Tiv leaders in Nasarawa fight over leadership position

The President of the Tiv Development Association, TIDA, in Nasarawa State, Barnabas Zayol, has accused Simeon Apusu, his opponent in a recently held election of falsely claiming to be the duly elected President of the association.

Zayol’s allegations were made in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kelvin Atime, and made available to journalists in Lafia on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Apusu had shown interest in the TIDA presidency but never formally presented himself to the TIDA congress before or after the election.

The statement reads in part, “It is a notorious fact that Apusu indicated an interest in contesting for TIDA presidency, but he never presented himself before any congress of TIDA until the election of TIDA president and other TIDA executives was conducted, and leadership validly emerged.

“Even by a figment of imagination, Apusu would not have embarked on a self-deceptive mission, at least for moral conscience, because a house cannot stand without foundation.

“As it is, Apusu is operating a faceless and one-man TIDA without a valid structure and I wonder how someone who never presented himself for an election, talk more of oath-taking, will lose both morality and legality to be a self-acclaimed leader of a noble organization which is guided by the constitution.”

Atime also announced Zayol’s intention to embark on a sensitization campaign to enlighten Tiv people across the state and the general public about Apusu’s recent activities, aiming to prevent misinformation.

He called on all Tiv people in the state to continue living in peace and harmony with other residents, urging Apusu to accept the election outcome in good faith for the benefit of the Tiv community and Nasarawa State at large.

In response, Apusu maintained that he is the duly elected President of TIDA, asserting that he was fully endorsed by the Tor Tiv of Nasarawa State, Chief Clement Ibo, his council of elders, and other relevant stakeholders.

Apusu explained that elections for the TIDA presidency are typically not conducted; instead, the position is zoned by elders and stakeholders.

“The election day was May 31, 2024, and I emerged as the winner because the position was zoned to my clan.

“Normally, in TIDA, there is nothing like an election. What happens every time is that the Tor Tiv and his council of elders will sit and do zoning, and then whoever it favours is selected and ratified as the TIDA president.

“So during this time, the stakeholders sat in a congregation of Tiv people and decided to endorse me for the position.

“I was actually the only person contesting the position with Barr. Barnabas Zayol, but I happened to be favoured by the Tiv elders and stakeholders in the state.”

Tiv leaders in Nasarawa fight over leadership position

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