Of Benue Youth Fiesta and 2015: cc Rt. Hon. Barr. Emmanuel Jime

Posted: December 26, 2013 in Opinion, Politics
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


By Ati Kengkeng Kenneth
As the year draws to a close and 2015 closer,there is an expected heightening in the tempo and frequency of socio-political activities;carnivals,concerts,camping,decamping,alignment and re-alignment in tandem with the mood at the centre.
Apart from the presidential inter-change of correspondences,one of such is the just concluded “Benue Youth Fiesta 2013” organised by the office of the former speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly and 2nd-term member of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Barr. Emmanuel Jime representing Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency.
In his present capacity,he serves as the Chairman House Committee on FCT as well as member of 5 other committees including power,human rights and media/public affairs.To refresh your memories,Hon. Jime is a prominent member of the integrity group that saw to the removal of Hon. Mrs. Patricia Etteh as Speaker of the House and was a major actor in the free-for-all that engulfed the green chamber.It is he that moved the motion to have the president rescind his decision that banned the super eagles from all competitions.In case you never knew,he nominated Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for the position of Speaker that he occupies today.
In his constituency,there are several blocks of classrooms,ICT centres,public toilets,water projects and solar-powered street lights scattered evenly across the constituency.Prominent among his projects is the Jime Tsav Scholarship Scheme that recently expanded its borders to award scholarships to students across all the council wards of the entire state.With a little over 20bills and a few motions to his credit,Hon. Jime stands out as an erudite legislator and a consistent member of the house.These amongst others are pointers to the fact that he is indeed an astute detribalised legislator.
Undoubtedly,he holds the record as the all-time best performing member of the House from Benue State. Hon. Jime is a man filled with uncommon wisdom in political circles.He has built an almost impeccable reputation in his years of service having being elected Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly at the age of 31years.
However,this reputation is beginning to suffer a set-back as his strategy to achieve his ambition in 2015 is greatly flawed. In an attempt to treat the youth to a wonderful yuletide,he organised the 2-day “Benue Youth Fiesta 2013”.The first day was a music concert featuring Terry G,Ice Prince,J Martins,I go die,Pastor Nicodemus Mbatsavtampu and a host of others.The fiesta was supposed to round-up on the second day with a lecture and symposium on the topic ‘Mobilising Our Young People:A Call To Action’. As expected,thousands of youths thronged IBB square,venue of the concert to get thrilled by the Benue-born “akpako master” et al.
Unfortunately,the reverse was the case.Apart from the bad audio quality of the sound system,it was an ugly outing for all the class acts.’I go die’ did not eIicit the required volume of laughter due to poor audio and the ovation was minimal as he disembarked;Franctic efforts employed to promote his new album did not pay as Ice Prince failed to light-up the “fire of zamani” in the area.He almost shared same fate with the comedian if not for 2 songs from his previous album that saved the day.News has it that his latest album is finding it difficult to thrive even in the Lagos market.How much-less Benue?Terry G was pelted off stage with bottles and stones after making some comments that didn’t go down well with some ‘agile’ members of the crowd.Whatever the 2 red bandanas tied to the left and right sides of his pockets meant,folks apparently didn’t like it and the response was violent.J Martins didn’t perform at all as he abruptly found himself in the escape vehicle with Terry G. The Terry G quagmire had ignited a rancourous pandemonium that warranted their immediate exit and led to the abrupt end of the show at about 2:30am.
Day 2 was supposed to be the lecture and symposium.I gallantly dressed up to attend,only to receive apologies at the venue over the indefinite postponement of the event.To make matters worse,less than 0.5percent of the population at the concert was in attendance.
It is my firm belief that Hon. Jime means well for the youth of Benue State and deserves a shot at Benue’s exalted office.However,my grouse lies with the strategy adopted in prosecuting this agenda.We clapped hands and sang praises to him for numerous things he had done in the past,especially the Jime Tsav Scholarship Scheme.
It will amount to great dis-service if I fail to point out this grave error.For a man of his pedigree,I consider it belittling to release his exalted office to aid jamborees where vices can thrive.I had opined on facebook and at a seminar presentation I made same day that this concert does not positively empower the youth in any specific way neither does it emphasize the needed sanity to folks who have been on strike for over 5 months;instead,the ground was softened for drug/substance intake and abuse,thuggery and other acts of lawlessness as clearly manifested.
To put paid to all of this,the lecture/symposium didn’t hold.A retinue of SA’s and PA’s mounted the podium where apologies were tendered to about 40 people in attendance,most of which were political apologists with branded T-shirts.
This brings to question the perception of our ruling elite towards youths.We are not tools to achieveing the ambition of the elite but the drivers of ambition.Various youth organisations exist in Benue but none was involved in the process leading to this embarrassment.The scenario presents a false impression that we are a rudderless generation of youths who can be taken for a ride by any means.We were denied counsel that will help us pilot the affairs of our generation but were given free tickets to promote vanity and triviality.
On the other hand,the average Benue youth needs to re-evaluate his/her priorities.Are we really ready to make Benue a better place?Are we ready to be leaders of tomorrow?Do we command the respect and appreciation of our ruling elite?Our collective desperation for handouts like this fiesta gives us away easily.
While I recognise and appreciate his unalloyed disposition to youths,I recommend that Hon. Jime and his team re-strategise in tandem with the landmarks he has made in time past and save his cruise ship from derailing further as we approach 2015.
This concert lacked credibility,was counter-productive and derogatory when put side-by-side with the very popular Jime Tsav Scholarship Scheme.
He must as a matter of urgency,refrain from his present position as convener of conferences characterised by dirty hair styles,sagging trousers,hemp smoking,lust-driven and codeine-dizzy folks!
I am left to imagine how much these youths,our state and Nigeria wouldve gained if the symposium actually held and the population as much as that of the concert.
As far as Benue 2015 is concerned,it shall be issue-based rather than propaganda driven.
Ati Kenneth Kengkeng is a farmer,speaker and winner of the maiden edition of Heir Apparent Leadership Reality Show organised by the National Orientation Agency.
Twitter: @Atiphobis

  1. […] to post this link of the article I wrote in December aspa the “Jime Youth Fiesta 2013″. https://atiterkula.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/of-benue-youth-fiesta-and-2015-cc-rt-hon-barr-emmanuel-ji… I discovered this morning that I was deleted from the group.I sent in a request to be added and an […]


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