James Ibechi


Editor’s pick on Sunday


I know that the jury is presently out in Benue State on whether power will change hand or not, in 2023.
As someone from Zone C, the area demanding powershift, it is difficult to make an observation that would risk criticism of writing at cross purposes.


I can’t allow myself of the tomfoolery of holding back my observation in the name of being a Zone C man, no matter how hard I try.
At any rate, let it be known from the get-go that I have not set out to be contemptuous of the minority’s quest to be the state governor when 2023 is here.
The agitation for powershift is gradually gaining gravitas. No doubt. The ferocity with which Zone C aspirants such as Engr. Benson Abounu straddle the political turf consulting, is a testament to the seriousness of the powershift impulse. That is not to say however that Engr. Abounu is seeking blessings for his ambition only on the strenght of powershift demand, but also on the strenght of his character and track record, among others.
But the thing is, like in every mundane circle of election, victories and losses since 1999 when the country re-entered democracy, nothing much seems to be inspiring about the build up to the forthcoming governorship poll in the state as it stands presently, save for the campaign for powershift that appears to be gaining gravitas evidenced by the growing support of many people in Zone B for the powershift movement.
Or is there anything really inspiring about having power mongers and a parade of egocentric bourgeoisies who have been in power corridors since 1999 still constituting the bulk of the 2023 guber aspirants, when the same aspirants have been the same old hands that have held democracy by the jugular all the time from 1999 till date?
For the avoidance of doubt, you can stroll to the Facebook timeline of one Gurgur Japheth who has been profiling the aspirants so far as every day that passes inches us closer to the battle for the soul of the food basket of the nation — Benue.
But if, however, anything is inspiring from a peer into the 2023 build up, then it is the indication of interest by two young persons who many people in various quarters think are cut for credible or genuine leadership of the state. These two personalities happen to stand out among the aspirants so far. Or so it has been deduced from public rating of the two.
Ladies and gentlemen, without let or favour, these aspirants are one from Zone A and the other from Zone C. They are Mr. Terver Akase and Comr. Dan Onjeh, though it is not clear if Onche may sustain the ambition.
Akase is presently Chief Press Secretary to Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom while Onjeh is a former student union activist and Benue South senatorial candidate who shot into political limlight when he squared up to the strongman of Zone C politics, Sen. David Mark, in a senatorial rerun that nearly crumbled to the ground Mark’s prolonged advent at the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Onjeh-David Mark battle had jolted and rattled Mark. It was glaring. And it made Onjeh a fearless and dogged political fighter. There is yet more to be unravelled on why his guber aspiration is inspiring.
On the part of Akase, I’m not going to be detained now by having to account for why he should be the next Benue Governor, or even questions pertaining to his antecedents.
At minimum, we ought to agree that Benue needs a detribalised figure, a thoroughbred professional. Benue needs a radical departure from the circle of deciet that constitutes governance and holds the state for only the prosperity and benefit of a few partisan elements to the detriment of development of the masses and infrastructure.
Also, It is generally believed that only a selfless young leader who is determined to lead for the benefit of greater Benue people irespective of whether this one is Tiv, Idoma or Igede, such as Akase should the state look out for in 2023 to deliver leadership.
Akase has insights into all the issues of Benue governance and development from successfully serving Governor Samuel Ortom as CPS.
In fact, one sector of Governor Ortom administration that is free of public flack onto today is the information management system that has excellently earned the respect of the international community and even many within the shore of the country. Akase is the round peg in the round hole doing honour to the administration.
No one has doubt that Akase will bring his pool of experience and depth of knowledge of the issues of Benue development and governance to practical bear on governance if ushered into power.
Benue needs a departure from the past in all ramifications of the word.

More on this to come…

Categories: James Ibechi

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