AKUME IS A FACTOR IN BENUE POLITICS LIKE IT OR NOT- UHONDU

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hon. Nanevwua Uhondo, veteran opposition leader, a man who has been in the news variously for his controversial stand on issues bothering on governance. In this interview with ATI TERKULA, bares his mind on issue concerning the last elections in the state and position of opposition politics in Benue State.

Question: Sir, Hon. Uhondo has been in the opposition for a very long time, what is your driving force, considering the fact that opposition is not as financially inwarding as main stream politics?
Answer: I have been in opposition until this moment and my sustenance is basically, based on God and the conscience I have. When you are a man of conscience you are never hungry, it is only people who have no conscience that are hungry. A small thing like thing can carry them up and they will look at the benefit and money, but people with conscience don’t look at the money. When you are fighting for a cause, you don’t feel you are hungry, even when you are hungry that spurs you up. So I have been able to sustain myself from the little money I make, I am a pensioner and I am contented with the little I get as a pension so that is how I am living.
Question: Sir, like I earlier said you have always been in opposition. Opposition is meant to deepen democracy through constructive criticism, how will you assess the role of opposition in Nigeria democracy.
Answer: Well, opposition has pared very well in Nigeria for the past 12years. You see what is happening in the west, they have remained in the opposition and are faring better than people who do not want to stay in the opposition. Opposition is meant to keep the penty in power on its toes. So opposition generally in Nigeria has fared very well, if you see what has happened in the south-west, it has captured virtually all the states and the party in power has not been able to penetrate them. In Benue State opposition has done very well except that they have been rigged out each time they go into election, from 1999 to the present time. I was in ANPP, Unongo contested in 2003, he won of course it is believed he defeated the incumbent governor them Akume, but he was rigged out, Saror won in 2007, everybody knows that, the records are there to show. Saror in opposition beat Suswam who is now the incumbent hands down. Now CAN is the main opposition party, you see everyone is in the ACN even small boys in the villages when you go everywhere is change, and Ugbah has beaten Suswam very well with a wide margin but it is because of these manipulations that today you can hear them saying Suswam is the governor but it is only a matter of time because the election is already at the tribunal and we believe that ACN is going to have justice. So based on these few example, I have given you is clear that opposition has fared well in Nigeria. It is the one that is keeping the party on power on its toes otherwise Nigeria would have been worse because PDP for 12years has not taken Nigeria anywhere, we are still marching at the same spot, we don’t have electricity, the basic necessities of life are lacking inspite of the huge budget the national assembly rises each year you don’t see any change. Like wise Benue State but it is the opposition that is keeping everyone on their so it think it has fared very well, they rave not relented in their struggle to see that Nig does very well, so I think they have saved very well at least PDP knows they have challenge ad is they don’t do well by 2015 you will see changes opposition will take over. Even now with the current cases we have in court, we have good cases, we believe and just in god that at the end CAN Will collect many seats and.
Probably in Benue State we might have majority on the state because we have good cases and I am not been pre-judicial backward I am not a judge, I have taken my case to court and I have a good case it the judge says I have a good case I will be pronounced as winner so we have big hope for the opposition. The opposition is okay.
Question: you mentioned court cases and you came in particular it is common knowledge that you are in court contesting the out come of the 2011 elections in which you contested and you claim your mandate was and have gone to the courts for justice. How here the case fared and what are your expectations and prayers?
Answer: well, the case has not commenced in correct because I filed my case in the court and the respondents have replied to the ease and I have 5 day within which to respond again, so it that process. When I respond after 5 day we shall commence pre-trial it has to do with motions of court competence and distinction when there motion are disposed of the real case will commence we have not even stated the pre-trial because I have not answered their own respond because I have 5 days. It was just yesterday that my lawyer called my that INEC had served him on my behalf, so we have 5 days to reply the INEC defence I have not been served by PDP and June but they have filled their election but I am yet to be served but if I am served within 5 day which we will commence pre-trial so in summary I am saying the case have not started in earnest as we have not even started Re-trial we hope when the pre-trial stage in over we shall go into the case proper by hearing.
Question: taking back about, out of curiosity when you talk about the ANPP in Benue State there were 2 arrow heads that were know Prof. Saror and yourself why did you have to leave ANPP for CAN?
Answer: I have talked about this issue overtime as you rightly pointed out I was an arrow head in the ANPP. We started the ANPP in 1999 and continued till 7th January thin year that I left ANPP major reason was that I contesting for primaries in the ANPP but all of a sadden I discovered that the party in broke infiltrated the leadership of the ANPP to more sure that I was not given nomination to contest house of representatives for the 2011 elections, so when I discovered this I did not went to go into a contest I will loose because all the delegates had been paid money by PDP to make sure I did not win the primaries so that I was disgraced so I decided to leave ANPP to join ACN, that was the base reason why I left ANPP PDP in iterated leadership of ANPP to ensure I lost primaries that is why I left.
Question: so what do you think accounts for the success of the ACN in Benue state?
Answer: Well there issue in that everybody wants change and for 12 good years PDP has not fared better, every years you see billions of naira passing into budget but you see that there is no meaningful development in the state we want change this change was to be actualized through ANPP but Saror left his petition mid-way and people become embittered so much, the were not happy because why will they vote Saror and be will just decide to abandon his case midway. Saror reason was that the his traditional council invited him and talked to him, he was persuades to stop and of course nobody paid him, he did not get money from anyone. So now ACN just came it was ACN before nobody knew the party but it was rumoured that Akume was one of the founders of it in Benue but because he was a governor of PDP, were on him and he quickly withdrew into background and stayed in the PDP, so when Suswam because governor through the instrumentality of Akume everybody though Suswam will not dump Akume like this but he stay critiquing Akume that Akume like this nut he cruising Akume that Akume did nothing in 8 year and the rest of the so he now wanted to face Akume,to obliterate Akume completely and they even pleaded that it Akume vied for primaries in the PDP he would loose. Irascibly people think it work Suswam that sponsored Terugu Tsegba against Akuem so Akume decided to dump PDP for ACN and Akume is a factor in Benue politics so whether you like it or no it he is a crowd puller. So when Akume left PDP, he left with everybody in PDP because he is a man like a generous heart he gives generally and that has endeared many people to him and some of us too where were in ANPP when we left Akume said, well wonder why can;’t we pull our resources together in ACN and I said okay and decided to join ACN and now you see Benue State is now all ANC Benue the personality Akume courts so much, let us ball a spade a spade because Akume is a man of the people, he givens generally his in a men with sympathy, he has pity on so many people and because of his personality, people left PPD to ACN so ACN has become a very powerful party in Benue state because of Akume and people went to change for 4 good years now I have not seen anything tangible Suswam has done. They call him Mr __ and the rest of them you can not see one infrastructure he has done, companies have died you can not find even a single one even those initiated by Akume he has left them live that, live tomatoes factory, something he would have completed in 100 days, less than 2 months because all the machines were bought but he has done nothing. We don’t have water four 4 years we are still consulting clinics so with all this non performance of the governor people now felt we need a change in another party which is ACN course ANPP have left I left sorer too because of what he did to the people of Benue state he could not his mandate in court people developed cold blood against him that is why you see even in his election he had only 8-9 thousand votes in the whole of Benue state. So the growth of ACN in Benue State is as a result of Akume. Akume has caught the of the people because speaking the trust there in no other politician like Akume in Benue state whether you like it or not Akume is a man of people and that is all that matter in politics. When you have people following your you are a politicians but whether you have plenty of money and people don’t go ground your, you are not a politician I don’t to call names there are many of them with money here but you don’t here of them, but when you hear Akume everybody will just be going following like J.S. of old days and Paul Unongo so die in a men of the people. Akume has made the ACN to attain the level it has attained in less than 3 months.
Question: finally on the national stage and state two wonderful things have happened. We have a for the first live state with a good Humber of opposition members and the national assembly we still have it so and they have gone a step another to defy all odds including the going formula of the PDP to democratically election a speaker. What do you think this portends for our democracy? What are the hopes for the state and nation as a wide?
Answer: well it is a very good development and I do if my hat for members of the house of representation for doing that, because if they defiled defied the zoning arrangement of PDP to do what the constitution says then, it is better because the constrtution does not say you must your elective position and you must abide by the rules of the party of zoning. So they have done a good thing, they have defied the zoning arrangement of PDP to do what is right as provided in the constitution. By the way, who has respected zoning? If you are talking about zoning, Jonathan by being the president was not from the, the zoned the position to the north. So if the PDP is talking about no zoning and will come back to say zoning then that appears contradictory.You saw what the house of representatives have done, I clap hands for them. Zoning breeds mediocrity. Somebody to competent but you say no it is not zoned to you place so do not contest, so zoning breeds mediocrity. I am happy with what the national assembly has done and the PDP will think twice and any other party can do the same thing.

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