Saturday, 19 December 2015

Ortom Needs Our Support – Obande

Prince Omoi Obande is the National Secretary, Friends & Partners – a civil society organisation. In this interview with PAUL CHIAMA, he spoke on the forthcoming re-run election in Benue South senatorial district, the zoning debacle and the need to support Dr Samuel Ortom’s administration, among other issues.

The news on social media criticising the present administration of its involvement on the Appeal Court judgment that nullified the election of former Senate President, David Mark, was said to have been facilitated by Governor Ortom and other APC Senators in the state. What is the position of the Friends &Partners as one of the major stakeholders of the state?

First and foremost, I will like to say that it is a victory not just for the petitioner alone, Mr Dan Onjeh, but for All Progressives Congress as a whole, which by extension, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom and other stakeholders in the state. The Idoma people are too exposed, learned and well-informed to begin to feed and react on such disgruntled elements of liars that are looking for cheap popularity, as the governor is concerned with the development and empowerment of the good people of Benue State.

How can these speculations affect the support of the people of Zone C for this present administration in Benue State?

We all supported and voted for this change. We, the Idoma people, are solidly behind Ortom and his administration that will bring about the desired change we voted for and as such, cannot be distracted by cheap self-centered speculation. Most especially, now that the governor needs the support of every well meaning person of Benue State to move the state forward.

Looking at the over-all interest of the Idoma nation, what in your view is the implication of not re-electing David Mark?

As a military man with a military background nobody would have thought that His Excellency, David Mark would have demonstrated the leadership quality he has shown not just to the good people of the Idoma nation but Benue and Nigeria as a whole. I give you example of Senator Ameh Ebute within the shortest period he served; he attained the position of the Senate president. Then when you talk about the Zone C Senatorial seat you talk about Sen Amen Ebute. I remembered in 1999, we had a joint campaign in Ugbokolo when Mark made a statement and I quote, “That Ameh Ebute is not the only son of Idoma land and if there is anything he has forgotten at the Senate he should tell him and he will be glad for me to bring it back to him.” That is to tell you that Idoma has a lot of potentials if given the necessary support and the opportunity to serve. The only implication here now is when we refuse to avail the opportunity to our people.

There are feelings that zoning may have a big role to play in this fresh election. What is your take on this?

There is no doubt that the seat of the Senate has been stagnant for a long time. Yes it is true, but for some obvious reasons that was compromised. But now it is clear that we cannot have the deputy governor and the Senate seat from the same Zone C. Based on this fact, a lot of consultation is ongoing and in due time the Idomas will make it public who will be representing them at the Senate.

At this critical period what is your message to the people of Idoma and friends and partners of the Idoma nation?

It is with great humility that I call on every son, daughter and well-wisher of Idoma nation to come out and take a bow, not only for keeping this alive but also for the development of the Idoma nation.

There is no doubt that division and disunity among us have contributed to the under-development of our dear Idoma nation. I urge our brothers, sisters and well-wishers to take the advantage of this once in a life time opportunity available to us in this era of truth for a positive change. As it is said that you shall know the truth and the truth you know shall set you free. I will like to assure the entire good people of the Idoma nation of better days ahead as we support our governor, His Excellency, Samuel Ortom and his administration. We cannot be minority and be opposition to the federal and state governments. We have never practiced opposition democracy in the Idoma nation, the only thing that is constant in life is change and the wind of change is blowing.

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