From Austine Tule, Makurdi
The President, Nyifon Youth
Organisation, Mr James Shember, has appealed to the Benue State Government to restore the Nyifon Council Ward ittn order to give his people who are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Benue a sense of belonging.
The appeal was contained in a statement signed by Shember and issued to the newsmen on Monday in Makurdi.
According to him, the council ward was given to Nyifon which is one of the minority tribes in Benue by the first civilian governor of Benue, Late Mr Aper Aku.
“It was on Oct. 3, 1983 that Aku gave us the council ward but it did not see the light of the day because Aku’s administration was cut short when the military took over in December 1983.
“Relatedly, the third civilian governor of the state, Mr George Akume restored our council ward in 2006 but it was not implemented since then.
“The absence of our independent council ward is causing a lot of drawbacks to us.
“We are marginalised and neglected because we are the smallest ethnic group in Buruku Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
“We are merged with Mb aikyongo who are Tiv people to form a council ward known as Mbaikyongo/Nyifon ward,” he said.
He lamented that since the creation of the state in 1976 the Nyifon people had not had their fair share in appointments be they political or in civil service, recruitment among others.
“We have never been featured in any key political appointment both at the State or Local Government level.
“It was during the reign of the current governor of the state, Gov. Samuel Ortom that a councillorship slot was given to us in 2016.
“Our amiable governor instructed and insisted that no community should be short changed and it was strictly adhered to. This was the only time that we enjoyed a political office.
“We need political appointments both at the state and local government levels so as to give us a sense of belonging,” he said.