From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The call for power shift to Benue South Senatorial District in 2023 received a big boost, as major political leaders from the state expressed solidarity with the agitation.
The occasion was the grand reception held in honour of Prof. Innocent Ujah, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Health Sciences (FUHSO) and President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at Abuja. All those who spoke at the occasion were united in support of the desirability, necessity and the feasibility of Benue South Senatorial District (Zone C) to produce the state governor in 2023.
Nobody from the zone has ever been voted governor since Benue state was created about 45 years ago, a situation the Benue Rebirth Movement (BRM), organizers of the reception, has set out to correct.
Mike Kaase Aondakaa(SAN), former Attorney-General and Minister of Justices ofsaid, the Zone C demand was justifiable and realizable considering the fact that Zones A and B have both produced governors of the state in the past and present.
He said because Zone C was pursuing a justifiable cause, they could achieve it through commitment, hard work and divine support.
He, however, added a caveat: “But, if for any reason Zone C cannot get the governorship, it should be given to the nearest person to them who is their in-law.” This statement was, however, interpreted as an indirect campaign by Aondakaa who is married to a Zone C woman and is believed to be also eyeing the governorship seat.
The Benue State Deputy Governor, toBenson Abounu, called for support for Benue Rebirth Movement (BRM) and its objective of midwifing the election of a person of Zone C extraction as the governor of Benue State in 2023.
Abounu, who was the chairman at the occasion, called for unity among the people of Benue South Senatorial district, saying that with unity, the objectives of BRM would be realised given the support the agitation for power shift is receiving from the Tiv speaking area.
He disclosed that there is the feeling among the Tiv people that after the five Tiv Intermediate areas have tasted the governorship of the state, it was morally wrong to deny the Benue South people the chance to govern the state in 2023.
He commended the Benue Rebirth Movement led by AVM Monday Morgan (rtd), for providing the platform to work together and reach out to the Tiv peple in the pursuit of power shift to Benue South.
Elder statesman and former permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Chief Mike Okibe Onoja, who was the Chief launcher praised the idea behind BRM and called on all hands to be on deck to realise the idea of a Benue governor of Zone C extraction in 2023.
The National Coordinator, BRM, AVM Monday Morgan said the event was put together to cement and honour hardwork and industry among the Benue South people, and to raise needed funds for special development projects in the zone.,
He said BRM is a child of necessity, formed to promote unity, peace, socio political growth and development of Benue State.
He disclosed that the group has reached out to prominent Tiv people, seeking their understanding and support.
The Chief celebrant, Prof. Ujah, thanked the BRM for the honour done him and called for support from the people to make the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, a first class institution it is meant to be.
Among the dignitaries that attended, spoke or made donations at the event were Chief Steven Lawani, Gen. Chris Garuba, AVM Toni Adokwu, Prof. John Idoko, Dr. Isaac Egboja, Chief Michael Kaase Aondokaa, SAN, Hon. David Iorhemba, Hon. Dr. Sam Ode, Chief Sylvester Ameh, Mr. Maxwell Loko, Chief Madaki Ameh, Engr. Agaba Ikwue, Engr. Morgan Okwoche, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Prof. Boniface Odeh, Barr. Harris Ogbole, SAN, members of the national and state Assembly, top politicians, members of the academia and medical profession, and many others.