Is he standing with Sen Dr GOERGE AKUME?

Is he standing with his “son” His Excellency Fr Dr Hyacinth Alia as the first executive governor of Benue State from KUNAV LAND against all odds?

Is he standing on the FENCE for political convenience?

Is Sen Dr Jacob Tilley Gyado still the KUNAV GATE KEEPER as he would want history to record?

“To the memory of one of the most respected Tiv men in history, Wanteregh Paul Iorapuu Unongo Kwaghghisehe Former minister of steel, now of blessed memory.
By the relative quantum of political and traditional milestones measured in honor of this great son of Tiv , I crave the indulgence of his immediate family and Tiv nation to refer to his political wisdom while alive here with us particularly in the build up to the 2011 general elections.

It is worthy of note particularly in the prevailing circumstances to recall that while playing the deserved role of a father to Sen Gabriel Torwua Suswam as then Executive Governor of Benue State, who was from Zone A, Pa Unongo Kwaghghisehe whose wife, Mrs Ntor Unongo was a cabinet member in the administration of Gabriel Suswam had actively played that role until, his own foster son , Prof Steve Ugbah came on the scene to contest for the same position. Pa Unongo Kwaghghisehe who had stood solidly behind Suswam for re-election needed to make a choice between Suswam and his foster son, Prof Steve Ugbah.

“When it became clear that Prof Steve Ugbah had interest in the same position of governor of Benue State, already occupied by another Son of Pa Unongo, in the person of Gabriel Suswam, Pa Unongo did the natural and honorable thing by standing clearly with his foster son, Prof Steve Ugbah. He ignored his personal interests as his wife was already in government. The man did what every father would do: -of course support his son against all odds. He kept his honor by sacrificing the office his wife held to show true example of fatherhood and statesmanship in Tivland.

“May the soul of Pa Unongo Kwaghghisehe rest with his wishes and that of God. Amen ”

Enter 2023

Why can’t Sen Dr Jacob Tilley Gyado shape his own legacy by standing with his own son, His Excellency Fr Dr Hyacinth Alia to weather the raging political storms? What would history record? What does it say of KUNAV people?

If the political instability in the state were limited to legitimate demands for recognition and reward by party men and women who contributed resources and efforts to the victory of His Excellency Fr Dr Hyacinth Alia as governor of Benue State, as they initially made us believe, it would have been excused and justified as normal so far as politics is concerned. -And if the pressure on the governor was limited to the pursuit of these political interests which bothers on welfare, reward, allocation of resources and political control , i would regard same as normal politics which can be resolved by compromise, negotiation and a proper power sharing formula by individuals concerned. This sort of pressure is “ordinary” in the sense that it is temporal and can be corrected with a few decisions by the people involved within a short time. (The governor & SGF)

While my advocacy for political stability does not exonerate the governor from certain political mistakes, I do not believe that they should be used as a trigger to encourage hostile diplomatic sabotage that leaves little room for reconciliation. For example, there’s no justification for politicians to misrepresent, enable or even over blow killings in the state just to make a political statement like Sen Emmanuel Udende did on the killings in his Ukum Local Government Area.


From what I see in recent developments and dimensions of attacks on the governor using insecurity and other related false narratives, the issues seem to go beyond mere politics of welfarism. The narrative pushed by certain elements against the governor is now an existential threat to the FUTURE of KUNAV POLITICS if not corrected and Sen Dr Jacob Tilley Gyado appears to be comfortable with the mounting pressure on the governor who is one of his many sons from KUNAV LAND.

The people of KUNAV collectively in order to shape a more positive future need to challenge their gatekeepers, one of whom is Sen Dr Jacob Tilley Gyado. Let us ask : WHAT IS SEN DR JACK GYADO DOING AS A FATHER TO BOTH THE SGF & THE GOVERNOR TO STABILIZE THE STATE POLITICALLY?

The extra-ordinary nature of the person and name of Jacob Tilley Gyado in Tiv politics has its roots in the respect that the Kunav people have on the family over the last 5 decades (50) years and more. Sen Jacob Tilley Gyado, an accomplished man who is aged at least between 75-80 above is by all means qualified to be referred to as an
elderstatrman as he is so referred to all over Kunav land, Tiv, Benue and Nigeria. Sen Dr Jacob Tilley Gyado has been accorded such respect for more than (50) years and counting. This is because his people of KUNAV land have refused to dymistfy his person despite many reasons to do so.

Wealth is meaningless if it is not applied for the use of the society and so is wisdom if it is not used in solving the problems of the society.
Conceding without assuming that Governor Hycinth Alia is guilty of all the political sins leveled against him, the blame is still on Sen Dr Jacob Tilley Gyado!!
If Sen Jack Gyado understood that he is the father of KUNAV POLITICS and the father of the governor, he should be found in a position to guide the governor to avoid those political “mistakes”.
But rather than accept responsibility for not guiding the governor in line with the tradition of the politics of welfarism, Sen Gyado appears to be comfortable with the camp that is now fully set to distract, destroy and undermine the governor and his authority in the state.

By words, actions and inaction, Sen Gyado has clearly taken sides against the governor who is the first Kunav son to be governor in the history of the state.
Sen Jacob Tilley Gyado has clearly abdicated his role of a father and as the KUNAV gate keeper by his indifference to the mounting political pressure on his Son Fr Dr Hyacinth Alia and by his pretentious fatherhood posturing amidst glaring evidence of complicity and sabotage.

May Sen Dr Jack Gyado not leave room for the governor to take shelter in another man’s arms in his lifetime.

And may history not record bad things during our era.

Reflections by
Rev Solomon Semaka.

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