. How Suswam Has Paid Ayu.
By Mannasseh Aondohemba
Iyorchia Demenongu Ayu is a former president of the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ayu, a Gboko born silent political heavy weight that is feared and loathed by many is the only Tiv politician with the rare opportunity of presiding over three different ministries in Nigeria as a cabinet minister. They include ministry of Education, Internal Affairs and Commerce/Industries.
Before 1999, Ayu and Chief Barnabas Gemade were the most promising and influential politicians in Tiv land. The two had the political power to make and unmake anybody. The making of George Akume as third civilian governor of Benue State is also traceable to the two mighty men.
As director general of the presidential campaign in 1999, Ayu used his position adequately with brotherly sentiments on the then governor George Akume to comfortably take control of the government and ease out Chief Barnabas Gemade. It is on record that George Akume gave to Ayu the kind of respect no politician has ever given and may never give another in Tivland.
Throughout the stay of Akume in Government House Makurdi, Ayu was akin to a god. He determined who got what, when and how. Any government official who disagreed with him was shown the way out. Dr. Terhemba Shija can bear me witness. A construction company allegedly owned by Ayu, CAD (Christopher Ayu Demenongu) handled government’s most lucrative contracts.
However, Akume and Ayu disagreed on who will succeed the former. While Dr. Ayu preferred another of his loyalist Hon. Shima Ayati, Akume had a number of people he was looking at. Foremost among whom was the incumbent governor Gabriel Suswam. A young man Ayu never wanted to see or hear of. When it became obvious that Akume would settle for Suswam, Ayu decamped with his supporters to the Action Congress AC where he featured Shima Ayati as governorship candidate.
Suswam eventually won the elections and Ayu remained in political oblivion. However disagreements between Akume and Suswam on the other hand re-united Ayu with Akume. It was good time for Ayu to get back at Suswam using the Ugbah project and he made maximal use of the opportunity. He assured people that Suswam was leaving government house and would proceed to jail. That he new Suswam was a failure from the beginning and refused to be part of his making. But now that the people have realized the truth, he has come to set them free through Ugbah.
Suswam won the re-election and Akume also returned to the senate. Politics of the local government elections in 2012 ended the new relationship between Akume and Ayu. Ayu decided to return back to the PDP, a party under the leadership of Gabriel Suswam in Benue State. He decamped with Hon. Dehiin Dzuai, a state assembly member representing Gboko East that Akume allowed Ayu to hand pick as candidate of the defunct ACN.
Suswam ’embraced’ Ayu and quickly made him chairman of a hitherto non existing body, the PDP elders forum, Benue State chapter. In that position, Ayu emptied his political tank to the PDP and Suswam. He was confident of using Suswam to get back at Akume by taking over the political leadership of zone B.
Sooner or later it became obvious that the chicken had come home to roost. The rhythm of the music started missing the dance steps when Ayu could not protect a boy who had so much confidence in his ability to help him realize his ambition of representing Buruku at the Federal House of Reps. Ayu disowned Sekav Iortyom as Suswam zeroed in on Hon. Terfa Ityav as candidate of the PDP for the same seat. Ayu made a sharp about turn and felled to formation.
It was time for the PDP primaries and the real shocker came. Ayu as he was over pampered by Akume had predicted winners for all offices as he did during Akume and it came to pass. Addressing party men at a function in Buruku, Ayu gladly informed the people that he had decided to give the senate ticket of the Benue North West senatorial district Zone B to Tombo and the Tor Jembagh I to Gboko. There was a thunderous applause.
In a dramatic turn, all Ayu’s predictions for the first time did not come to pass. The governor gave the senate ticket to Hon. Mike Mku from Gboko agains Ayu’s choice Dr. Laha Dzever. His desire to reward another of his long time loyalist Engr. Aese with the PDP state assembly ticket for Gboko West failed the test of the ambition of one of the Governor’s boys Hon. Terna Achir. Even in Ayu’s Gboko east state constituency, the candidate was decided by Hon. Terngu Tsegba in favour of his former boss Hon. Sam Ahua. Ayu also did not hide his preference for Hinga Biem to clinch the PDP governorship ticket, this also crashed as the governor anointed Prince Terhemen Tarzoor.
Many of Ayu’s loyalist became furious as things have become so unfavorable for them. Many planned a show down with the PDP at the general elections but they were calmed down that one of them Mr. Agber, a retired principal will be made transition chairman of Gboko to help service their camp. And the last straw broke the camels back earlier this week when the governor sent Mr. Tseeka’s name to the state assembly for confirmation as transition chairman of Gboko local government.
In the end, Ayu and his team have nothing from Suswam’s configuration in the next four years and even his elders forum has no constitutional role and it’s influence on the party declines on a daily basis. From a man who determined the occupant of the king’s palace and his maids, Ayu has now mounted guard to see how the king of Dom Agya kingdom runs a kingdom Ayu once controlled