Your Royal Highness, your people (Idomas) are not happy with their Tiv brothers and sisters. According to them, Tiv people in the state (Benue) have marginalized them but they don’t realize that the same Tiv people are also victims of marginalization. The Tiv’s sons and daughters, who are in the positions of authority, power and leadership, have marginalized their fellow Tiv brothers and sisters. The same thing is replicated upon the Idomas by their people in positions of authority, power and leadership. Marginalization is to make certain people feel as if they are not important and cannot influence decisions or events. Or to put them in a position where they cannot have power or authority to function (P: 907, Eight Edition of Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary). I see marginalization as an act of taking over other people’s positions and their belongings by the few influential people in the society to further enrich and develop themselves and their environment but making the larger members of the society feel inferior, making them suffer from poverty, unemployment and to lack every good thing of life, treating them like their slaves and making their dreams of becoming great remain unrealistic or impossible. That’s exactly what our leaders in Benue State and the nation at large are doing to us.
I would like to state that Tiv People did not marginalize the state or Idomas as been claimed. The simple reality is that our leaders in Benue State, comprising of Tiv and Idoma politicians have marginalized the rest of us (Masses). What happened in South Africa during the apartheid policy is a good example of marginalization. The whites took over the country (South Africa) turned South Africans that were the original inhabitants to slaves. The whites took over good and better jobs in the country and pushed South Africans to work as gardeners, cleaners, guards, messengers and so on. They were not attending the same schools with the blacks, they did not eat on the same table with the blacks, their areas were developed but those of the blacks were underdeveloped, they don’t operate from the same bank with the blacks, they don’t drive in the same vehicle and so on. There were a lot of segregations and disparities.
Back home here in Nigeria and Benue to be specific, where my Idoma’s brothers and sisters are complaining that Tiv people have marginalized them, are the Tiv people not suffering from poverty? The whites that marginalized the blacks in South Africa, were they poor or suffering from poverty? Is there development in any Tiv speaking area of the state? When the whites marginalized the blacks in South Africa, was there no development in places occupied by the whites? If you take the statistics of the unemployed people in the state, the Tiv people would have the highest figure, yet, they have marginalized the state and its ethnic groups. What kind of marginalization is that? Some Idoma people that cry of marginalization are even living better than some Tiv people in the state whom they claim are marginalizing them.
The point here is that, the Tiv people, the Idoma people and other ethnic groups in the state have people representing them in various offices, both political and nonpolitical, but these representatives are not after the interest of their people but their selfish interest and that is why we are still lagging far behind in development. We don’t have good roads, no health-care facilities and other social amenities that we all deserved.
His Royal Highness, the Ochi Idoma, the Idoma’s leaders have marginalized their fellow Idomas and the Tiv’s leaders have also marginalized their fellow Tivs. Please your Highness, let your people know that we are all suffering of marginalization from our leaders and there is need for collaboration to fight our corrupt and selfish leaders, who supposed to represent our interest but they are rather after their personal gains. Both Tiv and Idoma people are victims of marginalization and we need help. Our leaders have failed us and we have to do something now for our good and for the good of those coming after us. To God be the glory.