Kwande/Ushongo Federal Constituency And The Notion Of Mediocrity

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By  Solomon Semaka

For how long can the people of Kwande/Ushongo Federal Constituency preserve the notion of mediocrity, yet try to battle every now and then with the challenge of ineffective representation which continues to stare them in the face?

After generations of trying to force square pegs to fit round holes, it seems painfully obvious that political decisions of the people of this area have been in conflict with the real world of progress and development which is everyone’s ultimate desire.

What then is to be done? In assessing our sons who vie for political positions, we must realize that true merit is like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.

This is one strong quality that James Terhemen Iorkusah possesses which eclipses others who desire the Kwande / Ushongo Federal House of Representatives seat in 2019. Kwande / Ushongo constituency is the leading political rallying-point, having produced the likes of the late Appolos Aper Aku who is today a reference point for development in Benue state.

But over the succeeding years, the political horizons keep expanding, yet development seems to elude the people of this axis.

The good news, however, is that a brilliant young man who is a powerful serendipitous driver of social progress is set to take the bull by the horns and change the status quo for the good of his beloved people.

James Terhemen Iorkusah is a man who has an unrivalled penchant for the provision of service to his people. His life is the quintessence of service to humanity; his sacrifices for those around him and beyond irrespective of class, creed or ethnic background-eye catching; his versatility and ingenuity as an incredible technocrat and entrepreneur-beyond compare; His uncommon love for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ-Inspiring; Not to mention his astounding leadership as a consummate family man.

From his humble beginning in Mbagwaza district, Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State where he was born into the devoutly Christian family of Mr Joseph Iorkusah Korinjo and Mrs Mary Udookwase Iorkusah Korinjo on November 28, 1967 as the 2nd of 9 children, his thirst for excellence and greatness was astonishing, evidenced by his remaining at the top of his class during his Primary Education at LGED Primary School, Ushongo between 1973 and 1979.

He proceeded to the NKST Secondary School Adikpo where he emerged with flying colours in his O’level in 1984. Like Alfred Tennyson, he decided to drink deep from the sea of knowledge.

This made him leave the comfort of his motherland to Plateau State where he bagged his first degree in Business Management from the University of Jos in 1991.

His passion to serve his people would not let him stay idle, so he proceeded to Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo in 1996 as a Lecturer. By 1999, he bagged an MBA from the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka.

His imprints and legacy at the Institution are there for all to see. He found the woman of his dreams in Mrs Ene Violet Iorkusah, and the 20 years of marriage has been blessed with three wonderful children.

A goldfish has no hiding place, so it was only a matter of time before Nigeria’s prestigious Banks would come calling. His career in the Banking sector would begin in the year 2000 and spanned for over a decade where he worked for the then Standard Trust Bank, Oceanic Bank, Equatorial Trust Bank and Fidelity Bank, bagging a professional diploma in retail banking from the International Academy of Retail Banking (London) during this period, to add to his burgeoning portfolio.

A Purebred Community Man

James Iorkusah put the opportunities that came his way to the service of his society in many ways.

While serving as an Area manager at Fidelity Bank, James influenced and got the NKST Primary School Iortyer along Gboko Road which structure became an eyesore renovated as part of Corporate Social Responsibility funded by the Staff of Makurdi Branch and the Bank.

The story of the Kwande Local Government Secretariat unarguably one of the Best Local Governments Secretariat in Benue State cannot be complete without mentioning Mr. James Iorkusah. As the Area Manager in charge of Makurdi Area, he initiated and ensured that Kwande Local Government Council was granted a Loan of NGN200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million Naira), the highest amount enjoyed by any Local Government Area in Benue State as a Loan from any Financial Institution.

This enabled Kwande Local Government to complete the Local Government Secretariat and also construct a befitting Local Government Council Chambers among other projects.

His Passion for Youth Enablement

Facilitated the admission and successful graduation of many young men and women especially those of Kwande extraction from the Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo between 1996 and year 2000. This fact is not hidden and can be collaborated by many ex-students on the Benue Polytechnic.

Out of his meagre resources, James ensured he helped some less privileged Students pay their School Fees during his days as a Lecturer at Benue State Polytechnic. He also did same to many Students at Benue State University and other Schools with a particular emphasis on Students from Zone A. No wonder the Zone A Students of the Benue State University gave him an award.

During his working in the Banking sector which spanned over a decade, James Iorkusah ensured he, directly and indirectly, facilitated the employment of Benue indigenes in every one of the Banks he worked. Owing to his short stay at Standard Trust Bank he was able to facilitate the employment 2 Benue sons. At Oceanic Bank 5, Four at Equitorial Trust Bank and over 30 at Fidelity Bank Plc.

It is worthy to note that James ensured his area was well represented in the utilization of available employment opportunities for example when the Benue State University Branch of Fidelity Bank was established at a time James was made the Area Manager of Makurdi Area and two Branch Managers were to be appointed for Benue State University and Makurdi Main Branches, James ensured the two slots were distributed between Kwande and Ushongo Local Governments.

The record of this great son of Kwande/Ushongu Federal Constituency who has demonstrated passion for service even when he has not held any political office calls to the mind of the people of Kwande/Ushongo the question that if the chicken has no teeth and yet eats stones, it should tell the cow who has teeth but eats mere grass what it would do if God had blessed it with teeth.

The time to send insecure people who do not love their people with passion to represent us is over. Now it is time to send the right man for the job.

-Semak, a public affairs analysts, wrote in from Abuja.