Terver Akase: Garlands of honour for Kwande PDP stakeholders
Not many saw it coming. The doomsday was predicted. Analysts, bookmakers and commentators predicted that it was the beginning of the end for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Benue State. They couldn’t fathom a foreseeable solution to the “catastrophe” that had befallen PDP after the governorship consensus process. The analysts speculated that Kwande would file for divorce and end the marriage with PDP once and for all.
May 4, 2022, however, turned out to be a day that will go down in Benue’s history as the day members of a leading political party rose above perceived internal crisis, sentiments and ‘prophecies’ of implosion to drink from the cup of unity and chart the way forward not only for PDP but also for Benue State in general.
The stakeholders from the Kwande intermediate area made up of prominent sons and daughters from the two local government areas – Kwande and Ushongo were at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi to pay a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom. The visit came on the heels of the defection of former Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Terwase Orbunde to another political party.
The Kwande stakeholders pledged their loyalty to PDP and distanced themselves from anyone who felt that leaving the party for another one was the best option.
During the visit, elder Atsaga Anemba and Prof Nicholas Ada upheld the decision of the party to zone the governorship seat out of Kwande, describing the process as fair and transparent. They gave an assurance that the people of the area would remain committed to the decision.
Others who spoke at the meeting included the member representing Kwande/Ushongo Federal Constituency, Hon Bob Tyough, two governorship aspirants from Kwande, Dr Paul Ubwa and Mr Adikpo Agbatse, speaking on behalf of their colleagues, accepted the consensus arrangement, saying that they have also resolved to work for Rt Hon Titus Uba to emerge as candidate of PDP and go on to win the election.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs, Hon Bem Dzoho spoke on behalf of Government appointees from Kwande while Hon John Jebe represented the youths, assuring the Governor that young people from the area would mobilize and massively vote for PDP in the next election more than they did in previous elections. Remarks of solidarity were also made by Mrs Esther Adzongo, PDP Chairman in Ushongo local government, Hon Achia Agashi, as well as the Ushongo Council Chairman, Hon Joseph Asawa.
Governor Ortom responded, thanking the Kwande stakeholders for endorsing the decision of the party. He nonetheless expressed displeasure over the decision of some of the aspirants who actively participated but later turned around to discredit it.
Indeed, the people of Kwande, my maternal home deserve a medal of honour. Their show of solidarity to the Governor and the entire leadership of the party in the state over the recent zoning arrangement has several positive interpretations, one of which is that they are true party men and women who do not only see the now but also see the future. Theirs is politics devoid of ‘saa ma i lu mo’ (it must be me) syndrome. Theirs is politics anchored on the spirit of progress, unity and development.
The seed that Kwande has planted today will surely germinate, grow and bear bountiful fruits for generations to come.
Terver Akase is the Special Adviser to Gov. Samuel Ortom on Media and Publicity. He writes from Government House, Makurdi.
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