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2016 in retrospect: Five unforgettable political battles in Idoma land

Written By Idoma Television on Monday, January 2, 2017 | 1:24:00 AM


By Vera Enenche and Ben Idah

No doubt, the year 2016 witnessed a lot of political dramas in the Idoma community.
The year was greeted with a lot of political fights and dramas.

In this carefully selected list, Idoma Voice x-rays the top five political fights that rocked Idoma nation last year.

Daniel Onjeh Vs Mark
Political observers in Idoma land of Benue State will not forget the year 2016 in a hurry.
For the first time, the political terrain of the community witnessed what is now described as the biggest and tension-soaked political fight in the history of the land.

It all started on November 28, 2015 when a Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi upturned the election of former Senate President, David Mark, thus, ordering a fresh rerun within 90 days.

The campaign was the dirtiest in the history of Idoma political history. 

ALSO READ:  2016 in retrospect: Unforgettable deaths in Idomaland 
 
David Mark, in a statement released on his behalf of his campaign orgasnisation accused Onjeh of planning to kill him. Onjeh in his response, described Mark as an expired politician whose career has faded into a cultural pot of time.

 After the February 20 election, Mark was once again declared winner, Onjeh returned to court for the second time but the judgment went the other way this time around.

 Mad Lion Vs Hassan Saleh
Rep Hassan Saleh and Adabah Abah Christian, all of the PDP, are still locked in legal battle over the Ado/Obadigbo/Okpokwu federal constituency of Benue State two year after the elections.

More than 15 months since the Appeal Court ruled in favour of Adabah Abah Christian, the incumbent member from the constituency, Hassan Saleh, is still in office.

More confusing in the whole saga is the position of the National Assembly website, which recognises Adabah Abah as the representative of the constituency, with his name and bio-data reflected on the website. At the moment, constituents are still yet to know who their representative is at the Green Chamber.

Nelson Alapa Vs Ezekiel Adaji
The battle for the soul of Otukpo/Ohimini at the Federal House of Representative was another big one.

Former minority whip, Nelson Alapa felt it was high time paid back his perceived political enemies, who pushed him from seat in 2011.

In 2015, he announced his decision to contest for the seat against the current occupant, Ezekiel Adaji but it was an attempt of venom on the rocks.

The victory went the way of Adaji at the polls but he was not satisfied with the process that led to his opponent’s victory and he decided to go the legal way.
Both the tribunal and court of appeal trashed his petition. He was left alone in the garden.

James Okefe Vs Okpokwu PDP

The Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, James Okefe and elders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP nearly exchange blows over ‘mace of power.’
In fact, Okefe was dubbed the black sheep of the party for selling out the platform that made him.

Okefe, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to represent Okpokwu State Constituency has since the inception of the assembly being at the centre of all and every controversy emanating from the chamber.

Irked by the daily attacks on him, the young man pitched his tent with the ruling APC. His estranged party disowned him.

Abounu Vs David Mark
This is another interesting battle. The deputy governor of Benue State, Engr. Benson Abounu and former senate president, David Mark in 2016 tested their popularity in Idoma land. Of course, it was a battle of no victor, no vanquished.

Following the nullification of Mark’s election by the appellant court, Abounu toured every nooks and crannies of Idoma community, telling Benue South electorates why they should vote out the ex-military governor of Niger State.

This triggered a cold war between these elder statesmen. Abonunu in an interview with Idoma TV said the APC was aimed at snatching power from the PDP in the rerun.
Mark eventually won, Abounu felt the battle continues.

In fact, many had claimed that the legal battle between organizers of Mark D’Ball and Otukpo Club was orchestrated by the deputy governor.    
 

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