Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Benue 2015: Why Idomas Failed To Break The Jinx Again

Once again, the Idoma people of Benue South Senatorial District have failed to clinch the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) guber­natorial ticket to run for the 2015 general elections scheduled for February next year.

For the third time  since 1999, they lost it to yet another Tiv man from Benue North West Senatorial District where former gover­nor, now Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr George Akume hails from.

Since the creation of Benue State in 1976, no governor with Idoma blood has been privileged to occupy the Makurdi Government House either in civilian garb or military uniform. The best they have achieved so far in two regimes under the late Mo­ses Adasu and the incumbent, Gabriel Suswam is producing deputy governors in Engineer Yakubu Agada and current oc­cupier, Chief Steven Lawani respectively.

In the first leg of the second republic (1979), the then can­didate of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, Mr. Aper Aku picked Isah Odoma, an Iga­la man in the present Kogi State as his running mate while in 1983, he went for another Igala, Mr. SuleYaji as his deputy.
Throughout the eight years of Senator George Akume’s ten­ure as the governor of Benue State, he had as his deputy the late Chief Ogiri Ajene (Igede) while the Idomas were made Secretary to the State Govern­ment and the powerful portfolio of Commissioner for Finance.

While seeking re-election in 2003, Akume assured the Idomas that he will hand over to them when his tenure expires in 2007. That covenant prompted Idoma sons to enter for the first time governorship contest with seri­ous aggressiveness, parading well over seven aspirants.

Some the aspirants with deep pocket and political connection across the 23 local government areas went ahead soliciting and canvassing for support from del­egates and prospective voters on why they should be trusted with state power.

Aspirants such as retired Fed­eral Permanent Secretary of Defence during the General Sani Abacha military junta, Chief Mike Onoja, incumbent deputy, Chief Steven Lawani, Minister of Interior, Comrade Aba Moro, Akume’s then deputy, Chief Ogiri Ajene traversed the length and breadth of Benue with detailed consultation and mobilisation that they were indeed serious in win­ning the 2007 governorship seat.

Whence the time for the 2007 primaries came, the Idomas themselves exhibited their un­seriousness by failing to prune down their aspirants to either one or two while the Tiv Tradi­tional Council sitting in Gboko and headed by the Tor Tiv in­sisted that a Tiv man preferably Dr Gabriel Suswam must suc­ceed Senator George Akume.

But the Idomas did not care to agree on a single person to coun­ter the directives from the Tiv Traditional Council rather, they went into the field individually and divided.
As if that serious blunder is not enough, while Chief Onoja and Dr Suswam who came neck to neck but could not get the required number of delegates as stipulated by the PDP rules and the electoral act to emerge winner and were expected to go for a run off, two of the Idoma aspirants Raph Igbago and Ogiri Ajene suddenly donated their votes to Suswam who later emerged victorious at the party primaries and became governor.
Again, when the INEC blew the whistle for the conduct of the 2015 general elections earli­er this year, five aspirants from Zone C (Idoma speaking area) indicated interest and willing­ness to take over from Governor Suswam.
They included, Chief Steven Lawani, Dr Sam Ode, Dr Math­ias Oyigeya, Bar Harris Ogbole and Chie AdahChenge who all ran a competitive contest but fumbled just like before in agreeing to tip only one of them to face the countless aspirants from Tiv land.

And, again, the Idomas lost to another Tiv man and former Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon TerhemenTarzoor, and the least popular among the whole aspirants in the just concluded PDP governorship primaries in Makurdi.

The result of the primary election indicates clearly that if the Idoma aspirants had put aside their individual and self­ish aspiration but placed the Idoma Agenda on the front burner to take over power from the domineering influence of the highly populated Tiv, and teamed up with Chief Lawani who came second to Tarzoor, he would have gotten the PDP ticket as he garnered sizeable votes from the Tiv speaking ar­eas that placed him closely with the eventual winner.
Political analysts however believed that apart from the in­ability to co-operate or forgo individualistic aspiration for Idoma’s collective interest, three other factors have over the years been responsible for what look like a jinx for the people of Zone C to produce Benue State governor.
    One of the factors is the per­sonal interest of the Senate President David Mark who has chosen to perpetuate in power since the return to democracy in 1999 and refused to concede same to another section of the zone particularly the Igede speaking tribe who are now craving for their identity.

The Igede nation comprising of two local government areas of Obi and Oju have also been crying of marginalization by their Idoma brothers who have relegated them to the back­ground despite their roles in restoring democracy in Idoma land and indeed Nigeria.

     Thus, the Igede prefer donat­ing their votes to Tiv aspirants indirectly soliciting for a deputy as aptly demonstrated by their son, the late Ogiri Ajene. According to an Igede man who craved for anonymity, ‘’ the Idomas ignore us completely.

Freddie Adamgbe, Makurdi

1 comment:

  1. The first reason why we can't break and will never break that jinx as Idoma is de presence of David mark,as long as David mark is there we will never make it,the second reason is the issue of betrayal and disunity,an idoma man doesn't have one mouth,he will say this here and say another thing else where,we are not together,we don't have one mouth,we are greedy,everybody thinks first of his family and the money we will get by betraying and selling each other out,if u go to an idoma man's office and greet him in idoma he will respond in English cos he is the one that wrote oxford dictionary but come to makurdi here,the general language in a tiv man's office is tiv