A onetime Benue guber aspirant under the umbrella of APC, Comr. Okpokwu Ogenyi has appealed to the Idoma /Igede stakeholders, All Progressives Congress APC family, to disregard the widely speculated statement by some persons, particularly senior members of the Party, on Benue South senatorial district, Zone C Zoning and micro-zoning of the State Chairman of the great Party, APC.
According to him, It may interest you to note that, the position of State Chairman is not the exclusive right of the Idoma/Igede people neither is Idoma the only tribe contesting the 2023 governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue State.
In a statement made available to pressmen over the weekend, Ogenyi said, ‘For the records, precisely on the 14th day of September, 2021, there was a meeting chaired by Chief Simon Shango in Abuja. The meeting was attended by Chief John Ochoga, Alh. Usman Abubakar (Young Alhaji) Sen. Jack Tilly Gyado, Comrade Abbah Yaro and Buddy Adekpe and others, which zoned the State Chairmanship position to zone B with already made consensus Chairmanship candidate from zone B dressed in Agbada awaiting announcement. Which the zone A, APC family revolted against that decision, insisting that; the leader of the APC in Benue, Sen.( Dr) George Akume is from zone B, the Chairman of APC elders forum Chief Simon Shango is from Zone B and the leader is also contesting for National Chairman of the Party with claims that, ideologically, the State Chairman should come from zone A since Zone C the current occupant of the office. Indeed, it is a valid argument.
Stressing that it is on this premise that the people of zone C had to step up the game by lobbying allies in zone A and B with Daniel Onjeh as the arrowhead which pushed the State Chairman’s position to Zone C On the 15th day of September 2021. Against this backdrop and to the glory of God, the Chairmanship position was officially zoned to Benue South senatorial district, Zone C.
Recalls that the zone A with valid argument in the Tiv speaking area to produce the State Chairman, is the predominant zone contesting the 2023 governorship ticket along with zone C. If our contenders want the Chairmanship position in their zone, should we not fight to retain it in our zone?
Pointing out that an elder statesman, Chief Audu Ogbeh was not part of any of those meetings, neither was he properly briefed by his foot soldiers on the vigorous tussle before it finally landed in zone C. His position is not against Austin Agada as a person but the process of the zoning.
“For some of you who believe that Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi insulted Chief Audu Ogbeh and Retired Air Vice Marshall Monday Morgan, by disagreeing with them over the zoning of the State Chairmanship position of the APC might not be aware that, I, Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi personally called and interacted with Chief Audu Ogbeh for over thirty(30) minutes before the rejoinder. Chief Ogbeh actually gave me the go ahead to make it a debate where the opinion of our people will count. Moreso, it is my right to take bold position on issues that affect my people.
“Though it will be unprofessional to reveal details of my conversations with Chief Audu Ogbeh on this platform, it is pertinent to know that, I have no habit of insulting younger ones talk more of our elders and leaders. I believe in equity and justice.
“I have deliberately avoided responding to comments made on social media, which might be perceived as direct insult or unguarded words as a responsible gentleman,’ he noted.
Further stressed that of a public knowledge, the zoning of the State Chairmanship position to zone C has widely been celebrated and endorsed by 99% of Benue South APC Stakeholders like, Chief Steven Lawani, Gen. Lawrence Onoja (Rtd), Sen. Daniel Onjeh, Sen. Ameh Ebute CON, Gen. Harrison Adoga, Gen. Chris Abutu Garuba (Rtd), Barr Ochai Onazi, Ambassador Adoli, Bernard Ochepa, Engr. Morgan Okwoche, Chief John Ochoga, Hon. Sam Ode mni, Col. Ngbede (Rtd), Comrade Abbah Yaro, Alhaji Usman Abubakar (Young Alhaji), Amb. Dickson Akoh, Chief Nelson Alapa, Chief Dan Ale, Barr. Omale Omale, Chief Ameh Udoh, Hon.( Mrs) Onma Ogenyi, Hon. Danjuma Oche, Hon. Ann Itodo, Hon. Mrs Blessing Onuh, Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi, Hon. Ogewu David, Hon. Mattias Ominkpa, the Zonal Chairman Mohammed Hassan, all the nine local government Chairmen of our Party and others too numerous to mention here.
That the zone A and B protagonists are of the view that, Comrade Abba Yaro had served two terms as State Chairman from zone c which is a statement of fact. We however drew their attention to Chief Barnabas Gemade when he was relieved as PDP National Chairman on which event Chief Audu Ogbeh was his replacement from the same Benue. In same vein, when Sen. Iyorcha Ayu was removed as President of the Senate, Sen. Ameh Ebute was elected from the same Benue State as his replacement. When the Presidency of the Senate came back to the North Central geo-political zone in 2007, Sen. David Mark was elected from Benue State against other six States from the geo-political zone, as such, I see nothing wrong with the zoning and microscopic zoning of the State Chairmanship position in zone C.
Believing that it would be a plus for the Idoma/Igede Nation to hold glue to the current consensus arrangement, the State chairmen of all political parties in Benue, especially the major political Parties, given the dream of Benue State Governor of the Idoma/Igede extraction in the nearest future.