By Ameh Godwin and James Ewaoche Amedu
Mr. Samuel Ojobo Uwakwe Udeh is a native of Ichama District of Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State Nigeria.
In this interview with IDOMA VOICE, the Dublin, Republic of Ireland-based philanthropist speaks on the possibility of Idoma man spearheading the affairs of Benue politics in the nearest future.
He also proffers solutions to the cases of killings, kidnappings and other cult-related activities in Idoma community.
You are far away in Ireland but your impact is greatly felt back home, how were able to achieve all these?
First of all, I was able to do that because I visit home twice in a year! Like in 2015, I came once because of the time I invested during the general elections but in 2016, I visited Nigeria thrice. That is the only way I can feel what my people need, what area I need to work on. I am always visiting home.
Don't you think what you doing back home is a distraction?
I have spent 15 years here. In fact, I worked in the Nigeria Embassy here in Ireland as a Consular Administrator issuing Nigerian Passport since 2005. Anybody who have Nigerian passport from Dublin, I am the one who issued that passport.
When I came to the Nigerian Embassy, there were a lot of queues because there was no passport machine. All the applications submitted to the embassy were taken to Germany to be processed. When I came and saw the crowd, I approached the then Ambassador who hailed from Adamawa and within two months we were able to process passports for about 29 thousand Nigerians.
What happened was I would come to the office from morning and close in the evening even on Sunday I worked till I cleared them all.
I was nationalized and I resigned and got appointment with Logistics Industry from 2002-2011. Back to government as Social welfare officer and family affairs where till now, I don’t see those as challenges because I do what should do when I need to do them.
How would you rate the current leadership of Samuel Ortom of Benue State?
I am not surprise over Ortom’s underperformance in Benue State because what was his achievement when in PDP? He was part of the last administration so I never expected anything different from him.
Who would you blame for the rot in Idoma land?
I laugh whenever people say David Mark is behind our problem in Idoma land. See, I supported David Mark during the rerun between him and Onjeh last year February and I can tell you categorically that our problem is individual and not Mark. For example, when Mark was the Senate President, he employed a lot of Idoma people.
That is why Tiv people are not happy with us till today. They claimed that Mark hijacked all appointments and gave them to only Idoma people. Even though most of them were given to his family members, I agree. Let other Idomas too empower their family members like he did.
The truth is that Mark is not cause of our problem in Idomaland.
Though, he has to be blamed in some other areas but if we all contribute our quotas to the development of Idomaland, we would have gone far above here.
For example, my country home in Ichama has no electricity even after we produced a daughter as LG boss and a state political party chairman on two occasions that produced State Governor, was that caused by Mark? How do you expect Mark to come from Abuja stop our development here in Okpokwu? Okpokwu is the second largest after Otukpo and we are not enjoying the social amenities that should be accorded to us. We have other representatives and wealthy individuals what are their contributions?
"Communal negligence is our disease in Idomaland".
What do you think is the solution to the cases of kidnappings, killings, cultism and arm robberies in our and?
First of all, before finding solutions, we need to find out what caused the problems. Some of these criminal elements in Idomalnd happen as a result of high rate of poverty, unemployment among the youths. Our politicians buy guns for them and abandon them after election.
We need to go back to the drawing board to get it right. How can a young person finish school and no job to do? He needs mobile phones or wants to live comfortable. I think the only way forward in my own opinion is to create employment for the youths as well as engage them in meaningful skill acquisitions, etc.
Do you see the possibility of an Idoma person ruling Benue soon?
There is no reason why Idoma can’t govern Benue State because of its minority status.
How come former President Goodluck Jonathan became president? As a minority from Bayelsa? Idoma are even more populated than Ijaw. How come was Obama a Kenya elected president of America?
The truth is that it is not because of the minority status but the selfish interest among Idoma elite. For example, in 2015 during the PDP primary before the general elections, if all Idoma supported a candidate we would have been in power by now.
Our problem is not of population, but selfishness.
APC have failed woefully and for PDP to take over 2019, Idoma candidate is the best option.
Samuel attended Kaduna State Polytechnic Zaria 1998-2000, Dublin Business School, Dublin, Ireland 2003-2007 and Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland 2014-2016.
Samuel holds Higher Certificates in Supply Chain Logistics Administration, level 6 Certificates in Team Leadership, Diploma in Purchasing & Supply, BA (Hons) in Business Studies, and MSc in Information Technology Management. Samuel also hold European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) and he is member of the Chartered Institution of Logistics and Transport Ireland.
Samuel commenced his international working experience as Office Administrator/Consular Administrator with the Nigeria Embassy in Dublin from 2002-2006, Supply Chain/Service Administrator with the (NMI) at Dublin Port Tunnel from 2006-2011, and as a Staff Officer with the Department of Social Protection, Tallaght Intreo Office since 2016
Samuel aspired for Benue State House Assembly seat Okpokwu constituency in 2015 general election but dropout due to PDP zoning arrangement.
Samuel is an experienced, adoptable administrator with keen attention to detail and ability to milt-task. He enjoys working as part of a team but work equally as well on his own initiative, possess excellent communication and organisational skills and understand the importance of good customer service. Samuel is always eager to gain further skills and knowledge
During Samuel various administration jobs, he has developed strong team leadership and time management skills and earned one individual and team performance awards. Samuel role as a Staff Officer at the Department of Social Protection is to implement Government decisions/policy through the delivery of services to the public in a prompt and efficient manner. Dealing with the public/customers e.g. responding to queries and providing information.
Samuel have a clear, logical mind with a practical approach to problem solving and a drive to see things through to completion. Samuel have a great eye for detail. He is eager to learn, Samuel enjoy overcoming challenges, and he have a genuine interest in leadership and business management with over 10 years managerial and client handling experience.
An effective communicator, he have a proven track-record of combining a strong product knowledge with excellent negotiation skills to identify and maximise sales opportunities and deliver results in high-pressured target-based environments.
Samuel areas of expertise includes: management of information technology including information security and all aspects of administrative work including handling customers complain, ensuring all systems within the company are running smoothly, training new employees, maintaining records and communicating with forces inside and outside the office.
Samuel have many years of supply chain and logistics management experience and is currently study MSc in Supply Chain Management and have effectively handled and responsible for the following aspects of the supply chain: sourcing, purchasing, transport, warehousing and distribution
Samuel also possess advanced skills in project management, data mining and using Microsoft Office programs, and passionate about building relationships with colleagues and stakeholders.
Married with four children, his hobbies include reading and listening to current affairs, travelling and traditional music.
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