Correct imbalance in NDA admission, Tiv group tells Commandant … condemns call by Idoma natives for SGF’s sack

A group, the Tiv Youth Organisation Worldwide has voiced their concerns and criticisms regarding the admission procedures for Tiv natives at the Nigerian Defence Academy over the years, urging the Commandant Maj.-Gen. JO Ochai to take necessary actions in order to rectify the perceived disparities and ensure a fair representation of the true essence of federal character moving forward.

The TYO also rebuked the Coalition of Idoma Professionals in Benue for their request to President Bola Tinubu to sack Senator George Akume from his position as Secretary of the Government of the Federation, believing that the events in question are unrelated to Senator Akume or his role in office.

The organization further claimed that Abba Moro, a native of Benue state and Interior Minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan, oversaw the widespread and impune recruitment of Idoma youths into the paramilitary at the expense of Tiv employment candidates.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, the organisation’s President-General, Andy Anzah, stated, “In the 2021 admission into the 73 Regular Combatant Course of the NDA, out of 12 slots for Benue, the Tivs who have 14 LGs got two slots, with one in reserve, while the Idomas with nine LGs got 10 slots. At various levels, this has been happening for years. It will only grow worse now that their son is in charge of the military academy. While we do not demand the dismissal of Maj.-Gen. JO Ochai, we do ask him to address the unfairness in the admission of Tiv kids to that school in order to represent the genuine spirit of federal character.


“The recent one is the admission into the 75 Regular Combatant Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy, 2023 where the Idoma generals and their political collaborators have made it a duty to deprive Tiv youths of admission into that prestigious military school. Out of 13 slots for Benue state, Tiv who are the overwhelming majority in the state with two senatorial districts has three slots, and the Idoma has 10.

“Again, when Abba Moro was the Minister of Interior under former President Goodluck Jonathan, he superintended over massive recruitment of Idoma youths in the paramilitary with impunity to the detriment of the Tiv job applicants. Yet no one said anything.

While pointing out that it is necessary to address the general public in order to clarify the false impression that the Idoma group has created in an effort to sow enmity between the Tiv people and the Idoma people, Anzah noted with dismay that the call is covered in divisive tendencies and ethnic chauvinism and an attempt to sow discord among the natives of the state.

He continued by mentioning the Idoma group’s assertion that the selection of Prof. Joseph Utsev as ministerial nominee and Secretary to the Government of the Federation by President Tinubu was the cause of their disapproval.

He continued by noting that the Idoma faction blamed Sen. Akume for these events, rejecting this in its whole, asking for inclusivity, and said it is sad to call for the SGF’s dismissal.

Citing instances of dominance by the Idomas, the president-general of the Tiv youth organization argued that during President Jonathan’s administration, when Sen. David Mark was the Senate President and Abba Moro served as the Minister of Interior, the Tivs had a junior minister in the person of Samuel Ortom, the immediate past governor of Benue state, the Tiv people, however, made no brow furrow.

“Several job opportunities meant for the Tivs were cornered to Idomas. Even slots allotted to Benue for recruitment in the paramilitary agencies, military, civil service, and other agencies and parastatals were brazenly given to Idoma youths. Tiv youths were denied employment and other privileges and are continuously been denied lots of benefits at the National level in areas Idoma indigenes are holding sway.

“At the moment, Dr. Mrs. Mary Ada Ogbe, an Idoma woman is the federal permanent secretary enjoying the Benue slot. This is the position that no Tiv man has held for many years. Another one is Arch. Sunday Echono, the former permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education is now the Executive Secretary of TETFUND. We also have Maj.-Gen. Ochai, who was appointed by President Tinubu as the 32nd Commandant of the NDA.

While asking the Idoma group to quit criticizing the nomination of a Tiv man as SGF and instead place the responsibility on the President and not Sen. Akume.

He emphasized that Sen. Akume did not appoint himself as SGF; rather, the SGF is a position that is appointed by the country’s President.

The Tiv organization also urged the Idoma group to handle important things with decorum rather than resorting to causing a commotion by planting the seeds of conflict.

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