By Andyson Iji Egbodo
One of the greatest hits of a Canadian singer, Celine Dion released in the early 90s and titled “Think twice”, captures better than any words on the marble, an advice for the two honourable members of the Benue State House of Assembly from the Igede axis of the Southern Senatorial district of Benue State.
They are Rt. Hon. Dr Adoga Onah of Oju 1 and “Hon” Ire Matthew Owuru of Oju 11 State Constituencies. While Dr. Adoga Onah is a ranking member of the House and is now free from litigational web arising from the election that saw his return to the House, Hon. Ire Owuru is still very much enburdened and chronically plagued by a lingering electoral dispute that is certain to cut his stay in the House short.
In a perilous times when the others are brainstorming on how to rescue the state from its prevailing economic realities, the duo choose to aligned themselves with the enemies of unity of the Igede kingdom and mischief merchants as they appended their signatures boldly in a suit filed again in court by some few other members of the house against the deputy majority leader of the Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nick Eworo. They are praying that the court should declare the seat of Nick Eworo vacant for defecting from their party, the PDP to the APC.
Unfortunately, the duo are great benefactors of Eworo’s magnanimous disposition in the power game of the last election that brought them to the Benue State House of Assembly as members. How time flies and the choice to bite the finger that fed them resounds. Though a constitutional topic, it won”t be difficult a matter for a lay man to understand. The issue was first brought before the court in 2015, after the proclamation of the 8th Assembly, by the PDP.
The constitition of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates that no member of parliament duely elected on the platform of a political party shall cross carpet while in office EXCEPT in a crisis situation. The spirit and letters of our constitution on this, quite unlike in so many other sections are free from ambiguity.
In a unanimous judgement delivered then, the presiding Judge dismissed the suit citing the inability of the PDP to prove that there was no crisis in the party when Eworo left to align with the APC. The PDP failed woefully to establish in the court on what led to the expulsion of Rt. Hon Nick Eworo from the PDP by its congress in Obi and his subsequent movement to the APC after the congress wrote officially to the state and national secretariats of the PDP notifying them of the development, if there was no crisis. The copies of these correspondence were all tendered in the court to prove that Eworo followed the provisions of the law in his actions.
When the unfortunate news of the involvement of Dr Adoga Onah and Dishonourable Mr Ire Owuru filtered out, Igede elites quickly summoned the two conspiring members of the house in Makurdi and ordered them to back out of the satanic project, for the fact that Igede Nation does not stand to gain anything positive from the venture. It was in that meeting that it became clearer how the issue which has long been put to rest by a competent court of law was exhumed. It is the machination of the strong man of Otukpo politics and Chairman, Senate committee of observers, Sen. David Mark and his cohorts. Their target is to purnish Eworo for the roles he played in the last rerun election in Benue South. The other reason is for the Otukpo clique to install another of their boys from Obi on the seat. Someone they are sure would be reporting to the ASA mansion of the retired soldier. What a tasky task! They have, unfortunately found useful tools in some of our straying leaders in the house of assembly to carry out their enterprise.
Reacting to these developments, the Igede Traditional Council has distanced itself like the elites from the plot to sack Eworo from the house of assembly. His Royal Highness, Ad’Oju Augustine Egbere Ogbu in his palace condemned in its entirety the selling out of a fellow Igede man in the altar of politics. Reminding the two Igede members that endorsed the file, he said the gods of the Igedes prohibit such actions and charge them to, in the interest of Igede Nation, withdraw their signatures in an official notice to the court urgently. He pointed out that on no account should an Igede man surrenders the head of his brother to strangers.