Chir Msugh Iorwase Armstrong
I am not anti-Ortom neither am I anti-Buhari’s administration (APC), However I am a lover of quality and effective governance and representation, I believe in fair play, prudence and accountability whereby due process and the rule of law prevails.
Benue State is of the Nigeria’s most populated states, Benue has actively been involved in the affairs of Nation-building, and politics been the game of numbers, Benue state having played her role and part in the last general election, I think it is common sense Buhari-led administration to reciprocate in-like mind but the reverse is the case now.
You will recall that from 1999-2015, Benue state politicians have been at various center stages running the government of the federal republic of Nigeria.
During President Olusegun Obasanjo’s era, Sen. Iorchia Ayu, Stephen Akiga, were ministers at various levels and times when President Musa Yar’Adua came on board . Mr Mike Aondo-akaa(SAN) stood tall in Abuja as the Attorney general and minister of justice and of course Aondo-akaa did ground-breaking of records as he championed the course of empowering Benue Sons what i Love to call ‘’Benue agenda”. Prof. Jerry Agada was also on ground as a minister of the federal republic. Aondo-akaa was later replaced by another Benue Son Sam Ode, Justice Katsina Alu was the Chief Judge of the federation, Waziri Farida headed the anti-corruption graft (EFCC).
During the days of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Benue state sitting governor Dr. Samuel Ortom also served as a minister, Sam Ode was maintained, Mr. Abba Moro was also part of his administration. As I write this today, it is on record that Benue Sons and daughters have gained more federal government jobs/slots through the aid of Abba Moro than any other Benue Son. No doubt, all the Benue sons and daughters aforementioned have played various roles in empowering various Benue sons and daughters at different times.
But during this Buhari-led administration, things are apparently different. Benue sons and daughters are relegated at the background, few of our sons and daughters that were given various appointment by the previous administration are been sacked/relieved of such appointments by Buhari-led administration without adequate replacement. But wait a minute, I can recall vividly when Baba came on board, He made breath-taking statements like “I can work with anybody”. ‘ I belong to everybody, And i belong to Nobody’’. By implications, Buhari meant he can work with people that Goodluck-led government gave appointments, by implication Baba meant even PDP members that are qualified will be given fair share in his government. But why the ran-sacking of Benue Sons from Abuja whom have PDP inclination?
I was priveledged to meet with one of the strong-hold of the APC in the State (Benue) and I was shocked to his response to the bone marrow when I put forward a question to him as thus: “Sir, what is happening? why is it that Benue sons and daughters are not been recognized in this administration by the central government?” why is it that this administration can’t identify with the TIV man, the Idoma man in his government. Considering the role Benue played in the last general election that brought the government to power?” He responded as thus: “We are confused as well”, this wasn’t what we (Benue APC) bargained for. Things are not just working out as planed; The Governor is not just fit. He (Ortom) don’t have a say in Abuja Politics, that is why he can’t go to Abuja and bring home slots for his people”.
When I heard the response of this APC strong-hold, when I heard the reply given to me by this arrow-head of the APC in Benue state, I wept for my people. Within few minutes lots of thoughts cross-crisped my mind; why will our Governor be this incapacitated? why will our Governor be this weak? why will our Governor not rise to the task of going to Abuja to fight/lobby for federal appointments for his people?
But the truth of the matter is that Benue state Governor is no where near the powers that be in the federal corridor. He is no-where to be found when it comes to national politics: He is just lost. One wouldn’t have bothered that much if our beloved Governor is actually doing what is required of his office back here at home. The yearnings and expectations of Benue electorates are been reneged. Benue electorates are honestly tired and dejected. Yes, this elder-states man was right to have said this “This wasn’t what we bargained for”. We the people of Benue never fought for Change so that our Children should be sacked, we never fought for Change so that the arrow-head of Change in Benue will sit, fold his arms while our children continue to trek from Abuja to Makurdi without bread at hand.
MY FEAR FOR THE PEOPLE OF BENUE
Fear, fear to the halt, is what I feel for my people. If this unpopular and barrened Ortom-led administration is not curtailed or call to order, things will surely get out of hand. Today the administration is 9 months old but the brunt government bears on Benue electorates is basically un-quantifiable. You will bear me witness that when an administration incept especially when the baton of power is been exchanged from different political parties, it is expected that the captain of the administration as a matter of necessity go extra-miles to bring smiles to the faces of his people; the newly inaugurated government always try to score a point,to have an agenda, to prove to the people that their decision to oust the previous administration wasn’t a mistake and therefore giving them no-room of regret.
I fear so much for my people because we were cajoled and coaxed by the “Change mantra”, we were cajoled to extending the change we wanted to establish at ASO-ROCK to Benue state thinking it will yield results. But today we are face to face with reality; Today we are face to face with the change we fought for, the change most of us lost our children trying to establish, the change most of us lost our jobs/appointments trying to initiate. Where is the “CHANGE”, we the people of Benue fought for?
THE WAY FORWARD
My people, you are aware that this administration as recorded so far has shown us or given us no confidence. We can’t rely on this Ortom-led administration. The government lacks “THE WILL” and it is a known fact that where there is no “WILL” there is no purpose. And you are also aware that if there is no purpose then;the denial of the future of a BENUE CHILD stand right before us; there won’t be good roads, No hospitals, No drugs, No good water to drink, No salaries, No-nothing. For the past 9 months there is no move from the governor to do any of these things listed here. We can’t continue to fold our arms and watch the future of our children, even the future of our children yet un-born played with. We have no any other place than Benue; Benue is our home therefore nobody, no political demi-god has the right to play games with the future of our children, nobody has the right to play pranks with our three square meal! NO WAY! As the government has no agenda to make a head way!.
We shall continue to cry out, even though our cry has vehemently refused to be heard by the powers that be in the state, posterity will someday speak for us. My people, as we continue to cry out loud and pray to God almighty for sustenance and deliverance in the face of ; No salaries, No road to walk on, No good water to drink, No quality education given to our children, and the worst of all now that few of our children working in Abuja have been sacked and sent parking for no reason. I write to draw the attention of the world to such injustice and evil that has befallen the BENUE-MAN in the national politics of Nigeria; even as the Benue-child has nobody to stand for him, no governor to speak out for him, no senator, nobody! I repeat no body!.
Someday, not too long any longer, 2019 our good Lord will rise for us, among us a leader that shall speak for us, a leader that will feel our pains and plights, a leader that will give our children the quality of education we all yearn and crave for over years.
CHIR MSUGH IORWASE ARMSTRONG Writes from Makurdi.