From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

The Paramount Ruler of the Tiv nation Orcivirigh Professor James Ayatse, has stated that it has become imperative to prioritize the empowerment of women by fully involving them in all endeavors to enable them maximize their role in home and nation building.

The Tor Tiv stated this during the grand finale of the 3-day Tiv Women Submit convened by his wife, HRM Professor Hembadoon Ayatse at the J. S. Tarkaa Stadium Gboko, in Gboko LGA area of Benue state.

Orcivirigh Ayatse said as part of the efforts to reduce the pains and hardship mounted on their shoulders, Tiv Area Traditional Council, (TATC), has expunged certain cultural practices that negatively affected the women in Tiv land generally.

He said such negative practices include the arbitrary confiscation of property left behind by the husbands for their widows and children as well as the exorbitant bride price and burial ceremonies.

He stated that all the property left behind by the deceased are strictly the inheritance of their widows and children and not that of their relatives as was the practice before.

Orcivirigh Ayatse disclosed that Tiv Area Traditional Council in a bid to encourage young men and women to marry have reduced the cost of bride price to N100,000.

The Tor Tiv stressed that burial levies forced on women and their husbands have been also repealed to be shouldered by the men in their respective places.

He assured the Tiv women of the full support of Tiv Area Traditional Council, and vowed to partner with them in moulding the characters of Tiv youths to produce great future leaders in the land.

Earlier, the convener of the Tiv Women Submit and wife of the Tor Tiv, HRM Prof Felicia Hembadoon Ayatse expressed gratitude to the Tiv women for honouring her call to rise up in order to rebuild the broken walls of Tiv nation, saying it is the responsibility of the women to reshape the attitude of the children.

Mrs Ayatse who encouraged the women to heed to the wise counsels of various paper presentations and speeches for the improvement of their condition economically and socially, charged them to give proper training to their girl child.

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The Ngô u Tiv, (mother of Tiv nation) recalled home those that have engaged themselves in all forms of immoral behaviours that give a bad name to the entre Tiv land.

She commended the Governor of Benue State, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen George Akume for their enormous contributions that made the event a success.

Also speaking, wife of the SGF and Member representing Gboko/Tarka federal constituency, Mrs. Regina Akume called for unity among women stakeholders of the Tiv nation for effective service delivery in the society.

The former first lady of the State enjoined the women to always show mutual understanding and respect for one another urging all aggrieved mothers in Tiv land to resolve their differences and work for the progress of the Tiv nation and the success of their husbands and children.

She said “Our mother, her Royal Majesty Prof Mrs Felicia Hembadoon Ayatse has laid good precedence for everyone of us to emulate, let’s consolidate her good work.”

She called for unity especially among three former Governors and urged for closer relationship between their wives saying it will engender peace, progress and development in Tiv nation.

Mrs Akume further appreciated the Tiv women for awarding her for supporting her and her husband during and after their time in the office as the number one citizens of the State.

In her remarks, the immediate past First Lady of the state, Dr. Eunice Ortom, advocated for a strong traditional institution that will consider the inclusion of women in Tiv traditional council.

Mrs Ortom, who was also honoured with an award for her contribution to promotion of the Tiv woman and development, said women inclusion in the traditional institution will make it stronger and bring about more development in Tiv land.

Highlights of the event was the presentation of the Awards of Excellence to distinguished Tiv women leaders such as the former first ladies of Benue State, Mrs Regina Akume, Arc Dooshima Suswam, Dr Eunice Ortom, former DG of National Food and Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NAFDAC) Mrs Farida Waziri among other.

The event also witnessed the cooking, dressing, Tiv language competitions with winners adequately compensated.