BY PETER DURU
The newly elected paramount ruler of Tiv tribe in Benue State, Ochiviri James Ayatse, Tor Tiv the 4th, yesterday took his oath of office with a pledge to be apolitical and fair to all.
The royal father, who spoke shortly after receiving his staff of office from Governor Samuel Ortom, promised to be father to all in his domain irrespective of socio-political and cultural affiliations.
The 61 year old paramount ruler said, “I will be Tor Tiv for all irrespective of political or religious affiliations.”
Ochiviri Ayatse noted that he became the paramount ruler of the Tiv race at a very difficult time in the history of the people but assured that the challenges confronting the people would be surmounted.
His Royal Majesty, Begha U Tiv, Orchivirigh, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse
Earlier, Governor Samuel Ortom stated that “as the Chief Custodian of the cultural values of his people, the Tor Tiv is the official voice unto whom the people look for direction and representation at all times. We expect him to shun the murky terrain of partisan politics and we are happy with his pledge to do so.”
In his speech former Vive President Atiku Abubakar urged the royal father to “bear in mind that your coronation as the Tor Tiv makes you
the traditional leader of the entire Tiv kingdom, of everyone including friend and foe.
“Let peace be your most potent weapon. I urge you to immediately set about mending fences and building bridges. Without peace, progress and development become even more difficult if not almost impossible.”
President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, expressed his confidence in the ability of Ochiviri Ayatse to lead the entire Tiv tribe.