[OPINION] Benue South Senatorial Election: Why David Mark Needs To Let Go To Daniel Onjeh By Christian Okwori

David Mark

Come this Saturday the 20th of February, 2016 just in three days’ time, the winner of the Benue South or Zone-C Senatorial seat at the red chamber of the national assembly will be decided between David Mark (PDP) and Daniel Onjeh (APC). Beyond electioneering, intrigues, machinations, and partisan politics are the overall interests of the Idomaland and her good people. All parties must avoid bloodshed, unnecessary bickering, character assassination, and deceptive electoral promises. The Idoma and Igede people of Benue South have suffered enough from the hands of ruthless politicians through neglects and impoverishment to the menace of Fulani herdsmen terrorizing their trembling flesh among other numerous challenges before them.

To this end, elder statesmanship and altruistic leadership is badly needed in Idomaland more than ever and there’s virtually no known figure playing such role or actually befitting of such at it stands. However, Senator David Bonaventure Alechenu Marks looks a perfect fit for such role-a unifying force and unmovable bastion of the Idoma nation; this he can only do outside mainstream politics or active partisan political office in government aside party leadership. It is high time David Mark thinks grooming the future by stepping aside after achieving incredible fits as the best and longest serving senate president in Nigeria aside having held many offices in the past right from his youthful age such as: Military Governor of Niger State; Minister of Communication; Director of Army Signal and many military appointments leading to his rise to the rank of a Brigadier General etc. The old general has indeed paid his dues and the master must not remain in the field longer than safe. The time is nigh!

Comrade Daniel Onjeh has his flaws and finesses. He is the face of the future and has proved his mettle as a former NANS president. As the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, he drove shivers down the spine of the intransigent political class and tyrannical academic administrators, causing them to start taking Nigerian students and lecturers seriously without fear or favour. He is still considered the last NANS President of the good old days. It is time for Daniel Onjeh like David Mark to be given a chance to serve as a youth in the national stage and the time is now. We need to make #OnjehTheChange possible. The Idoma youths and elders interested in the future of the Idoma nation must see #OnjehTheChange as a clarion call to liberate the people from perennial socioeconomic and political stagnation. If David Mark loses, he will not be humiliated. David Mark needs to be encouraged to take up the befitting role of an elder statesman and guide the youths and Idomas in political offices accordingly in the overall interest of the Idoma and Igede people of Benue South.

David Mark needs to play a fatherly role for the Idoma nation as their Jagaban and chief opinion maker by resigning and handing the senatorial seat to Comrade Daniel Onjeh to try his best under his guidance as the face of Idoma future. The following are among the many reasons why David Mark must let go to Daniel Onjeh and the younger generation come this Saturday’s election:

  1. David Mark has been in the senate for over sixteen years and held the position of Senate President for eight (8) years under a ruling party (PDP). If he couldn’t use his legislative influence to improve the lot of Benue South in terms of development or whatever, it will be more unlikely for him to help now as an ordinary opposition senator. #OnjehTheChange
  2. Daniel Onjeh is the face of the future of Idomaland; full of energy guts and enthusiasm and backed with the unalloyed support of the ruling All Progressive Congress’ federal might. #OnjehTheChange
  3. As an engineer by training, Daniel Onjeh is likely going to be a chairman or member of infrastructure based committees like works, power, infrastructure, housing, water, rural development, agriculture, which are badly needed to develop Benue South from which he will exert significant influence in channeling development. #OnjehTheChange
  4. The Failure of David Mark to achieve the Idoma prime dream of Apa State creation and the lack of development of rural infrastructure is enough reason to substitute him. He has actually done a lot in his own right. Let a new striker come in when the aging striker stops scoring. We mustn’t wait until he starts carrying crutches in the senate. #OnjehTheChange
  5. The growing political hostility between Idomas and their Tiv brothers fueled by David Mark’s political machineries in order to emasculate the person of former Governor George Akume said to be the prime mover of Daniel Onjeh has to be halted before it spreads its tentacles irreversibly like cankerworm. We can’t live in apathy. The Tivs are our brothers. We have been living together and watching each other’s back for centuries. No one’s political ambition is worth the hatred.. #OnjehTheChange
  6. The inability of David Mark with his influences and connections as a serving senate president and ex-military general to protect the Benue south people particularly the Agatus from the marauding Fulani herdsmen who massacred them serially and destroyed their farms and villages is a strong indictment on his leadership. #OnjehTheChange
  7. Change, according to Hieracletus is the only constant thing on earth. And in the words of Albert Einstein, we can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking by which we created it. If Senator David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark has been representing Benue South for eons in the Senate without any significant progress in the economy, physical development, or wellbeing of the Idomaland then it’s plain commonsense to try someone else. #OnjehTheChnage
  8. Look at Otukpo, the so called capital of Idomaland how pitiful it looks even when flyovers and ultra-modern structures are beginning to adorn lesser known Nigerian towns. Look at the poor state of the few existing roads, no flyover, and no public water works, so bad an economy that a commercial bank like ECO BANK had to close down for lack of business, lack of agricultural development schemes etc. We need a new hero to fight for us. We need someone with energy we need #OnjehTheChange.

CHRISTIAN OKWORI is The Technical Secretary of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Victoria Island branch, writes in from Victoria Island, Lagos. Email: [email protected].

Twitter: @owoichoengine. +2348185799270

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