If Former President Goodluck Jonathan had been re-elected, Senator David Mark would have remained a political asset to the Idoma nation. Even though he had never been known to use project allowances for developing the senatorial district, he could have directly or indirectly influenced the appointments of some Idoma sons and daughters as Federal officers. Worst case, Idomas would have been contented with bragging that their senator was a powerful and important man.
If GEJ had won, Mark would perhaps have been re-elected as Senate President with a high chance of running for president and winning in 2019. If that had happened, perhaps his age-long promise of creating Apa State would have been achievable. But alas, GEJ did not win. Nigerians were tired of PDP’s 16 years of wanton looting of public funds and needed change. Despite the fact that GEJ squandered billions of public monies to campaign for his reelection, he still lost. Think about it: GEJ visited all the big pastors and prophets in Nigeria to get favourable prophecies; he visited Imams for support, he got Obas and Emirs to endorse him; TAN said they had collected millions of signatures in support of his reelection, witches and wizards group, OPC, MASSOB, Niger Delta militants, etc endorsed GEJ but he couldn’t win. No amount of money or campaign of calumny could kill an idea whose time had come. They people needed change! And change they got! But I digress… Back to the reason why the Idoma intellectuals who can see beyond their noses have rejected Mark and prefer a young and vibrant Onjeh.
Senator Mark will not be the number 3 citizen again (some say he was even number 2!) if he is reelected to the senate. He will not enjoy the presidential convoys that he was used to. He may not even be flying Police helicopters to Otukpo while his people suffer through potholes. All these will affect his pride and everyone knows he is a proud man. Before now, Idomas were so scared of mentioning his name except in praise. But things have changed. Mark is now human, not a demi-god. His party is not the ruling party for now. PDP is the opposition in Benue and at the Federal level. As he himself used to say, Idomas should never be in the opposition because it will not pay them. Voting Mark will be just to oil his ego. Just to make sure his political opponents don’t mock him for falling from political grace to grass. Is that all what we need from our senator? Just so Tiv people and Senator Akume will not laugh at Mark? Is the Tiv-Idoma enmity being rumoured even true or is it a campaign strategy to replace the no-longer-useful Apa state creation strategy? The Zone C seat is not for personal ego but for political advantage. We will have no political advantage if we vote Mark. He will not be in the corridor of power in Benue State because he is PDP and the state is APC-controlled. Furthermore, his campaign has been based on painting the Tiv as enemies of Idoma.
Secondly, at the federal level, Mark will not be close to power. President Buhari is of the APC and is fighting corruption. Returning Senator Mark to the senate as a political liability will lock out the Idoma from the scheme of things. Any Idoma son can be senator. The seat is not reserved for Mark alone. He will not even want to attend sittings or be seen as a floor member. On the other hand, Onjeh is young, passionate to serve and in the ruling party. He signifies hope for the ordinary Idoma man. The only reason Mark wants to go back to the senate is to protect his pride. His supporters said the Tiv celebrated the annulment of his election. Let Idomas also celebrate when the other gods of Benue politics like Akume and Gemade are politically defeated in the future. Trust me that too will happen. A new dawn has come. Wake up, my people! Support Comrade Dan Onjeh! Vote, if you can, for change on February 20, 2016. If you wish to vote but cannot due to some difficulty, influence all those you can to vote for progress. King Nebuchadnezzar is leaving the throne. The handwriting on the wall is clear: A Daniel is come to judgment!
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