From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Deputy Governor Benson Abounu cited God, the Governor and the People as factors that will determine if runs for state governor in the 2023 general elections.
Abounu made the remark when he played host on Thursday to members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) at his office.
The deputy governor stressed that he has the prerequisite experience to be governor come 2023, pointing to his active and years-long experience in state politics.
‘Experience has shown me that, as a Deputy Governor, God must first approve my decision to contest election because, as my boss will always quote John 3:27, “A man cannot receive even one thing except it is given him from Heaven,”‘ Abounu said, recalling that he last ran for governor in 1991 and has served in various government capacities since then.
‘Since then, this scripture, John 3:27, always rings in my head. So, God’s approval, my principal’s support and the support of the Benue people is what I need before I can contest election.
‘I have never lobbied for anything in my life. Not even the position of the Deputy Governor in 2015 and 2019,’ Abounu said.
He observed that for any Idoma man to become the governor of the state, he must receive the support of the Tiv people, who outnumber the Idoma people.
‘Because politics is a game of numbers and due to our numerical deficiency, any Idoma man who wants to be governor must first get the support of the Tiv people who are the largest population in the state.
‘If the Tiv people make up their minds and comprehensively agree that this is the time to have an Idoma governor, then it will be. There is a wind in the air that maybe the time has come for an Idoma governor in 2023; if that is the case, I will run,’ he said.
Abounu said the Benue State Government has had a very cordial relationship with the press in the state, whom he noted has done their job well by being professional, fair and objective in their reportage of state happenings.
He restated his commitment to support journalists and a free press in the state.