James Ibechi

Would Iroko’s credentials replicate in his choice of National Assembly candidate 2023?

Nick Eworo

*A look at Otor Jackson Ogbu’s piece on Nick Eworo

By Smith Akoko

The witty speech Rt Hon Nick Eworo presented at the Igede Political Summit off the cuff and the euphoric applauds of the cheering audience is today the talk of the town. The grandeur so bespoke his State Assembly strides that Otor Jackson Ogbu, a social media personality, let his ink flow generously, overwhelmed with nostalgia.

Otor Jay, in his piece, “Return of the Iroko” enumerated the incorporation of Igede language in NTA Makurdi programs, Igede first-class chiefdom, and fight against the marginalisation of the Igedes in Benue State as his landmark achievements, shoving aside but not disregarding physical infrastructures such as roads and bridges.

Away from that, Otor Jay bruised our wounds just when time gradually heals them. Missing the opportunity to have the square peg in a square hole in 2019 is an injury to every well-meaning Igede person. He, surely, is the national legislator we did not have, the author of the famous quantity versus quality quote who is the very quality himself.

Otor Jackson added: “The political exploits of the man known much later as Odukelaho and Iroko were remarkable. Even more remarkable was his style of leadership that transcends the frontiers of Igede nation, not limiting himself to Obi State Constituency, which he represented then at state Assembly…

“He dominated the three State Constituencies with such a zeal and commitment, drawing hurricane influence and popularity across Igede nation. He earned for himself the epithet ‘Igede nation’ among Tiv and Idoma, following his unrelenting resistance to the forces of marginalisation against Igede nation.

“Committed to political liberalism and altruism, the man ‘Igede nation,’ as fondly called, expended his huge resources in placing Igede agenda in the front burner of national politics and global views. He promised to rally Igede elites and political stakeholders towards ensuring credible representation of Igede people at the National Assembly come 2023.”

It would arouse anyone’s interest like it does mine that Iroko would rally the elites and political stakeholders for credible representation at the National Assembly come 2023. Why would he not, when himself has said that Igede lacks quantity and needs quality to make up for that disadvantage?

All his years before the abrupt end of tenure, he threw his weight behind the Igede people in all affairs and would not toe a different path now. A synergy with political stakeholders must be in the offing for a similarly outspoken leader with tact for lobby to lure home dividends of democracy. Why not!

*Smith Akoko is a social critic and wrote in from Adum East, Obi LGA, Benue State

Categories: James Ibechi

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