2019 Benue South: Why Senate seat should move to Old Oju District

2019 BENUE SOUTH SENATORIAL RACE

Why Senate seat should move to Old Oju District

By James Ibechi, Guest Writer

By demography, the 2006 national population census recognizes Tiv, Idoma and Igede as the three dominant ethnics in Benue State. Their dominance is in the order that they are listed.

In other words, Tiv, Idoma and Igede are the three major tribes in the state, who constitute the triumvirate around which many people say that power should ordinarily revolve, but which unfortunately has never happened in the anal of the history of the state.

For, the state power seems to permanently reside with only the Tiv just as the Zone C senatorial seat has become immovable from the hands of Idoma, to the marginalization of the Igede people of the zone.

As it has become difficult for the Idoma people to thaw the ice of the Tiv people on the state governorship, so it is for Igede over the Benue South senatorial seat.

Though watchers of political events in the state do not believe that something has to give, yet they are optimistic that the Igede people’s turn to produce the senator to represents the Zone is 2019.

In deed, the marginalization of the Igede people has become so grisly that it has long locked them in throe of agitation for powershift  – particularly the seat of the senate.

The Igede people demand to see their own son or daughter occupy the senate seat in 2019. They also want to be appointed as ministers of the Federal Republic, ambassadors, etc.

The Tivs who are the largest ethnic group occupy Benue Central and Northern Senatorial Districts, while Idoma and Igede share the southern senatorial district.

While the Tiv and Idoma have always been ministers, senators, etc, no Igede person has ever been appointed minister or senator.

Yet, it would be note that the Igede tribe produces qualified candidates for these positions just as the other two tribes do.

A review of the distribution of appointive positions in the past administrations shows that the following Idoma (and no Igede) have been Ministers:

  1. First Republic: Mr.J.C. Obande (Old Okpokwu)
  2. First Republic: Mr. Abutu Obekpa (Old Okpokwu)s
  3. Second Republic: Mr. Audu Ogbe (Old Okpokwu)
  4. Military Era: Brig. Gen. David Mark (Old Otukpo)
  5. Third Republic: Mrs. Grace ogwuche (Old Otukpo) 2005-2007
  6. Third Republic: Dr. Jerry Agada (Old Okpokwu) 2007-2009
  7. Third Republic: Mr. Samuel Odeh ( Old Otukpo) 2010-2011
  8. Third Republic: Mr. Abba Morro (Old Okpokwu) 2011-2015
  9. Third Republic: Mr. Audu Ogbeh (Old Okpokwu) 2015-date

Between 2011 and 2015, all the major political positions shared to the Benue South Senatorial District were occupied by Idoma and none by the Igede. These were:

  1. Senator (Sen. David Mark), since 1999, Idoma (Old Otukpo)
  2. Minister (Mr. Abba Morro), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  3. Ambassador (Amb. Joseph Agbo), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  4. Ambassador (Adadu Echi), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  5. Deputy Governor (Mr. Steve Lawani), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  6. Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Salifu Idoma (Old Otukpo)
  7. State PDP Chairman (Dr. Emmanuel Agbo), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  8. Deputy Speaker (Dr. Stephen Omega), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  9. Appointed Directors General of the following institutions are all Idoma: (a) Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos (b). National Action for the Control of AIDS, Abuja.

Presently (2015 to date), all the major political appointments shared to the Benue South Senatorial District are occupied by Idoma and none by the Igede. These are:

  1. Senator (Sen. David Mark), since 1999 Idoma (Old Otukpo)
  2. Minister (Chief Audu Ogbeh), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  3. Ambassador (Amb. Joseph Agbo), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  4. Ambassador (Adadu Echi), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  5. Deputy Governor (Engr. Benson Abonu), Idoma (Old Otukpo)
  6. State APC Chairman (Mr. Abba Yaro), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)
  7. Deputy Speaker (Mr. James E. Okefe), Idoma (Old Okpokwu)

Benue South Senatorial District comprises, and or is divided into three zones:

  1. Old Oju Ditrict (Igede)
  2. Old Okpokwu District (Idoma)
  3. Old Otukpo District (Idoma)

While Old Okpokwu has had the senate seat three times, Old Otukpo six times, Old Oju has never had a chance.
This is one of the most important reasons many stakeholders have been praying and urging the power brokers, the electorate, and the entire people of the Benue South Senatorial District to ensure that the next senator from the District be an Igede person in the interest of justice and fairness, and in order to create a sense of belonging for all the people in the Benue Zone C geopolitical delineation.

The political parties – both ruling and the opposition – are in the positions to pave the way for this to happen through the enforcement of zoning spirit and formula.

Move, therefore, the 2019 seat of the Benue South Senatorial District to Old Oju and appoint Igede persons as ministers in the next federal cabinet compositions, to address the imbalances.

Having said this and in so far as the thrust of this discourse revolves around why there should be paradigm shift in the Benue South Senatorial District, one of the most reasonable things to do is move the 2019 senatorial seat to Old Oju District.

 

Source: CongressVoice

 

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