The battle for the new Tor Tiv of Tivland, Benue State has begun with prominent traditional rulers and title holders from various blocks of the Tiv nation indicating interest.
The paramount ruler, Tor Tiv 1V, Orchivirigh Alfred Akawe Torkula died on Monday, in a private hospital in Abuja after a brief illness. He was aged 71 years.
The late Torkula was installed as Tor Tiv on April 21, 1991 as the paramount ruler of the Tiv Kingdom.He has spent about 22 years on the throne and is one of the longest-serving traditional rulers and influential opinion leaders in northern Nigeria.
He hailed from Ihyarev in Guma LGA of the state while the incumbent Governor Ortom is from the minority Nongov in the area.
Although the Tiv traditional council is yet to officially announce the death of the paramount ruler, the Tor Tiv palace situated in Gboko has been crowded by sympathisers who came to sympathise with the deceased family.
However, it was gathered that Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday paid a condolence visit to the family at the Tor Tiv palace in Gboko town of the state, the ancestral home of the Tiv nation.According to the state governor, Samuel Ortom, he had not been officially informed of the death but said he is expecting the traditional council to bring the staff of office and thereafter it would be formerly announced.
The Tiv Kingdom has the Jerchira, Sankera, Jemgbah and MINDA (Masev, Ihyarev and Nongov) blocks respectively. At the moment prominent traditional rulers in the various blocks have already reportedly commenced consultation to determine which chiefdom will produce the next Tor Tiv.
Prominently among the traditional rulers that are being mentioned to have indicated interest to jostle for the stool are the former press secretary to the late Tor Tiv and now the Ter Nagi, Chef Ayua Abomtse, as well as the Ter Guma, Chief Ivokor Unongo.