By: Cletus Emoche Agada.
Let me join millions of your Supporters across the country to extend my heartfelt congratulations on your well-deserved victory at the just concluded rerun polls.
I have argued amongst friends and foes alike that in the last 16 years, you have been the best Senator Nigeria has produced and I am glad to inform you that as at today, no one has been able to name anyone better, the very reason while I still hold on to that belief.
Even though I never met you as a person nor benefitted anything from your sojourn in the Senate in the last 16 years, neither was I given a penny by anyone to campaign for you, I took Solace in Jesus’ saying that “as much as you’ve done to this my brother, so you’ve done to me” because I believe you did a lot for my Idoma ‘brothers’ since Democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999.
The nullification of your election by the Election Appeal Tribunal was a blessing in disguise because for 16 years, your traducers have succeeded in convincing the undiscerning that you have never won an election before but only rely on incumbency power of the PDP backed by state machinery to rig elections. it would have been a great injustice to you as a person and the great sense of judgment of our people who continuously returned you to the Senate if an opportunity like the one that presented itself on 20th February never came. It was an opportunity to lay to rest all the assumptions of the past and I am glad that neither you nor the Idoma nation was found wanting when it mattered most.
As one of those who campaigned vigorously for you both on social media and amongst family and friends who are predominantly APC, I can say without fear of contradiction that it wasn’t an easy battle, and it will be good if I can share some of the lessons learned from the field with you because of tomorrow as it is generally believed that post mortem is not for the dead but for the living.
Firstly, your “I don’t give a damn” posture of the past made life very difficult for us.
As I said earlier, I don’t believe you could have done better than you did for our people in the last 16 years considering the fact that people that served as Chief Executives did less, but while you labour to sow good seeds in the land, you watch the enemy sow thorns in the heart of the people as you look the other way.
In one of the private mails I exchanged with one of your supporters [Oyigebe Snr], I had told him how you are making the work very difficult for us by failing to appoint a son of the soil as your Media aide, the media team of the opposition was led by one Fair Weather Hungry Engineer of Lies and Abuses, but the Advantage they had was that their post was always viewed by the very people who were to vote in the election, if I were to comment on their wall, at least 50 members of my family and friends will become aware of the thread and it continues with the multiplier effect. But for your camp, press statements and pictures were always released by Paul Mumeh to the national media who has limited reach amongst our people and were not in any position to determine the outcome of the election.
As someone from Otukpa, the Ai olala phobia which you were rumoured to have introduced into Idoma Politics is still very much alive in the mind of our people, yet with the likes of Jerry Agada, Abba Moro, Professor Alachi, Professor Ujah, Anebi, Adikwu and many others from Enone whom you helped into one position of power or the other, it will be uncharitable for anyone to accuse you of having any bias or prejudice towards the Enone people, but how will they know if they are not told.
I will recommend that on your return to the Senate, you appoint Prince Yemi Itodo as your Media aide. You are no more the Senate President and you now owe your allegiance to the people of Benue South 100%, surrounding yourself with people who knows and understand the language of majority of your constituents will always be an advantage. I don’t know Mr. Itodo as a person so that am not accused of campaigning for him, but I think he did some great job during the campaign. the fact that we believe Hon Hassan Saleh is the best Rep from Zone C in the 7th Assembly is to the eternal credit of Mr. Itodo. Considering the fact that you are now in the opposition, there is need for someone to keep the little you can do within the next three years in the consciousness of your constituents, you will also need some advice on how to reach out to the grassroots and Prince Itodo will be a good buddy.
One of the genuine allegations against you which is indefensible is your arrogance. I was told of how on a visit to Jos, the Idoma Community trouped to the Airport in their black and red traditional attires to welcome you, and while they sang and danced in anticipation of their Leader and Hero, you alighted from the Plane and walked straight to the car without even acknowledging their presence. Idoma students at the University of Abuja have raised the same allegation against you before and so is the Enugu Branch of Idoma National Forum. Please know that this does not speak well of a good politician and a representative of the people. The N100,000 or more which you would have parted with on those occasions could have done you no harm, rather, it would have helped in spreading your name and fame as the people would have surely had a problem with the sharing formula, generating rumours which always spread like wild fire in the process. it might also be the only opportunity some of these people will ever have in meeting you in their life time, the more reason why you owe it a duty to make a positive impression.
As you embark on the last lap of your meritorious career in the Legislature, you will do well by relating more with the ordinary man.
The most challenging task ahead of you as you take your seat back in the senate is the AGATU CRISIS.
On Saturday 20th February, the people of Agatu put their vote in their hope and with one heart, voted massively for a tested war veteran right from the days of the Bible, a David who also tasted the Nigerian Civil War.
The Agatu crisis is more than a jihad as being speculated because Agatu has more Muslim population than any other LG Councils in Benue Zone C. if Jihadists are looking for land to conquer, Agatu should definitely not rank first in their plans.
In the early days of this crisis, it was believed that the Fulanis turned their weapon on the Agatus because they said they allowed the Tivs of Gwer West to use their land as a launch pad to attack the fulanis. This theory hold water for a very long time and I still think it’s the genesis of the Fulani-Agatu Crisis.
The Fulanis have nothing more than their cattle and this is all they live for. Honestly my views might not be popular on this issue because tempers have been flared and all manner of emotion is at play here since I believe the Fulanis also deserve to be heard but it’s high time the Government at all levels begin to reason that peace is cheaper than war and must go all the way out to buy peace for our communities.
Some people have lost all they ever labored for in life and would rather die fighting aggressively than live dying slowly. Common sense must prevail in Agatu, compromise is required from both parties, both side also deserve to be heard and to achieve this, a mediator will be required. The APC government in the state has compromised itself already by issuing an official statement based on the hearsay rumour that a helicopter was hovering over the air dropping arms and food for the Fulani militia, honestly these people have lost the power to surprise me and here, you can act as an impartial arbiter,
The Nigerian Airspace has total radar coverage in what is called TRACON, if a plane flies in the Nigerian Airspace at an altitude, it should be captured from the control tower of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Makurdi, the Benue State Capital also host the Tactical Air Command [TAC] of the Nigerian Air Force, if such a thing ever happened, it will be a very serious national security breach; where did the helicopter take off from, where did it land, why didn’t they reason it was men of the Air force from Makurdi who responded to the emergency that are being mistaking for mercenaries,. the APC are good at nothing more than Propaganda so expecting a reasonable answer from them is like the aged man expecting his impotent son to give him a grand child before he dies. When I read on IPN News that Governor Ortom was in Abuja to meet with Buhari over Agatu crisis, I turned to my colleague and asked him if Buhari was back from Saudi, he replied no, that he’s being expected on Sunday and I sunk in my chair. That is their height of their wicked propaganda as lives are being wasted.
Please reach out to the Sultan of Sokoto [who must have been your Junior colleague in the Army] over the Agatu crisis, he will surely be of help, there are also Fulani communities all over the Districts of Idomaland who currently leave on edge over this crisis, if you can bring them to a roundtable, they will help you proffer solutions that will be helpful at a time like this.
Indeed, your LEGACY in the Senate as a representative of the people will surely be defined and CONFIRMED by the role you will play in restoring peace and brotherly love to this warring communities and how you relate to other members of your constituency in the days ahead.
As one of your constituents who risked much to publicly campaign for your re-election, I also have demands that I wish you can meet for me, but I leave that out of this page just to wish you another eventful stay in the Senate of the Federal Republic knowing fully well that if you fail today, your supporters and loyalist will be doomed tomorrow. The travails of Jonathanians and every PDP Leader today should be a lesson for people like you to know that when you lead, you can’t afford not to give a damn.
Congratulations once more.
Cletus Emoche Agada.
A MUST READ: An Open Letter To Senator David Mark Reviewed by Link Naija on 02:25 Rating: