Benue Assembly Considers Indigenous Languages Bill

Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Aondona Dajoh, has said the legislature will strengthen the bill on the teaching of indigenous languages in the state.

He spoke at the first Tiv Song Day celebration, at Mdzough U Tiv Secretariat, Gboko, yesterday.

The Speaker stressed that although the 7th Assembly had passed a bill for the teaching of some indigenous languages in the state, there was the need to revisit and strengthen it.

Dajoh appealed to the leadership of Mdzough U Tiv and Association of Tiv Traditional Singers to join forces and revive the positive aspects of Tiv culture, which would give the people the capacity to confront and overcome current challenges.

After watching what he described as the “superlative performance” of Mami Wata dance by a Benue artiste, identified as Miss Blessing, at the event, the Speaker, who expressed surprise that she was still a casual staff member, promised to ensure her permanent employment with the Benue Art Council.

The Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, who was represented by the Mue Ter Gboko, Chief Ikpa Ahua, commended the organisers and urged them to sustain the effort.

Head, Department of English, Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi, Prof. Moses Tsenongu, delivered an orientation paper for members of the Association of Tiv Traditional Singers, who organised the event.

President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Iorbee Ihiagh, a retired Commissioner of Police (CP); retired permanent secretary, Prof. James Tsaaior; and former National President of University of Ibadan (UI) Alumni Association, Hyacinth Kyaagba delivered goodwill messages.

Chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, explained that the yearly celebration was an acknowledgement of the important role Tiv artistes played in propagating the culture, tradition and history of the people, and that September 19 was chosen because it was the day the first Tor Tiv, Orchivirigh Makir Zakpe, was installed in 1946.