By Vincent Okoko Odo
…Then David’s men swore to him (David) that “You shall not join us anymore in battle, lest the lamp of Israel be extinguished.” 2Samuel 21:17. The New Community Bible Catholic Edition.
The above was the situation in Israel when the Philistines almost overwhelm Israel in a sustained battle against Israel and almost killed King David in a fierce encounter! David was not just a king over Israel but served as a morale booster and a lamp bearer of Israel. At that deciding moment, it dawned on Israelites that David must be preserved and protected. David was a man of deep and long experience haven fought many battles and won. David was an institution in his own right and a pride of Israel. He was also a friend of God and knows how to consult God to bring victory to Israel even if he did not partake in a battle directly.
The above situation also fit exactly into our present circumstance in Benue zone C with our Benue Philistines – the Tivs. In the election year 2015 the Benue Philistines and their warlord Senator Akume, almost over-ran Benue South and put out our lamp – Senator David Bonaventure Okpokpowulu Mark in order to lay the great Idoma nation belly up! But thanks to our collective determination and the new touch bearer of Benue South, Comrade Abba Patrick Moro who was then the Campaign DG of Okpokpowulu. He was all over the place like colossus and while other Idoma Traitors decamped in droves to satisfy their stomach in apparent display of betrayal, Comrade Abba Moro stood his ground and alone on the higher level of our political echelon to save the Idoma nation from the embarrassment of losing to the Tivs on who decide and make choice of Zone C Senate.
Today, we the David Mark men have sworn to him (David Mark) that “You shall not join us anymore in battle, lest the lamp of Idoma be extinguished.”
David Mark, as he is fondly called by us his warriors is not just a Senator over the Idoma nation but served as a morale booster and a lamp bearer of the Idomas at the national level. He has consistently ensured that we have our fair share of the national cake to the mixed admiration and envy of the Benue Philistines. He has boldly drawn the Idoma map on the mind of the world as the only Senate president for good eight (8) uninterrupted years! His invocation of ‘doctrine of necessity’ to save the entire Nigerian democracy still remains the best legislative strategy in Nigeria history. With his sagacity, high energy connections and larger-than-life presence, the Benue Philistines are left with the shorter end of the stick as they continue to produce the worst Governors in Nigeria and leaving their own people in abject poverty but yet blame the Idomas for not helping them at the national level!
On the other hand, we have a man that served as an engine room towards these loud achievements of David Mark that speak for themselves. He is Comrade Abba Patrick Moro. David Mark entrusted him with the position of Minister of Interior and what did we get in return? All our youths were practically swept off the streets into gainful employment. My community Ikomija Okpoga and many others got brand new Transformers and other electricity infrastructures. I don’t need to bother us with details of his antecedents and achievements; however, if you think the little I have mentioned so far is not good enough then flip through the history book. David Mark made other Idoma men Federal & State Ministers and what did we get in return? I know of one particular one who was good at booking hotels for his male friends and distributing ladies for them to enjoy. The following morning he would usually give the ladies N100k each but give the men N10k each. One of his male friends complained bitterly that the sharing ratio always made the men jealous of the ladies they slept with and usually they would part ways with the ladies the following morning more or less as enemies! Yet that was his achievement for the Idoma nation. What of those that got juicy appointments through David Mark? I know of one Sunny Echono who was the Henchman in Federal Ministry of Agriculture that awarded the RAMP projects in Benue zone C where embarrassingly monies were paid out to contractors but no job was done. Road construction Contracts running into hundreds of millions of Naira were awarded to a mere dry cleaner! He is an Idoma man entrusted by David Mark with responsibility as the Procurement Director in charge of RAMP! Yet that was his achievement for the Idoma nation!!
At this deciding moment, it has dawned on us the David Mark’s men that David Mark must be preserved and protected. David Mark is a man of deep and long experience haven fought many political battles and won. David Mark is an institution in his own right and a pride of the Idoma nation. He is also a friend of the Government and knows how to consult round to bring victory to the Idoma nation even if he did not partake directly in a battle. He is going to leave behind an over-sized shoe!
Whose feet then do the shoes fits? Who will carry our winning Banner into the future? Who will brandish the Idoma ‘Lion’ logo before the Benue Philistines? Alternatively, if we must reconcile with the Benue Philistines to end this dark era, then who among the present crop of Aspirants has already built a bridge that both sides of the divide can stand for a historic hand-shake as some of the Tiv leaders like Paul Unongo are now proposing?
I urge our Okpokpowulu and all of us to support the candidature of Comrade Abba Patrick Moro, the new touch bearer of Benue zone C to step into this shoe as the Senator representing the great people of Idoma nation and Benue zone C at large. He has proven his reliability time and again. Nowadays that love of nation seems ephemeral and fleeting because of Stomach Infrastructure, here we have a great character and an apple among many political limes struggling for the very soul of Benue zone C. Let us not gamble with our collective heritage by succumbing to any interlocal government zoning blackmail. Let us vote in Comrade Abba Moro to represent us at the red chamber. Idoma Ole’adam History Beckons!!!
Hon Odo Vincent Okoko, writes from Abuja.