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Benue South rerun: Will it be David in hand or Daniel in the bush?

Written By Idoma Television on Friday, February 19, 2016 | 9:39:00 AM

By Dr Ushakuma Anenga

It's not for nothing that my write-up has a sarcastic title. The reasons are just as dicey; the people of Benue South senatorial zone are between the Devil and the dead sea in Senator David Mark and Daniel Onjeh.

If not for anything, both of them are politicians and I won't be the first to say that group of people have done nothing to earn the trust of the ordinary Nigerian, even worse, Benue indigenes.

Politicians over the years have disappointed the average Benue man and the people of Benue South are not oblivious that they are going to choose between another two politicians, however, if it were based on comparative performance, David Mark has raised the bar. I would say there should be no contest because, in my opinion and those of many others, he has been the best Benue senator in the past 16 years and counting.

Senator Mark as Senate President has attracted, in cash and kind, what no other Benue senator (West and East put together) can boast about. In an age where graduation of medical students is a major achievement, David Mark has done excellently well for his people. Federal projects, federal jobs... you name it! He has commandeered all of those for his people. 

One would therefore wonder why anyone should clamour for a change.
The problem is, when power is snatched from the hands of the people and clung unto, no matter how good they have it under such a person, there is bound to be a revolt. That's the case with David Mark.
Power in Benue South as it were, began and ended with David Mark; he gave appointments to whom he wished to; contracts to family members and cronies; imposition of candidates, and all that with impunity. He did what he deemed fit for the people whether they liked it or not - something the people don't usually like. Ask Gadaffi.

To the extent that he was once quoted boasting that he didn't need the people's votes to win elections, that "the birds" will vote for him. No people will accept that. Ironically, the slogan of his party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) is "Power to the people".

In actual sense, by rather voting Mark's opponent, Daniel Onjeh, the people will actualize the PDP slogan and take back power from a David who has over time turned into a Goliath. Onjeh may not make as much impact on his people as Mark but by voting out Mark, the people of Benue South would have underlined their capability to remove anyone, Onjeh inclusive, if their aspirations are not met.

Nice doubt, Onjeh comes with an air of uncertainty and a grinding stone of loyalty hanging on his neck and voting him may not be good in the short term especially with regards to the employment Mark freely lavished on his people and national influence, but it may prove to be the best decision in the long run.

Whichever path the Idoma and Igede people of Benue South choose to take is up to them - David in hand or Daniel in the bush?
Good luck as you decide tomorrow.
From your Tiv friend,
Dr Ushakuma Anenga

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