Kingdoms of Nigeria


Tor Tiv

Tor Tiv
August 31
17:00 2018
Title: Tor Tiv
Full Name: James Iorzua Ayatse
Lineage: Torkula
Coronation: 04-03-2017
Palace: Tor Tiv Palace, Gboko
State: Benue
Profile: Early life
His Royal Highness, James Ayatse was born to Late Iorzua Ayatse and Mrs Adeior Iorzua (Nee Achaa, Mbarumun, Nanev) in Mbakaan, Shangev-Ya, Kwande Local Government Area in the North-East province of Benue State. He received elementary schooling at LGEA School, Orbiam, Ikov, Ushongo Local Government Area and later, LGEA School, Mbagbegba, Shangev-Ya and St Anne’s Primary School Adikpo where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He attended and passed out with a West African School Certificate (WASC) – a division one certificate at Government Secondary School, Gboko that qualified him for university education. HRH James Ayatse then proceeded to the University of Ibadan where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry, distinguishing himself academically as the best graduating student of his department. He went on to obtain his Masters of Science at the University of Calabar, repeating the same feat of graduating as the best student of the department before moving to the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom as a commonwealth student for further studies that culminated in a doctorate in Biochemistry. The Tor Tiv then returned to one of his alma-maters – the University of Calabar for his MBA and rose to become a Professor of Biochemistry, making him the first and only Tiv man to achieve this feat, a record that is yet to be matched.

Working career
HRH James Ayatse started his career in 1980 as a graduate assistant in the University of Calabar and progressed rapidly and steadily to attain the rank of a Professor of Biochemistry in 1993, aged only 37. His career spans teaching to education management. He has taught at the University of Calabar, University of Uyo, Benue State University, Makurdi, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, University of Abuja and the Federal university, Dutisn-Ma. He has taught Biochemistry, Business Management and Public Administration to different groups of students and has bred several B.Sc., M.Sc., MBA, MPA and PhD holders in an over 35 year working career. Because of his multidisciplinary teaching career, the Paramount Ruler was dubbed a “controversial Professor” in reference to his versatility, especially during his time at the Benue State University and the University of Agriculture, Makurdi where he worked concurrently. Additionally, Ayatse has served as External Assessor for Professional appointments/Promotions and External Examiner to a large number of Universities; he chaired the National Universities Committees on performance indicators and minimum benchmark for science programmes in Nigerian Universities. He also chaired several panels for the accreditation of science programmes in Nigerian Universities. He served in the capacity of Chairman or member of several communities or governing boards at international, national and state levels. The Paramount Ruler also was involved on three separate occasions in formulation of the vision and blueprint for the development of his own state of Benue.

Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Makurdi (2001 – 2006)
In the year 2001, Professor James Ayatse was appointed the Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi succeeding Prof. Erastus Gyang. Reflecting on this in an interview preceding his emergence as Tor Tiv V, Ayatse stated that he inherited a student population of about 2000 and fluctuating cases of violent students’ demonstrations as well as staff union strikes, all of which he helped resolved amicably as the Vice Chancellor of the School. This earned him the reputation as the most peace loving Vice Chancellor of the Institution as there was no student demonstrations arising from internal problems throughout his tenure. He expanded the University by establishing several new departments and colleges that yielded students’ population of about 7000 before the end of his five-year tenure as the Vice Chancellor.

Vice Chancellor Federal University, Dutsin-Ma (2011 – 2016)
In 2011, Professor James Ayatse was appointed as the Pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma – one of the nine newly established Federal Universities by President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration. Ayatse went on to become the 1st Vice Chancellor out of the nine Federal Universities established at the time to graduate students and Mobilize them for Mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He also conducted the first ever convocation of the University before completing his 5-year tenure. He laid the foundation for an ICT-driven University with computerized and online services, prompting Webometrics to rate the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma as the 14th Best University in January 2015 and 2016 ahead of many older universities in Nigeria.

Emergence and Coronation as Tor Tiv V
After successful tenure of office as the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Prof. James Ayatse was elected on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 in a keen contest with three other contenders. He polled 39 votes out of the possible 46 to defeat fellow contestants – Prof. Daniel Saror, a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria who scored three votes, Prof. Benedict Shinku, who also got three votes and Andrew Wombo, a reputed lawyer who scored one vote. After his emergence as the Tor Tiv V, there were wider jubilations among his subjects who hailed the decision as credible. His Royal Highness, Professor James Ayatse was coronated as Tor Tiv V on 4 March, 2017. His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State presented him with Staff of Office


Personal life
His Royal Highness, Prof. James Ayatse is married to Mrs Felicia Ayatse with whom he has five children. He is a Christian. He enjoys photography, sports and Farming.


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