Thursday, 25 February 2016

Mark Vs. Onjeh: No Victor, No Vanquished

February 20, 2016 was the day the Idoma people of Benue South Senatorial District came together in one voice, putting partisan interest and sectional sentiments aside to unanimously elect a Senator to represent their interest in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly (the Senate).

That day will remain indelible in the annals of our history as the day we conquered external forces who were arrayed against our collective interest as a people. It was on this day that the nine (9) Local Governments of Zone C stood in unison to say no to modern day apartheid and imperialist regime engineered by a cabal in Benue State and beyond.

It was also on this day that the theory of divide and rule propagated and funded by these duo against the Idoma nation fell flat as from Ogbadibo to Otukpo, Okpokwu to Agatu, Ado to Oju, Apa to Obi to Ohimini we all spoke in one voice and said NO to them and in a very loud and clear voice we made them understood the fact that we were not fools and that we knew what was good for ourselves, children and great-grand children.

It was on 20th February, 2016 that the entire Nigerian nation stood still to watch in amazement if the Idoma nation knew their onions. From North-East to South-East, South-West to North-West, North-Central to South-South, all eyes were glued to their television set to monitor the keenly contested senatorial rerun elections that has become the talk of the country. Ours was an election that should ordinarily be among brothers, but because of the interests it generated, it caught the attention of every loving citizen of this great country and beyond as newspapers and other social media networks were awash with happenings leading to the said senatorial rerun elections. It was the only senatorial election in Nigerian recent history where an estimated 5000 policemen, army, civil defence etc were deployed to keep order.

It will interest many to note that for us the Idomas/Igede of Benue South it was not a call to war as many thought, instead we knew all along that as brothers we already have in-built mechanism that would be used to settle whatever rift outsiders thought existed among us. We equally knew from the onset that at the appropriate time the entire nine local government areas of Zone C would come together, put their house in order and shame their common enemy and this they did excellently to the admiration of many and consternation of few. It is a testimony to the saying that ‘blood is thicker than water’. Our collective decision to vote for the PDP candidate against the APC candidate was not borne out of any element of sentiment. It was not that we had less love for Comrade Daniel Onjeh, not at all. Onjeh is our son no doubt. Infact, many Idomas still admire and hold him in high esteem for his doggedness and resilience, remembering all his relentless battles in his NANS days. He is an Idoma indeed. Our resolve to vote for our son, father, leader and mentor, Distinguished Senator David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark, the Okpokpowulu k’ Idoma, stems from the fact that we had long made up our minds that come rain, come sun, he remains our best bait, no matter whoever the other political party might field. Our resolve was without prejudice to any political affiliations, sectional consideration nor religious inclination. Before the elections proper we had already given our people enough political education and sensitization on the need to eschew partisan differences and sectional interest and vote for the Okpokpowulu, as we saw no viable and convincing reason to let go of a man who has stood his neck out to defend the course of the Idoma kingdom all his political life. Furthermore, Idoma, the world over is a tribe known for their respect for elders and constituted authority, hence we could not afford to put our leader, benefactor and son to global shame, no matter our differences. We in Zone C no longer see Senator Mark as an ordinary Senator but an institution, hence we deem it suicidal to vote otherwise as that would mean bringing the whole Idoma race to political oblivion and imminent eclipse.

From the foregoing, we can now safely conclude that for us in Zone C, it was case of no victor, no vanquish situation and this fact our two sons (David Mark and Daniel Onjeh) verily understood. I am sure the two Idoma sons knew and still knows that two of them are an infinitesimal number when it comes to determining who to represent the Idoma nation; instead the decision to elect and or send any man or woman to represent our collective interest rests squarely on the shoulders of the good people of Oju, Agatu, Okpokwu, Ohimini, Otukpo, Apa, Ogbadibo, Ado and Obi Local Government Areas but no other. The electorates in these nine (9) local government areas hold both the meat and the knife and exercise the final authority in matters like this. The people without mincing words have spoken loudly and clearly in one voice that Senator David Mark is their choice. That in any way does not mean we hate Daniel Onjeh, hence we implore all to sheathe their sword and come together to build a prosperous and united Idoma nation for the good of all.

Our appreciation goes to all democracy loving people of Benue South District, Benue State and Nigeria at large for their show of uncommon solidarity in our moment of trials. It was not easy why we campaigned and sensitized our people through the nook and corners of Zone C, but glory be to God none was killed or died in the process. Also worthy of appreciation is the indefatigable social crusader and our brother from Vandeikya, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, Chief Abu King Shuluwa and His Excellency, the former Executive Governor of Benue State Dr. Gabriel Torwua Suswan who stood by our side right from the onset, encouraging and educating the entire Idoma nation on the virtues of patriotism and single-minded dedication to the course of our fatherland. Sirs, your counsel were heeded and the result was resounding. We remain indebted to you and will forever hold you in high esteem as some of the few Benue sons that will speak truth to authority. God bless you all. Furthermore, our appreciation goes to the Idoma extraction in Nasarawa, Cross-River State and our Jukun brothers from Taraba State who wished they had PVC cards to vote in Benue State but alas they were not qualified as such, but gave their best in support and enlightenment on how not to choose foolishly. We thank our Ibo neighbours, the Yoruba and Hausa community, our Tiv neighbours and our friends from the thirty-six states of the country who supported us morally and otherwise. We remain grateful to all. The good Lord bless you immensely.

In conclusion, I wish to plead that we all put our differences behind now that elections have come and gone and forge a common goal in uplifting the image of our fatherland. Electioneering campaign is over, the battles have been won and lost, there is no victor, no vanquished, hence this clarion call to come together and build a greater and united Idoma for the good of our children and generations yet unborn. Let no one deceive us, nobody’s ambition is bigger than the collective good of Idomaland. We are all one. The task to move the Idoma nation forward is a big challenge that can see fruition only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

Thank you all.

Comrade Ameh E. Obeya
(Owukpa, Benue State)

1 comment:

  1. This is a commendable piece of writing. I particularly advise Hon. Onjeh to bury the hatchet, and wait for God's time. People are watching.