Suswam and His 2015 Hurdles

Posted: September 6, 2012 in BENUE, political, Uncategorized
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When Bar. Gabriel Suswam appeared in the political scenario of Benue, he generally believed to posses steering qualities of leadership which led many to assume he would excel in the murky waters of politics.
As a green horn, Suswam took his first shot at an elective post in 1999, vying to represent the Sankera Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Image
Attributary to his tact and adjudged humility, Suswam clenched the seat amidst the domination of his constituency by the All Peoples Party (APP) and subsequently returned to abuja under the same ticket in 2003.
Suswam who has always bragged at his superior intellect and political tact has always been a lucky winner in the game of politics.
He thus exhibited this prowess superbly when he emerged the flag bearer of the PDP in the 2007 gubernatorial polls, even as many believed he would be trumped by his adversaries who had more political experience and even older in age, as Suswam was considered too young to be saddled with such responsibility.
It was therefore a shocker to many when the former Governor and Suswam’s now estranged political bedmate, Senator George Akume preferred him above all other contestants including the latter’s Deputy, Chief Ogiri Ajene. This support was the platform to which Suswam emerged victorious in the general elections.Image,
This victorious streak has followed Suswam till date as in the just concluded polls, he faced stiff opposition from familiar fronts led by Sen. Akume, who had previously fallen out with his “godson” and thus fought to replace him with another faithful after ditching the PDP for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to achieve this feat.
Suswam being the survivor he is touted to be, also scaled this electoral hurdle which opened a new vista for legal battles that extended upto the Supreme Court where he finally triumphed.
Gov. Suswam who constantly brags about his been too big to drown in a bucket after surviving sharks in the ocean, is barely two years into his second foray as governor of Benue state with a question mark dangling over his political future.
It is already an established norm for former governors to take refuge in the hallowed chambers of the senate and thus every serving governor’s dream, but with just over two years left on his present contract with Benue People, it has become pertinent to ask, what happens to him at the expiration of his tenure in 2015?
Just last month a group of PDP elders from the Benue North East Senatorial district had at a reception held in honour of the governor, called upon him to run for the senatorial position of the district. According to the speaker of the group, Chief Atoza Ihindan, the governor was best suited for the position as he had proved his mettle at the House of Representatives and even as governor.
Atoza, further claimed that their resolve to tip Suswam for the position was not only premised on the fact that he was competent but also a desire to fill an existing vacancy and longing as he had acknowledged that the zone had been poorly represented even as it is represented by former National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Barnabas Gemade.Image
In a recent interaction with journalists, Chief Gemade whose position is in contention, rebuffed the attempts declaring that he had just began his sojourn at the green chambers but was quick to add that even at the expiry of his present tenure, he was not ready to relinquish his coveted senatorial seat not even for the governorship slot.
According to Gemade, the leader of the said group was acting alone, claiming the group was unaware of his plan. Moreover he added that, the governor will not wish to even covert his seat even as he is yet to finish his tenure before thinking what the future holds for Suswam.
More to the bleak future of Suswam is the zoning formula of the PDP which is obviously not in his favour. The Benue North East Senatorial seat usually revolves around three blocs namely: Sankera, Jeichira and Kwande.
Proponents of the rotation theory, emphasize that the seat has to move the Kwande bloc owing to the fact that the position is currently held by the Jechira who are currently serving five years into their allowed eight years turn which they had taken over from the Sankera bloc who had also served an eight year tenure.
It is thus the call by the proponents of this theory that after Suswam’s eight years in the Benue government house, he ought to wait another eight years for Kwande to round up their turn before may lay claims to the position.
Pundits have also speculated the governor’s eyes on the presidency at the expiration of his tenure. This belief is premised on the belief that the presidency is likely to be zoned to the north where the North Central is also a contending force. Based on this analogy, it is widely believed that Suswam who is believed to be ambitious is positioning himself for this, thus his constant seeming relevance in national issues and perceived prominence and dominance in the State governor’s forum.
However a dark cloud also casts above this seeming bright opportunity as Suswam happens to come from the Tiv ethnic group which is considered a minority in the north which further narrows this seeming chance. This is owing to the over bearing position of the Hausa- Fulani oligarchy which places the Hausa- Fulani above other tribes in the region thus making them always a favorite for such opportunities.
This is even as the jostle for the presidency has already caused perceived distrust amongst Benue elites, suspectedly pitching them against each other. It has already been rumored that more Benue bigwigs are interested in the slot perchance the North wins the bid. Chief amongst such elite are Senate President David Mark, Senate Minority Leader George Akume and former Senate President Iorchia Ayu; this further slims the chances of Suswam’s success at the presidential bid.
Further to make slimmer these chances, is Suswam’s obvious attachment to President Goodluck Jonathan, who analysts have severally noted that his body language indicates he is not willing to let go of the presidency in 2015 as such, is already putting together an army to secure that position of which Suswam is touted to be an active general in this army. With Suswam rooting for Jonathan, it obvious that he will be forced to shelve his ambition for his boss’.
This claim has further strenghthen questions in the minds of Suswam’s admirers as to what the political future portends for the governor.

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