REV. FR. HYACINTH IORMEM ALIA’S COMING AND POTENTIAL VICTORY IS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WAS OBTAINED DURING ENGR. IORHEMEN IGBETAR 1991, PAUL UNONGO, 2003 AND PROFESSOR STEVE UGBA, 2011

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It has become expedient, due to the increasing conurbations and conflicting perceptions by a few doubting Thomases who in some quarters have been detained by a spurious and very primitive perception that popular candidates do not win elections in Benue State.

Pundits who fall under the custody of this narrow mindedness and notion occasionally draw references from the assumed popoularity enjoyed by Engr. Iorhemen Igbetar against Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu and Paul Unongo against former Governor George Akume,and Professor Steve Ugba against former Gabriel Suswam as notable examples in our political history.

However,I wish to do an unequivocal synopsis on only two issues and that these are : the cases of Wantaregh Paul Unongo against former George George Akume in 2003 on the one hand, and that of Professor Steve Ugba against former Governor Gabriel Suswam in 2011 on the other hand.

WANTAREGH PAUL UNONGO VS EX-GOVERNOR GEORGE AKUME ,2003

Wantaregh Paul Unongo no doubt was then as applied, a politician with an incremental and formidable support base. Indeed, before he contested for the governorship of Benue State against former Governor George Akume in 2003,he Wantaregh Paul Unongo had served as a Federal Minister who was also an entrenched national political figure with a membership of the opposition Nigeria People’s Party (NPP). Wantaregh Paul Unongo,was also a very charismatic and generous politician whose popularity among the downtrodden and underprivileged was massive. Emanating from his past political background as a philanthropist, and charismatic leader,when he contested for the office of Governor of Benue State in 2003,majority of the people believed that he was the candidate to go with.

However, certain factors played against his quest for the governorship of Benue State. The first was that former Governor George Akume from Benue North-West,Zone B was in his first term. In previous times, His Excellencies Aper Aku and Moses Adasu both from Benue North -East,Zone A had been governors in the state. The Benue North-West where former Governor George Akume come from had produced a governor for the first time since the creation of the state in 1976. Therefore, it became inevitable for stakeholders in the state to rally round former Governor George Akume to complete his second term as governor,rather than truncate it midway for an Wantaregh Paul Unongo’s candidature.

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Again, it was envisaged that after former Governor George Akume’s eight years as governor,political power would shift to the Sankera political block in Zone A and not in the Kwande political block where Wantaregh Paul Unongo come from. Accordingly, stakeholders in Sankera comprising of Logo, Ukum and Kasina-Ala worked assiduously to ensure that the opportunity was not denied them by standing with former Governor George Akume of the People’s Democratic Party,PDP against the candidature of Wantaregh Paul Unongo of the All People’s Party,APP. Moreso,the PDP formed the national government and thus it was easy therefore,easier to access and use national state federal might,including the judiciary against Wantaregh Unongo.

PROFESSOR STEVE UGBA VS FORMEE GOVERNOR GABRIEL SUSWAM, 2011

Steve Ugba, an erudite Professor of Entrepreneur Studies and candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria,ACN,gentleman par excellence took the Benue political landscape in 2011 when he contested for governor. The popular political slogan of the “Ugba Nyior Shor Chengi” was on the door steps of every Benue man and woman cutting across all known political lines of that era. Though very popular, Professor Steve Ugba lost to former Governor Gabriel Suswam in the 2011 governorship elections.

Two factors alluded to Professor Ugba’s failure:-

The first was that like former Governor George George Akume in 2003, former Governor Gabriel Suswam from Zone A was in his first tenure. Even though Professor Ugba is from the same local government (Logo,Sankera political block) with former Governor Gabriel Suswam, it was feared that if elected he(Professor Steve Ugba) will vie for a second tenure thereby keeping power in Zone A for 12 interrupted years. This fear and skepticism did not go down well with people from MINDA political block who naturally were expectant of power to shift to its zone after former Governor Gabriel Suswam’s eight years in office. Thus,a massive political gang ups and conspiracies against Professor Steve Ugba’s candidature sufficed,leading to his failure in the 2011 governorship elections in Benue State.

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Indeed,former Governor Gabriel Suswam, a highly priced member of the PDP and very smart politician at that time enjoyed formidable support from the national government because of his close political affinity to the then PDP controlled federal government and the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan himself. To this extent, it was easy for former Governor Gabriel Suswam to use state and federal might against Professor Steve Ugba who was in the opposition of the newly birthed ACN in Benue State, thereby frustrating Professor Steve Ugba’s quest to be the governor of Benue State
in 2011.

REV FR ALIA VERSUS THE REST: A DIFFERENT PARADIGM

Of the above factors cited as been responsible for the political losses of Wantaregh Paul Unongo and Professor Ugba,none is standing on the way of Very Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia. It is trite to note that, Very Rev. Fr. Alia is of the ruling All Progressives Congress ,APC. And being from Mbadede in Vandeikya Local Government is in line with the political power zoning arrangements in Benue State. Of course,Governor Samuel Ortom who is from the MINDA axis in Benue North West or Zone B is in his second term,this therefore, vacates any political challenge or conspiracies by power brokers in the state in contruncating the status quo,and indeed in the overall interest of the most acceptable and popular candidature of Very Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia who is from Jechira,Kunav who have never benefited from the governorship power rotation and sharing arrangements in Benue State.

Secondly, Benue State being in the opposition at the national level, it will be practical difficult if not impossible for the Samuel Ortom government to access and use the federal apparatus against Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia’s candidature. It is curious to state that the charismatic profile and followership of Very Rev. Fr. Alia in itself appears allergic to any political conspiracies against the coming of Very Rev. Fr. Alia.

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Though, Pundits would ask: how about 2019???

Indeed it must noted that scenario of 2019 governorship elections between Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime and Governor Samuel Ortom has the same reasons with the case of Professor Steve Ugba versus former Governor Gabriel Suswam in 2011.

Suffice it to state that even though Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP was in the opposition at the national level, political stakeholders in Benue State worked against Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime in 2019 just to pave way for Governor Samuel Ortom’s second term and hence power shift to Zone A in 2023.

Furthermore, with the total collapse of the state structure occasioned by a kleptomanic government of the PDP that has no record of performance so far,coupled with the dwindling fortunes of the people in the state,it is expected that nothing will stand on the way of Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Alia’s victory in 2023.

Finally, with the massive support enjoyed by the Rev. gentleman,Rev. Fr. Dr. Alia ,his workaholic and philanthropic pedigree that has touched lives all over the state and beyond, the quest by the masses to entrench a credible leadership in the state in tandem with ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION AND SECURITY and the fear in most quarters that if elected,the PDP candidate who is an accomplice in the failures of Benue State as a serving speaker of the state assembly who specializes in only approving very dangerous and retrogressive loans for the PDP government with nothing to show for it is apparent that Rev. Fr. Dr. Alia is a the choice of the people and it is bye bye to PDP and Titus Uba come 2023.

Indeed, with the above and many other factors,it is believed that Very Rev. Dr. Fr. Alia would win in the first ballot of the governorship elections with more than a million votes difference drawn from all the twenty three local governments of the state in 2023.

Thank you all and God bless.

Dr. Aondona Mkor DOOR TO DOOR AND NEIGHBOUR TO NEIGHBOUR NETWORK FOR ALIA,2023

9th June2022




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