Ortom didn’t come from heaven, by Nelson Ushafa Tsav


“People should downplay the heap of expectations on him”

The 2015 general elections have come and gone and the wishes of the Nigerian electorates have counted this time. Leaders of our choices have been elected and announced. May 29 is the day everybody is so much looking forward to.

Everybody seems to be concerned because we’ve long suffered enough as a people. Our previous leaders have failed us therefore the need for change. Also, for the very first time the wishes of the people seems to have counted through the ballot box. There is hope that everyone will be carried along; there will be employment for the unemployed, hospitals for the sick, education for the poor among other necessities of life.

There is every need to be expectant as a human being. This gives you hope for living. But over expecting in most cases brings about dissatisfied results. I am speaking based on my little experience as an individual. The stories will come another day.

It is a fact that Benue people voted for Dr. Samuel Ioraer Ortom to take over from Dr. Gabriel Suswam. This was done across party lines. He received the overwhelming support of the Benue people. This was not unconnected with the shabby performance of the PDP led administration in the state. The people needed change. And the man, Ortom has been given the mandate to bring about that change. Therefore, he must be given time too.

Just last week, the outgoing governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, gave the incoming governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, 8 SUVs, which is part of the transition. The cars were not a personal donation from Suswam and it is a tradition. The cars are to be used by the incoming governor, His wife, deputy and wife of the deputy Governor elect. Many people have been calling on Ortom to reject the cars. Why should Ortom reject the vehicles?

This is something that has been happening since 1999. Many of us didn’t know what happened when Suswam took over from Akume in 2007 because there were in the same party and probably because it was a stolen mandate and no one gave a damn.

For those who are saying Ortom and Suswam are the same are too quick to conclude. To some, Ortom shouldn’t have anything in common with Suswam; to others he should invite the EFCC straight away.

We need to be reminded that Suswam still has his full immunity until May 29. Even if Ortom has plans, he can only keep them to himself.

And we should not forget in a hurry that politics has no permanent enemies; it is only the interest that is permanent. These people were in the same party for so many years and as such we shouldn’t expect Ortom to discard Suswam immediately and permanently too.

Again, on the expectations that manna will start falling from above as soon as Ortom and Buhari takes over in May, we need stop deceiving ourselves. The problems of Nigeria and Benue state dates back as far as the day we got independence. We shouldn’t expect those problems to be fixed overnight.

Electing credible leaders is only a step in the right direction. It can keep them on their toes and at the same time they can thread with caution when sworn in, bearing at the back of their mind that they will be pushed out the same way if performances do not improve.

Ortom and the new leadership in Nigeria needs time. They didn’t come from heaven; they were born and brought up in Nigeria. We shouldn’t put so much expectations on them. Ortom cannot kill Suswam as some of us expect him to. We should only pray for him and give him time to do well when sworn into office. Let us downplay our high expectations.


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