By Friday Adakole Elijah
A few days ago, the good people of Benue South Senatorial District under the auspices of Benue Rebirth Movement (BRM) mobilized and paid the Governor of Benue State Dr. Samuel Ortom, a courtesy call. The sole purpose of the visit was to court the governor’s support for the people of the Senatorial District to, for the first time in the history of Benue, test the governorship status of the state.
The vist which was under the leadership of the indefatigable retired Air Vice Marshall, Monday Morgan, was like a reminiscent of the biblical appearance of Prophet Moses before the Pharaoh of Egypt in his palatial Palace.
Unlike Moses who declared unequivocally to the Pharaoh, “let my people go”, Morgan whose name also started with the alphabet “M”, told the governor in a sotto but humble voice, “we are here to plead with you to help us in our quest of becoming the Governor of our state. Since the creation of Benue state in 1979, no man from Benue South Senatorial District has tasted or tested the seat of the Governor”.
Several other speakers also spoke in the same vein. The people of Benue South were unanimous in their quest to produce the occupant of the highest office in the state. And this was displayed in their trooping out in large numbers to the People’s House to ventilate their support for the agitation and to hear from the horse’s mouth.
No doubt, this struggle found solace in the armbit of marginalisation orchestrated by human degradation as could be gleaned from the fact that nobody from the Benue South Senatorial District has ever been elected as the Governor of the state or as the Speaker, Benue House of Assembly. The situation was so bad that no-one from the zone has been found worthy of appointment to administer even the state owned varsity.
The situation got worst when the Idoma people were excised from the state by the Tiv dominated House of Assembly in 1992. Since then, the Idoma remained practically excluded from the affairs of the state and treated like those in the lower caste strata in India.
The people of Benue South have been reduced to alien status in a state that is supposedly theirs until the coming on board of Governor Samuel Ortom who in his magnanimity broke the jinx by graciously appointing Justice Adah Onum as the first Chief Judge of Idoma extraction in the state. He also appointed another woman from the Senatorial District as the Head of the state civil service.
Peradventure, this was the needed tonic that gave the BRM leadership the courage to approach the Governor for restitution believing that he will bless them with the assurance that he will persuade his Tiv brethren in Benue North East and North West Senatorial Districts to support the idea of an Idoma person becoming the Governor of Benue State at the end of his tenure.
But the Governor clearly in a subtle manner admonished them to push more by penetrating the two dominant political parties in the state, the People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressive Party, to micro zone the governorship slot to Benue South. This advice stems from the phraseology of, “a child who is clamouring to be bathed must be ready to scrub his belly “.
The agitators must therefore reach out to more people, groups and institutions for the purpose of actualizing this noble ambition.
The good thing about this was that the delegation to the Governor was a conglomeration of all the political parties and therefore, was hoped that membership of the various political parties in the state from Benue South must see this call as a collective responsibility bestowed on them to individually or collectively reach out in a persuasive manner that will add value to this cause.
Again, the event gave credence to the fact that Benue South Senatorial District was not in lack in terms of qualitative human resources that can pilot the affairs of the state. Their presence at the visit added colours to the event.
Some of these competent sons that have the capacity and expertise to navigating the state from its quandariatic condition are the current Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu and the immediate past Deputy Governor, Chief Stephen Lawani.
These personalities have the necessary cognate experiences that can catapult the state to the citadel of development.
Categories: James Ibechi