Home » » Benue South rerun: It’s fight to finish for Dan Onjeh, David Mark

Benue South rerun: It’s fight to finish for Dan Onjeh, David Mark

Written By Idoma Television on Thursday, January 21, 2016 | 11:38:00 PM

By AMEH COMRADE GODWIN

Ahead of the forthcoming senatorial rerun in Benue South, which is tentatively slated for February 13, Ameh Comrade Godwin takes a critical look at the chances of the two main contenders in the contest, former Senate President, David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party and former NANS President, Daniel Onyirofie Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress.

Come February 13, precisely St. Valentine’s Eve, electorates in Benue South senatorial district will once again troop to the polls to elect who will represent them at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly for another four years.
This development followed a verdict by Justice Ige of the Appeal Court, Makurdi, which on November 28 nullified Mark’s election over issues bothering on irregular date in the first election between Mark and Onjeh.

However, since the electoral umpire announced the date for the rerun, the atmosphere in Benue South has become more tensed and busy. For the first time, Mark seems to be facing a very tough time in an election. He has always sailed to victory in all elections due to his growing popularity not only in Benue but the entire country.
Some observers have, however, tagged the forthcoming rerun as the ‘hottest’ in the history of Benue Zone C politics.

Mark and his marks
Mark, an ex-soldier has always remained the ‘captain’ of Benue South ‘political ship’, a position he has been holding since the return of democracy in 1999.
Within the area delineated as Zone C in Benue State of Nigeria; there are those who insist that David Mark must be retained for a 5th term , while others are of the opinion that it is time to try new hands after 16 years of Mark in the Senate.

Some believe that Mark, who served as the Senate President for a record of eight years must remain to conclude the work he has already started in the zone. Some of the projects, according to them include the 17 Billion Naira Otukpo Multi-Purpose Dam in Otobi-Ankpa, the situation of the Medical School, and the Law Faculty of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi in Otukpo, the pursuit of the creation of an Apa State, the completion of the Rural Access Mobility Project which has been largely abandoned by the Minister of Agriculture et al.

Many have argued favourably for Mark that as a Senate President, it was difficult to raise certain motion as such may be termed sentiment, hence the need to give him another chance to raise motions to support the creation of APA and other states as a Neutral member in the National Assembly.
Many believe that the creation of APA state may be realized if Mark is give another opportunity.
Pursuing these aims, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Zone C, have asked reluctant Mark to participate in the re-run after the appellate court sacked him.

Mark had at a recent meeting with the PDP elders in Otukpo said he was waiting on God to direct him on the way forward about the rerun. But the elders convinced him not to pull out. Many analysts have, therefore, affirmed that even though, Mark may want to turn things around for the Idoma people in the last part of his representation, he has showed little or no sign of desperation.

He was quoted as saying, “I have been praying to God to direct me whether I am to re-contest this election come February 2016 or not. When I relayed this issue to the Party Chairman as one of the elders in this party, he told me in clear terms that he is not going to table this matter for discussion and that I have no other option than to rerun for the Senate. He told me I must do this for the people.”
Some critics are, however, of the opinion that Mark has exhausted his political time in the senate and should give a younger person the opportunity to try.

According to them, Mark’s 16 years as a senator has had very little benefit to the Idoma nation and the constituency at large.
Some have continued to raise the issue of divide and rule sentiment which they believe was visible in Mark’s era as a Senator, an allegation the Mark’s campaign group has continuously debunked, saying all Idomas irrespective of where they are have benefited reasonably from Mark.

But popular political analyst and a pro-Onjeh, Enenche Enenche said, “There was a time Idomas had vibrant members at the House of Reps making great exploits. The likes of Hons David Idoko, Agbo Ogah, Solomon Agidani, Nelson Alapa among others, had outstanding representations at the house of reps, but today the story is different, “strong and smart men must be isolated from power” this is the ideology upon which competence, intelligence and efficiency, perished on the altar of mediocrity and sycophancy… One man dictates who gets what!
“One man has raised people, he raised sycophants and not men with strong will. He raised weak men to frustrate the strong, and now these men are not intellectually fit to drive down his ideology, if at all there is any.”

But Mark’s campaign team says Mark has done very well and will do more if returned. They believe critics are only pursuing mere sentiment on how long Mark has remained a Senator instead of looking at his achievements. According to Ada Mark, a coordinator iof Mark’s campaign and former House of Reps member, little or nothing has been publicized on what Mark has done for the Idoma nation either individually or collectively. ” I do not want to sound as if Mark as the then Senate President was working for just the Idoma nation, but Idoma people should know in their hearts of hearts that he did his best. He may not have satisfied everybody, but majority will testify to his good job,” She said.

Tivs, Akume sentiments…
Checks by this newspaper reveal that the Akume, Tivs sentiment is gradually eating deep into the heart of the people.
The PDP team believes that former governor of the State and a serving senator of the federal republic, George Akume was only using the APC candidate to fight David Mark over his (Akume) inability to emerge as Senate President in the just concluded contest for the seat.

It believes that Akume was out to take over Benue South politics after successfully converting the state to his ‘private company.’
This campaign has become a major point against Onjeh as many are already buying into it.

Mark and his ‘impacts’
The social media community, particularly twitter recently went agog after media team of the PDP came up with a trend, #MarkOfImpact, thus, using it to showcase the achievements of Mark in the zone. Even though several completed projects were reeled out to the public, the APC team, countered it with #MarkOfShame, arguing that Mark ruined the zone for 16 years.

Onjeh, a rookie or a hero?
It has been speculated that when Onjeh officially flags off his campaign on Saturday, the PDP will experience a heavy tsunami as its bigwigs will join the ‘change’ train.

Among those expected to decamp to the APC are, four former guber aspirants, Sam Ode, former Minister, Jerry Agada, Mike Onoja and immediate past deputy governor of the state, Steve Lawani.
To the opponent, Onjeh is too ‘small’ to serve as a Senator in Idoma political shrine. To them, he lacks the political will and experience needed to influence positive projects to the zone.
They believe that there is nothing a ‘rookie’ can achieve in the Senate.

According to them, he may not even make a chairman of any important committee. He may not understand the arcane rules of the chamber. He may not have the camaraderie engendered by long stay in the red chamber to have forged relationships across party lines to be able to bring the bacon home.

However, this argument has since been countered by the APC team on the ground that maturity is not in age but the state of mind. According to them, many Nigerian past leaders came into power while they were even younger than Onjeh. ‘You don’t judge a book by its cover,’ APC scribe, Chief Eloyi once averred in a opinion.

He insisted that Onjeh, having led the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS and West African Students Union, WASU, which are reputed to be the toughest organisations to lead, the Orokam-born can no doubt spearhead the office.

The Young Alhaji connection
Political spectators in Benue South were shocked recently when Mark’s long time rival, Usman Abubakar, AKA, Young Alhaji declared his support for Mark against his Orokam kinsman, Onjeh.
The ‘political romance,’ insiders believe was born out of Abubakar’s hatred for Akume, whom he claimed privatized the party. At the moment, Abubakar who twice dragged Mark to court over the outcome of the 2003, 2007 election is one of his campaign team members.

He’s currently using his popularity to win many electorates into the PDP’s boat.
No matter the intrigues, drama and suspense, it’s only a matter of weeks, and Benue South natives will know their fate.
Share this article :

0 POST YOUR COMMENT:

 
Copyright © 2016. IDOMA VOICE NEWSPAPER... Latest Idoma News, Otukpo News, Benue News and more - All Rights Reserved
Design by Jastaco Technologies Proudly powered by Google Blogger