Ortom had told a church congregation a few days ago that the next Tor Tiv (paramount ruler of the Tiv speaking people) would hold the Bible to take the oath of office instead of invoking Swem-(the god of Tiv people), which is the traditional means of ascending the throne.
Ortom made the remarks while addressing the congregation during a church service held at the Chapel of Grace, Government House, to mark the end of a three-day fasting and prayer session to enable peaceful selection of a new Tor Tiv. Dr. Alfred Torkula Akawe, the former Tor Tiv, died last year.
However, the former police commissioner who reacted to the governor’s remarks in Makurdi, urged him to “allow the people choose their next Tor Tiv, instead of tactically interfering with tradition after promising not to do so”.
“Why will Ortom not allow the Tor-Tiv to abide by Tiv culture and tradition? Why can’t the Tiv people display their own culture like the Ife people and Bini did recently? Ortom may be annoying our ancestors. He must not contaminate our culture,” Tsav said.
Also reacting, social media activist, Festus Fator Yisa said, “The proposal by Governor Samuel Ortom that the next Tor Tiv be sworn in using a Bible instead of the usual 'Swem' in my opinion is a deliberate attempt to bastardize the Tiv culture.
“His reason that the 'Swem' has failed us is baseless in my opinion. With all due respect to Christianity and religion in general, how much has the Bible on its part saved us? Posterity will bear me witness that I never succumbed to this glaring cultural homicide.”
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