The Oasis Reporters
February 6, 2021
Right of Reply By Chief Dr. Raymond IHYEMBE.
We must respond to this Professor at North West University, Kano, who wrote the rubbish claiming that Benue belongs to the Fulani by right of conquest, which if not refuted forcefully and quickly, will come to be accepted by Nigerians as factual, coming from a Professor!
Correct Historical Position:
In the first place, the Tiv were never conquered by the Fulanis.
If the contrary were true, you would find Emirs in Tiv land, like they have everywhere the Fulanis conquered, including Ilorin!
Second, Tiv land or, for that matter, Benue, would be predominantly Muslim and would have Sharia Courts.
There are no Sharia Courts in Benue!
Benue has Customary Courts like the South.
Also, the Tiv are almost 100% Christians, which would be impossible in a Fulani/Jihadist conquered and administered territory!
Finally, Hausa Language would have become the lingua franca in Tiv Land and Benue, but, it is not.
Any Benue person who speaks Hausa has to learn it like an Ibo or Yoruba or Efik or Edo person!
So, the claim by this Professor Umar, is patently false as the tell tale fingerprints of Fulani conquest do NOT exist in Tiv land or Benue State!
The actual historical facts are as follows:
The Tiv were the last large ethnic group to be brought under British Rule in the early 1900s.
At the time the British finally subdued the Tiv, they were practicing extreme republicanism with no Central Chief through whom the Colonial Govt could administer the Tiv Territory through the Indirect Rule System of Govt.
The Southern Tiv ( Vandeikya and Konshisha, Kwande, parts of Ushongo Local Govts) were administered from Obudu and Ogoja .
The Northern Tiv… Ukum, Shitile, Ugondo, Tongov, Ikurav Tiev,Tombo, Mbagen, Kusuv, and probably Ipav, were handed over to the Emir of Muri and were administered from Jalingo through the Indirect Rule System of Government.
They were never conquered but put there by the British Colonial Govt to facilitate their administration through the Indirect Rule System.
The other parts of Tiv land… Iharev, Masev and Nongov were similarly placed under the Emir of Nasarawa for Administrative purposes.
The Tiv resented these arrangements greatly and did not pay any attention to the two Emirs ( Muri and Nasarawa).
As a matter of fact, when the Tiv vehemently complained about being placed under the Emir of Muri, for the simple reason that they did not have a Central Chief through whom they could be administered, the Colonial Govt transferred part of the Northern Tiv from the Emir of Muri to the AKU UKA of Wukari, which they also resented and treated with scorn!
The Tiv Division was subsequently created and all the Tiv Areas were brought together with the Capital at Gboko.
This was in the early 1920s.
The Southern Tiv who were administered from Ogoja Province were also brought back and the whole area transferred to the Northern Administration based in Kaduna to be administered from there.
It can be seen that the Tiv were never conquered by the Fulanis/Jihadists and the last battle fought with the Jihadists at Ushongo Hills which the Tiv roundly won, is referred to as the War of DAMKOR !
We can only conclude that this so-called Professor UMAR knows nothing about the history of Nigeria and we can only be sorry for the students being taught by him.
He should refer to the History of Nigeria by the late Professor Ade Ajayi of UI and another by Professor Elizabeth Isichei of UNN to educate himself.