A First Class Traditional Ruler in Benue State, Chief Abu King Shuluwa has said that the Tiv people were seriously considering changing their settlement pattern.
According to him, this was a way of curbing the incessant attacks and killings the Tiv people suffer in the hands of marauding herdsmen.
Shuluwa who is in charge of Sankera axis (Tor Sankera) told Sun that the Fulani had an agenda to take over their land.
He added, “A Tiv man does not mind going as far as to Otukpo where there is fertile ground and occupy, making sure that no one occupies it.
“He doesn’t mind migrating from one part of Tiv land to another to get fertile land and the reason for this is the type of farming we engage in which requires fertile land like yam, soya bean and all sorts of crops.
“All these were the reasons for Tiv settlement pattern.
“Now, the question is what are we doing to change the pattern of settlement especially in the face of security challenge?
“All traditional rulers are now preaching what we call ‘Sortema’ which literally means ‘arrange yourself or sit well.’
“We are saying that this scattered settlement pattern is no longer good but let us come and live together and they can now be going to their farms from the big villages.”
He continued, “But there is also danger in this, because by the time we have the cluster settlement, there is always empty land and when the Fulani see that the fertile land is empty, they will want to go in.
“The Tiv land is very good which do attract the Fulani and what attracted Fulani to Tiv land is the grass and water and Fulani always look for areas where these are available.
“And they value their cows more than their wives, since they are nomads. For instance, when their wives are pregnant, they go, leaving behind their wives and only leave traces of how they can be located when they give birth.”