Engr. Morgan Okwoche
If the strong indications and permutations by observers, and from the ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North Central region and in Benue State are anything to believe, Igede people are on their way to debut their ministerial appointee in the APC-led government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Engr. Morgan Okwoche, an unsung philanthropist and a bigwig of the APC from Zone C especially the Oju chapter of the party will soon be in the news again for good, as all eyes and fingers are pointed to him to make the cabinet list of the in-coming federal government to be led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.
Similarly, Barr. Jacob Ajene, younger brother of late dep. governor in the administration of Sen George Akume is hoped to be the next Secretary to the Benue State Government, when Samuel Ortom administration takes off.
If the two positions set sail, it will be the first time, perhaps, that Igede people will be occupying such positions as a direct by-product of the exercise of their political wisdom for voting wisely.
The closest Igede people had ever come to the corridor of power was when Ogah Okwoche (who just passed on) was appointed Nigerian ambassador to France. But his appointment, pundits say, was given him purely based on merit and not as a dividend of partisan politics.
Likewise was the appointment of Prof. Ode Ojowu as the Chief Economic Adviser to Olusegun Obasanjo which was predicated also on merit, as he was discovered the best economist in Nigeria then. So his appointment by-passed the impugned PDP system, which is characterized by high corrupt practices and nepotism.
It will be recalled that since 1976, when Oju LG was created alongside Benue State, Igede sons and daughters have never enjoyed any meaningful positions either in the state or at the federal level, yet the 2006 national population census rates them demographically as the third largest ethnic groups in the state, in terms of population size.
Instead, the two dominant ethnics, Tiv and Idoma, have only capitalized on Igede population for voting or, they have been taking undue political advantages over the Igede people, without any indices of infrastructural or socio-political returns, to show for their votes for the Idoma senators and Tiv governors who always exploit them during election time.
In the eyes of the Idoma/Otukpo mafias, Igede is the backwater of the state politics. No thanks to the political hawkish and sellouts from among Igede themselves.
But all of that looks set to change this time.