For daring to question the decision of Idoma nation for the umpteenth time, youths and opinion leaders in Benue South say Daniel Onjeh is gradually driving himself into political oblivion.
A cross section of the Idoma leaders also described the return of Daniel Onjeh to the election petition tribunal over the recent Senatorial rerun elections as “a huge joke” and “a sheer waste of time.” “Nothing can change our support for Senator David Mark,” they insist.
Onjeh, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) lost to a former President of the Nigerian Senate & a 5th term returnee, David Mark for the second time consecutively. He has elected to re-contest the results and the people are saying he is “a bad loser” and “desperate for power.”
“His action is inimical to the progress of Idoma land. It would have been nice for him to respect himself and respect his political career and withdraw every ambition or any court action against Okpanyi (David Mark). He should withdraw the push and go to David Mark who is our father, so that he can embrace him as his child. He is a good man, he has never rejected anybody.
“But any attempt to go further on any court action will not speak good of him. It will give him a total knock out from Zone C politics. To the extent that he may not be able to contest any further election in Zone C or even Councilor in his ward,” says Unah Gabriel Kingsley, a youth leader in Apa Local Government.
Speaking in the same manner, another youth leader in Benue South, Ada Fred Odangla, said he “lacks adjective to qualify,” the action of Onjeh. “He doesn’t have Idoma agenda at heart. He is self-centered and playing desperate politics.
“He is out there to make money and going to the Tribunal this term again shows he is not out to protect the Idoma nation. But I can tell you that it is a waste of time.
“Being a young and vibrant Idoma man, he should hold on a bit. This term, we need a David Mark to continue to protect our interests. Nigeria is a big country with many tribes, so we need someone like him who can protect our interests,” Odangla said.
The Acting District Head of Agatu, Emmanuel Oyigadu urged Onjeh to withdraw his petition and “come to the table,” for dialogue. “David Mark is his senior brother and a father to him.
He said the Idoma people have placed their trust in Mark. “The elders in Idoma land in Zone C consider David Mark as the bull who can fight for Zone C. He has served in the Army, he was a Minister, he was a governor and Senate President for 8 years. We need a courageous person like him to be there to deliver Zone C.
A top female politician, Mrs Jane Edeh , said emphatically that APC candidate is “wasting his time.” “As a young man, he’s suppose to accept this defeat and come back to Benue South to work with us.”
Edeh who is the Assistant Secretary, PDP Benue State chapter, however expressed worries that it has become the habit of Onjeh never to concede defeat. “He is a bad loser and gradually driving his political career into oblivion.”
“Whose interest is he serving?” questions Suleiman Adoyi, a former legislative leader in Agatu Local Government. “The young man is giving us a bad name and doing a big disservice to Idoma nation.
“Idoma people voted David Mark beyond party line to protect our collective interest. He is a pillar for Idoma nation and we will continue to support him,” says Adoyi.
It would be recalled that in a bizarre circumstances, the first Benue South senatorial election conducted in March 2015 was nullified at the Appeal Court due to clerical error in the date entered on the final results sheet by the returning officer.
Senator Mark won the rerun with a considerable margin but there is no let up in the camp of his opponent. He has refused to concede defeat.
INEC has already said it is overwhelmed by elections rerun for lack of insufficient fund. It is also not expected that the Election courts will busy itself again to order fresh elections in any matter as process has also taken it toll on the judiciary.