Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Paramount ruler of the Tiv nation and Chairman, Benue State Traditional Council, Prof. James Ayatse, has enjoined all political parties in the Middle Belt zone of the country to support the candidature of  Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Canada,  Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, as president come 2019.

The Tor Tiv made the call, at the weekend, while playing host to Prof. Hagher and state leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at his Palace, in Gboko.

The traditional ruler, who also endorsed Hagher for the presidential race, said it was the turn of Central Nigeria to produce occupier of the seat of president after many years of sacrifice for National unity and stability.

Said he, “Even though, he (Prof. Hagher) is running on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), all political parties must unite and adopt him for president in 2019.”

He especially lamented that despite the sacrifices of blood made by the MiddleBelt since the 50s to unite the country,  the geopolitical zone had continued to suffer persistent attacks without the protection of government.

“We have been on our own for over 50 years;  the Middle Belt has suffered for the unity of Nigeria,  yet power continues to rotate between the South and the far North; power has not resided with us in the MiddleBelt since the Civil Rule era. So I think it’s about time for a Middle Belt person to lead Nigeria.

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“And Prof. Hagher is very qualified for the job of President.  He has more than all the things that have qualified people for the office.

“All the things others have done,  he too has done them. He has been a Minister, Senator, Ambassador, author and university professor,  so he won’t be learning on the job”, the monarch submitted.

The former Vice Chancellor of two different universities regretted that the Tiv people in particular, and the Middle Belt in general, have died in droves, fighting for the sovereignty of this country, without commensurate reward especially when it comes to sharing of the national cake.

Earlier in a remark, Ambassador Hagher, said he was at the palace to seek the blessings of the Tor Tiv for his race for the presidency in 2019.

The former Pro-Chancellor of Afe Babalola university in Ekiti State who was also accompanied by Barr. Chive Kaave, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Argentina,  said his ambition is borne of his deep love for the country.

Hagher promised that if he is elected as dent, he would make Nigeria one of the most respected countries on earth even as he promised to look into the perennial imbroglio between farmers and pastoralists with a view to ending it.