order was never given and that his principal was beyond such activities. Bello said, “a good Christian and a humanist to the core apart, Governor Darius Ishaku is the last human being to engage in such bloodthirsty conversations. He is too refined and above such thuggish comments.
I can authoritatively submit that he couldn’t have ordered people to go and unleash violence on harmless people. Beyond this, there has been no governor who has worked for peace in Tivs enclave more than Governor Ishaku. On a lighter side, they are even his in-laws as his wife is Tiv.”
On the issue of peace in Tiv land, Bello said, “Governor Ishaku from the start went into action to ensure peace and security in those parts. Prior to his coming, the state, especially in the southern zone, was enveloped in the flames of clashes.
Tivs, in particular, were at the receiving end of the activities of Fulani herdsmen and other militia. A particular regime appeared even to be encouraging the crisis back then. Even in his days as a minister, Ishaku spend many nights and days silently dealing with those crises. He was getting constant calls from all the groups involved. He initiated and contributed to many peace efforts. He shared relief materials, even as he took care of the informed on all sides.
Currently, he spends hours meeting with stakeholders to find a way round some of the issues. His efforts led to peace to the point many displaced Tivs and other groups returned home. He is leveraging on even his friendship with dignitaries in neighboring states to foster peace.
In particular, his warm relationship with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, for instance, is one of the facts he is exploiting to find solutions. Some of the problems have historical roots. So while the governor is doing the hard job of finding sound solutions, some people in opposition are trying to deepen the artificial divides. They won’t win in their nefarious bid because no one has forgotten the recent past.”