By Joe Nashima

In the last couple of weeks, supporters of suspended priest Hyacinth Alia who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue State have been comparing him with former Governor of the state, the late Rev Fr Moses Adasu. Their ridiculous argument is that since Adasu was a priest and did well within the short time that he governed, there is the guarantee that Alia will also do well (if elected) because he is also a priest. Whenever I read such comments, I shudder in shock. Why will people reason that way? Do they care to read about Fr Adasu’s antecedents at all? For those who are ignorantly doing the comparison, let me tell them a bit about Adasu, his experience and why he succeeded and why Alia does not come close to him by any stretch of imagination.

Before he became Governor, Adasu was a Senior Inspector of Education at the Benue State Ministry of Education headquarters, Makurdi. He also taught in Secondary and Teachers Colleges in Jos, Otukpo and Adikpo, and at the Colleges of Education in Akwanga and Katsina-Ala. He was a member of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, the Benue State Prerogative of Mercy, the Advisory Council of the Episcopal Commission on African Tradition Religion, and the Board of Governors of the College of Education, Katsina-Ala. He was Chairman of the Presbyteral Council, Dean of Makurdi Deanery, Diocese of Makurdi and Vicar-General, Diocese of Makurdi. Those are positions of immense administrative responsibility and experience.

Adasu was well prepared and knew much about the administration of Benue State as can be seen in the numerous positions he occupied before becoming Governor. He was not driven by the paraphernalia and pecs of the office of Governor as we have in Alia who is desperate to occupy the office. If Adasu were alive, he would have made the plight of the internally displaced people (IDP) his preoccupation. Have you heard or seen Alia speak about the IDPs or even visit the camps to identify with the victims since 2018? The answer is No!

The presumption that a priest will do better is so very erroneous. A priest who is not known to be a performer cannot suddenly become one, just because he is elected Governor. Many people are wont to disparage, and jettison people who have been involved in a sitting government. We made that mistake with Buhari and are paying dearly for it. Me thinks it is better to go with those who have tried and even failed in their first attempt. They are more likely to learn from the challenges they faced.

When the time comes, empty theories about Hyacinth Alia being the people’s choice will collapse like a pack of cards. Who are these people you presume are with Alia? Whose choice is he? On what basis and analysis are they with him? What has Alia done to help the people aside from holding “healing” masses and selling water to unsuspecting parishioners? For the many years that he conducted the “healing” masses, none of those who went to be healed is known anywhere in Benue State. No one can boldly step forward to say that he was sick but Alia healed them. He sold water to the people but did nothing for the people with the huge funds he raised from the water sales. He only duped them.

What reasons did Alia have to sell holy water? Was it the supposed gift of God in his life that was very expensive to get that he needed to recoup the investment on it? Or was it the water that needed an investment to get?

More questions. When Alia made a fortune from the sale of holy water, what did he do with the proceeds? Did he use it for the benefit of the Benue masses who he claims need his Messianic role? On the contrary, Alia built his personal houses with the proceeds, which houses we see here in Makurdi. People are pointing to the houses. Alia has not demonstrated any acumen for project execution anywhere that he has held sway as a priest. There is no recorded project done by him in any of the places he pastored. He left the parishes worse than he met them. Alia is zero on issues of development for the public.

An Alia who has done nothing to help the people before will not help now. He will be learning on a very important and sensitive job, and with Akume and his wife breathing down his neck, the suspended priest will be a disaster. Talking about baggage, what is more baggage than working under an Akume tutelage? You can as well forget those boys singing ‘Or a soo ga nan due, party ka tswar ga’. We have seen such he-goats before and we know what price they will attract in the market.

Their insults on Chief Barnabas Gemade are already causing APC more pain and regrets.

* Nashima writes from Akpehe in Makurdi.

FRESH TROUBLE FOR PETER NWACUKWU

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