The Paramount Ruler of Tiv Nation, His Majesty, Prof. James Ayatse, popularly known as Tor Tiv is now the Grand Patron of Benue State Football Association (BSFA).
Tor Tiv, a highly respected first class Monarch in Nigeria and beyond assumed the position after he graciously accepted the offer made by the new BSFA board who paid him a Royal courtesy visit in his Palace in Gboko, Benue State.
Speaking, the FA Chairman, Barr. Paul Edeh, said the purpose of the visit, less than two weeks after the election that ushered in the current football executive, was to seek Tor Tiv’s Royal blessings before rolling out series of football developmental programmes in the state.
The FA Chairman who took time out to shower encomioms on the iconic Traditional Ruler, recalled how his numerous sporting contributions had helped to bring laurels to the state.
He said, “This is the first assignment we are embarking on after our inauguration. This is because the task ahead of us is huge in Zone A, B and C of the state. So if we must achieve much, we need our father’s blessings.
“I have travelled round the world, and I have seen how football developed Europe and other parts of the world. But this is not what we see in Nigeria, particularly Benue.
“That is why we came to seek the support of our father to encourage our brothers and sisters to support football.”
Responding, the Tor Tiv recalled how he featured and represented his then Government Secondary School Gboko vastly in football, basketball, volleyball, tennis among others, and assured of his readiness to join hands with the FA in developing football.
On the request to become BSFA Grand Patron, Tor Tiv without mincing words said, “Coming from the people at this level with the passion to develop football, I will accept.
“I will do all within my powers to promote and support football development in the state.
“We need a reorientation of mindset of our people in developing football. We need to stimulate the interests of our people because in the past, the private sector led the way… government can’t do everything, we shouldn’t wait for government at all times.”
The Paramount Ruler who spearheads the traditional institution in Benue state, also agreed to resuscitate the annual Tor Tiv Unity and Peace Cup with the support of the FA hierarchy.
The entire BSFA board, members of various council area football chairmen and other stakeholders were part of the entourage to Tor Tiv palace.
Highpoint of the visit was the official designation of Tor Tiv as BSFA Grand Patron.