Taraba community disagrees over change of village name

Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba

Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba

The President of the Tiv Cultural Association, Goodman Dahida, yesterday dismissed as political, a petition by a group against the change of name of a village in Taraba State,

The groups had, in a petition protested against the change of name from Dan-Anacha in Gassol Local Council to Kwararafa, in a community largely populated by the Tiv tribe.

Dahida, who addressed the press in Jalingo, blamed the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for the petition against the state government, which he said was capable of raising tension.

He said although the change of name did not go down well with the community, they had resolved to engage the governor in a dialogue rather than being confrontational.

According to him, the action by “such an unknown group would cause disaffection” in the state.The association’s president said: “We have reliably gathered that some top members of the APC in the state have leveraged on the purported change of name to cause disaffection.”

Some traditional rulers from the Tiv villages, as well as critical stakeholders in the state joined Dahida at the conference to state their position in the disagreement.

According to him: “We have gathered that their sponsors have perfected plans to hire lawyers to sue the governor and the state government over the said change of name.”

He explained that the two Tiv traditional rulers in the affected council are not part of those challenging the change.Dahida said: “The petition was purely the handiwork of some desperate politicians who want to drag the community into the politics of hatred, blackmail and mischief ahead of the 2019 elections.

“The group’s personal interest, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections had worked strongly against power shift to southern Taraba. It should not be misconstrued to mean that the entire Tiv communities in the state are behind their action.”

Dahida said their immediate concern is the “security and welfare of our people in the villages and would appreciate if our displaced brothers and sisters are rehabilitated and properly reintegrated in their communities, since at the moment their living conditions are very pitiable.”

The APC’s state chairman, Hassan Ardo Jika, has however, described the allegation against the party as false.He said the state government was seeking excuses that would prevent it from organising local council election in the state.

According to him, the state government sponsored the press conference to unite the people, irrespective of religious and ethnic differences.

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Goodman Dahida
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