By Uche Amunike
Venita Akpofure of BBNAIJA All Stars reality show, has presently sparked off controversy, that may likely attract a billion naira lawsuit and a publicly tendered apology to the Tiv tribe in Benue State, over a statement she made during the show, that ‘Tiv Men give their wives to visitors for entertainment purposes.’
Member representing Makurdi/Guma federal constituency of Benue State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dickson Tarkighir, took offence at the BBNAIJA All Stars housemate, Venita for what he termed ‘a defamation of the Tiv Nation’ by her and has made threats to slam a N10 billion suit, against, not only her, but also, the organizers of the reality show.
The Tiv people from North Central Nigeria have also expressed anger at her utterances on their social media handles, advocating for legal action to be taken against her and the reality show’s brand for the defamation of their tribe.
On his part, veteran Hip hop musician, Zaaki Azzay, has demanded that Big Brother Naija, alongside Venita tenders an apology to the Tiv people for making such defamatory statements on the reality show, and also, that she retracts the statement.
Speaking to Newsmen, Azzay stated that Venita was formerly married to a man from the Tiv tribe, Terna Tarka and they had two daughters together, before they went their separate ways, calling her out to tell the world if her erstwhile husband ever offered her as entertainment to his visitors.
Just like the lawmaker, Zaaki also stated that Big Brother apologized to his tribe, as it was not the first time the show had entertained derogatory statements this season. He posited that even if Venita made her assertion and it was used as a joke, when talking about the Tiv people, it didn’t make it right.
Hear him: ‘This kind of statement; it’s not as if we have not heard it before; people have said it casually, people use it as joke, people say it but you know now coming from Big Brother Naija Housemate on a show which has large audience… plus the fact that person in question was once married to a Benue man.’
‘That is detrimental to a tribe that is the fourth largest tribe in Nigeria because after Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, the Tiv people are like the fourth largest. We have people in Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa and even Adamawa. I’ve heard this rumor and I asked questions from our fathers who laughed about it.’
‘I didn’t want to say anything about it but I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, especially from the northern part; it’s not good for her to have made that statement. I think Big brother should have some guidelines.’
‘I remember that while in Big Brother House, Seyi said something detrimental to women, and Big Brother made him to apologize. One would think that Big brother should address this particular issue since it is detrimental to certain group, a very wide group of Nigerian people. Venita needs to also apologize and withdraw that statement.’