My fellow compatriots
it is time to transform TYO
Distinguished guests, gentlemen of the press, ladies and gentlemen.
It gladdens my heart to stand before you today to address you as the President of TYO Abuja Chapter, on this occasion of our End of Year Lecture and Award Night, barely four months after taking over from my predecessor, Mr. Tavershima Kennedy Iorver.
Before I proceed, I most sincerely thank our amiable monarch, the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Prof. James Ortese Ayatse and our dear mother, Her Royal Majesty Prof. Mrs. Felicia Ayatse for their royal blessings.
Let me also extend my warm regards to the President-General of the Tiv socio-cultural organization, Mdzough U Tiv (MUT), CP Iorbee Ihagh, (rtd), and my amiable President-General of TYO worldwide, Comrade Andy Aondongu Anzah for their fatherly support and encouragement to us in Abuja.
Permit me to sincerely thank the Chairman of the FCT Council of Traditional Rulers, the Ona of Abaji, His Royal Majesty Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa and the Secretary and Acting President of Mdzough U Tiv, Abuja Chapter, Chief Moses Akaaza as well as the Tiv Traditional Council in Abuja, under the Acting Chairmanship of Ter Kuje, His Royal Highness Azenda Begha, Jp and Orhemen U Tiv Hen Abuja, Zaki Joseph Aneh.
I want to commend the Planning Committee, led by our very great and hardworking young man, Mr. Chris Agabi, my Executive Council, the Board of Trustees, my Special Advisers and the general Congress for their continued support which has brought us this far.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is time for all of us to come together and transform TYO, which is the apex Tiv Youth socio-cultural organization, incorporated since 1988 with the mandate to coordinate the activities, way of life and the general well-being of the Tiv Youths across the world with its headquarters in Gboko, Benue state.
It is in pursuant of this mandate that God almighty has made it possible for us to gather here today to celebrate our deserving brothers and sisters and also listen to this wonderful lecture with the theme; “INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT: IMPACT ON FOOD SECURITY, NATIONAL SECURITY AND UNITY” by two renowned professors of the university of Abuja, namely PROFESSOR UKERTOR GABRIEL MOTI, and PROFESSOR. SHIMAWUA ATIMGA, despite daunting challenges that almost thwarted the event.
Like they say, greatness doesn’t drop from heaven like manna in the days of Moses, we all must work assiduously and collectively, putting the interest of TYO first above our personal interests to truly transform this promising Organization into a global brand that all of us will be proud of.
It is in view of the above that my administration, in its first three months, embarked on numerous transformational initiatives to reposition our Organization despite the deliberate opposition from few privileged individuals whose stock in trade is to fight what they do not understand and what does not directly serve their personal interest. And, surprisingly, they do not want the organization to grow beyond their capacity of influence.
Regardless, we must remain resolute and focus on this revolutionary journey to change the TYO narrative and make it appealing, even to our elitist youths who do not want to associate with the brand.
Already, our efforts and determination are yielding fruits, even with zero budget, hence the caliber of young men you see gathered here today to witness this great occasion.
Another historic milestone we have achieved in the first three months of my administration is the award of scholarship to an 11 year old son of one of our members in Kuje LG who lost his life in an accident after their local TYO congress, barely 48 hours after my inauguration in July, 2023.
Based on this, my Exco, the BoT and the general congress approved N50,000 annual scholarship for him from primary to secondary school with an option of upward review as time goes on. It is our desire to give scholarships to not less that 100 students in the next three years of my administration. On this note, we will be calling on you always to support and ride with us on this transformational journey.
Today, we are also unveiling our historic and innovative bilingual TYO Abuja News Magazine, which we hope to be publishing from time to time to educate, inform and promote our cultural heritage. We will also be calling for your support in this regard.
The Lecture we are witnessing today is another great milestone we have achieved. It is the first of its kind since the founding of this Organization. And it is going to be a continuous project aimed at bringing to the front burner issues affecting our people.
We are also building our website to have all our activities and projects captured on the site for easy access by those who may not be able to attend our events, or those seeking information about TYO. The site will be unveiled in January, 2024.
As you all know, most of our youths are applicant. We are doing something different to get them jobs that will put food on their tables. On this note, we have gone into a partnership with a recruitment firm, El’wak eminent global services Nig Ltd to help give jobs to our youths. Already, about Six of them are processing their jobs now. It is our hope that all our youths who are not into business will have jobs soon.
The current leadership of the Organization has also helped to resolve several issues and conflicts among our people in the past few months after our inauguration. And we are determined to do more for the glory of TYO.
While commending President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for appointing our kinsmen into his cabinet, we called on him to take the plight of our people suffering in various IDPs across the country, including Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba very seriously.
President Tinubu has failed to heed to our earlier call of returning our people back to their ancestral homes after five months in office. Instead, the attack on our communities are increasing everyday. Even our expressways in Benue and Nasarawa states are no longer safe.
We are again asking him to give a matching order to security agencies to stamp out insecurity in our communities and return our people back to their ancestral homes, and not in clustered homes as was proposed by the FG. This is not our settlement pattern in Tiv land.
Government should create a safe environment for our people to return home and be given financial support to build their houses in their various ancestral lands. This is our position. No cluster homes for our people. Rather, Government should chase the invading armed herdsmen away and allow our people to return back home.
I want to thank all the awardees here present, and wish everyone a happy and fruitful event.
Thank you all
Chief Joseph S. Undu
Author, Award-winning Journalist and Poet.