Thursday, May 20, 2021

 Why Igbo Leaders Must Learn from J.S. Tarka a TIV man

J.S Tarka was one of the founding members of the United Middle Belt Congress, a political organization dedicated to protecting and advocating for the country's Middle Belt, he wanted a free and independent middle belt free from the Fulanis and remember the TIV people stopped the Fulani jihad of 1804 and this is why they still have their cultures and traditions, unlike the Hausa people.UMBC wanted the creation of a Middle Belt Tarka was an advocate of state creation to give politically and economically empower minority groups within the country. He supported the creation of a Middle Belt state before the republic was truncated. 

In April 1961, a year after a crisis in Tiv land, Tarka was detained for three weeks in Jos under the cloud of investigation for treason and inciting unrest during the Tiv disturbances., his arrest was a month away from regional elections.

The Tiv led United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) won all the seats in the Benue Province in that year’s Federal election, which had pitted the Tiv against the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), led by the great, great-grandson of Uthman Dan Fodio, Sir Ahmadu Bello, in the battle for the control of the Middle Belt. The victory of the UMBC at the polls was considered by many northern elites as a betrayal of the north by the Tiv as the UMBC had aligned with Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group (AG)

In 1964 the police were helpless in the face of the violence and the Army and Air Force were called to stop the riots. Indeed, the Mbatiav area in Tivland was bombarded by the Air Force in order to kill Tondo Agende, a notorious rioter. At the end of the day, several Tiv lives (over 3,000) were lost and properties worth millions of pounds destroyed. And importantly the hope of the creation of the Middle Belt State completely vaporized.

J.S. Tarka was appointed as the Federal Commissioner for Communications by the Fulanis and they eventually killed his ambition of creating a middle belt state free from the Fulanis and instead he joined the Fulanis to form a party that was launched in Benue state, his alliance with the Fulanis made a Fulani Shagari become the president of Nigeria and the rest we can say is history.

After the Fulani got power and successfully killing the middle belt agitation for a free middle belt then the Fulanis came back To finish what they could not do during the Fulani jihad of 1804 and J.S Tarka the man that made the deal with the Fulanis is dead. In the year 2001 a Fulani man killed an unarmed farmer who queried and asked why they would allow their cows to eat up his crops the Fulanis drew their sword and removed his head and today many local governments have been taken over by the Fulanis and in fact, they tried to kill the governor of Benue state and again its like revenge for stopping our jihad In 1804.

So I must say to the Igbo governors and other governors we must always learn from history and I think that the Igbos are too smart to allow a Fulani warrant governor dictate to them we must never allow what happened to js Tarka and Benue state to happen to us

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