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Benue 2023: Why Idoma Should Support John Ngbede For Deputy Governor|Blissful Affairs Online


Benue 2023: Why Idoma Should Support John Ngbede For Deputy Governor

By Yemi Itodo

In the Benue, nay, Nigerian effervescent political horizon, the principle of zoning is the most deep-rooted unwritten law. Often referred to as a “gentleman agreement”, the importance of zoning cannot be overemphasized as it embodies the true nature of federalism.

Aside facilitating the rotation of power, which in turn, facilitates the circulation of development, zoning inspires a sense of belonging which creates balance in the polity and promotes peace, unity and tranquility.

The absence of zoning, which is marginalisation, breeds chasm, anarchy, and sanguinary, upheavals.

That is why the Idoma nation must reject the Greek gift of the APC Deputy Governorship aimed at further dividing Benue South, and allow Apa/Agatu whose turn it is to produce the next Deputy Governor.

The Idoma Nation is already too divided politically and must not allow the agents of “divide and rule” to further divide her by tolerating intra-tribal marginalization or neo colonization.

It is on record that, of all four political blocs in Benue South Senatorial District, otherwise known as Zone C, three have produced Deputy Governors in the present political dispensation except for Apa/Agatu where the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy Governorship Candidate, Sir. John Ngbede hails from.

If the All Progressives Congress (APC) respects minority views, they would have honoured the zoning formula of Benue South, instead of picking someone from Otukpo, where the incumbent Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu hails from; in the crudest display of political rascality and noninclusive tendencies; even as Senator David Mark, an Otukpo man has spent twenty good years representing the entire Benue South at the Red Chambers in National Assembly.

The handpicking of Sam Odeh, a half-Tiv by the leadership of the APC in the state is a testament to the party’s desire to run a Tiv-Tiv ticket in a semblance of its national controversial Muslim-Muslim ticket. What a way to be insensitive to the heterogeneous secularism and nationality of Nigerians and Benue people.

The fact that the leadership of the party in Zone C rejected the imposition of Sam Odeh as Deputy Governorship Candidate, shows that Idoma National abhors injustice and suppression.

The people of Benue South Senatorial District, regardless of party affiliations, should vote for PDP/John Ngbede for the sake of equity, justice, brotherhood and fairness.

Aside being expressly favoured by the zoning arrangement, Sir John Ngbede is immensely qualified for the position of the Deputy Governor of the State. He is a glowing beacon of political acumen; an illustrious example of an egalitarian politician with a trademark of legendary humility, conservative leadership, ortodox politics and organic loyalty to his umbrella party.

This feisty political hero is not a giant with feet of clay. His meteoric rise has been steady and solid.

Born in Obagaji, Headquarters of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State to the family of Ilodu Ngbede in 1962, the young John Ngbede attended LGEA primary school Obagaji from 1968-1975 where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He thereafter proceeded to the premier secondary school in Benue South, Idoma Community Secondary School Otobi (now Federal Government College, Otobi) from 1975 to 1980. Typical of Sir Ngbede who is known for his selfless and self-sacrificing services for the common good of all, upon the completion of his secondary education, he briefly settled as a classroom teacher tutoring young children at Methodist High School Obagaji.

Driven by his insatiable passion for education, Ngbede returned to school, attending the School of Basic Studies Makurdi between 1982 and 1983. He also attended the prestigious University of Jos where he graduated in the 1989/90 academic session with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry.

Upon his graduation, he did his mandatory NYSC at Ugbawka Community School in present Enugu State.

Well academically accomplished, Ngbede has two Masters degrees in Public Administration (MPA) and Management from the Nassarawa State University Keffi and he is set to enroll for his Doctorate.

He ventured into the Benue State Local Government Service Commission as a Higher Agricultural Officer after completing his NYSC unblemished. Following the creation of Apa LGA from Otukpo in 1991, he moved to the new Council where he rose to become a Senior Agricultural Officer by dint of hard work and dedication to duty.

Because of his passion for the plight of workers, he was elected Chairman of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Apa LGA in 1991. He held this position until 1995 when he was appointed a Supervisory Councilor for Health.

His sojourn into partisan politics was people-oriented. Because of the love his people had for him, they drafted him to contest the chairmanship of Apa LGC under the then zero party system, and was elected unopposed. When new parties were formed in 1998 he joined the PDP as a founding member in Benue State. He was also a founding member of the party in Agatu LGA along with the late Hon. Zakari Musa. That he has remained faithful to the party till date is a testament that his loyalty is legendary and second to none. No wonder he has demonstrated his love for the umbrella by domesticating the party in all households in Apa/Agatu and has been delivering the party back to back. Suffice to add that, PDP only won one seat out of the eleven House of Representatives seats in Benue in the last elections and it was Hon. Ojotu Ojema of the Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency.

Sir Ngbede has held several public offices, including a Member of the Board of the National Horticulture Research Institute, Ibadan, from 2000-2004; Special Adviser to Governor George Akume on Assembly matters, from 2003-2007, and Commissioner for Water Resources & Environment in Gabriel Suswam administration, from 2007-2013; and later Ministry of Works and Transport.

In 2014, he was nominated as the PDP deputy governorship candidate for the 2015 Benue governorship election which the party lost. He led the PDP to a resounding victory in the 2019 Benue State Governorship election as State Chairman of the party, also winning the 3 senatorial seats, 8 House of Reps seats and 28 House of Assembly seats.

Sir Ngbede, a Knight of John Wesley of the Methodist Church Nigeria, is happily married to his lovely wife, Mrs. Evelyn Ngbede and they are blessed with 3 beautiful children.

The immediate past Chairman of the Benue State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who holds the prestigious title of Ogbenjuwa (Generalissimo) of his hometown is currently enjoying statewide support for the office of the Deputy Governor of the state and like the saying, ‘charity begins at home’, it is incumbent on Idoma people to honour the agelong zoning arrangements and give their utmost support to Sir John Ngbede at the governorship election.

(Yemi Itodo, a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Otukpa, Benue State).


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