Showcasing Okwu En Route to 2023 Gen. Elections
SHOWCASING 23 IGEDE PERSONALITIES EN ROUTE TO 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS – First Edition
RT. HON. SAMSON AJAH OKWU
“The socio-political history of the Igede nation vis-a-vis a holistic developmental roadmap has an uncoordinated and inconsistent trajectory over the years. For a society with the quantum of challenges as the Igede, that looks forward to a bright future among the comity of ethnic nationalities, the present Igede development trajectory is unacceptable. It is needless to say that a deliberately designed socio-political roadmap emphasizes a unique understanding of all forces and factors that shape the individual’s status in the society. Therefore, it is only through a roadmap that all sociocultural and political experiences can converge together to continually refine the community which would ultimately build in individuals the capacity to envision and help create a just society for all” – culled from @Igede Rebirth League’s Blueprint for Igede Development, 2021.
The above profound quote from Igede Rebirth League’s Blueprint for Igede development underscores the profiling of the 23 Igede personalities en route to 2023 general elections.
Before I plumb the depths of my today’s featured personality, please permit me to quickly refresh the minds of my reading audience that the criteria for the selection or profiling of the 23 personalities still remain: academic qualification, experience, expertise, intelligence, special skills, integrity and track records in their various chosen endeavours.
Further note that this project is primarily embarked upon to birth a new conversation around the Igede socio-political development for a fair and equitable distribution of political positions among the ethnic nationalities in Benue State. Therefore, it is my considered view that, at the moment in the Igede political setting, no any person is more fitted into the conversation around power sharing as we en route to 2023 than RT. HON. SAMSON AJAH OKWU .
Hon. Okwu was born on 7th February, 1974 in the remote village of Ohuma, Orihi Council Ward, Obi Local Government Area, Benue State, into the family of Mr./Mrs. Elias Okwu Ogah. He attended LGEA Primary School, Ohuma-Ito, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1986 and Igede Community Secondary School, Okileme where he obtained his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in 1992.
After his secondary school education, Hon. Okwu went to Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi, Plateau State and obtained a Certificate Course and a National Diploma in Accounting and Auditing in the years 1996 and 1998, respectively. Hon. Okwu went to Calabar Polytechnic, Cross River State for his Higher National Diploma in Accounting and Auditing in 2005. He completed his Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria in 2008, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 2010, having passed relevant professional examinations.
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Hon. Okwu first started his career path when he secured appointment with the National Assembly Service Commission in 2000 as an Assistant Finance Officer from where he grew in the service to the rank of Senior Finance Officer. He was subsequently appointed as Chief Accountant in the Office of the Senate President by Distinguished Senator Ken Nnamani, GCON, the then Senate President, a position he held until 2007 when, again, Distinguished Senator David Mark, GCON became the Senate President and appointed him as Special Assistant on Finance and Accounts.
In 2011, Hon. Okwu voluntarily resigned his position to contest election into the House of Representatives for Oju/Obi Federal Constituency, Benue State under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he eventually won and was duly inaugurated as the Hon. member representing the good people of Igede nation in the Green Chambers in the 7th Assembly. He was subsequently re-elected in 2015 and 2019 under the same PDP to represent Igede nation, making him the first and only person in the annals of Igede political history to occupy the position for three (3) times to the admiration of his supporters and chagrin of his political opponents.
In his long stint at the National Assembly, Hon. Okwu was a Chairman, House Committee on Air force; Vice-Chairman, House Committee on Pensions; and a member of several other House Committees, spanning the 7th, 8th and 9th Assembly. He is also reported to have sponsored and co-sponsored some bills and moved some motions on the floor of the National Assembly for the benefit of entire Nigeria and the good people of Igede nation, his immediate Constituency.
Even though this piece is not to appraise Hon. Okwu’s performances at the National Assembly since 2011 till date, Hon. Okwu has undoubtedly attracted some development projects to Igede through the funds that are usually allocated to the members of the National Assembly in the National Annual Budgets for Constituency Projects. He has also used his position to influence a handful of employment slots for some of his constituents that are within his circle.
Whether Hon. Okwu’s performances over the last ten (10) years and still running, are satisfactory or not, it is a story for another day. However, what is not in dispute is the fact that Hon. Okwu occupies the highest political office in Igede nation, and since 2011 that he has been in the saddle, he has garnered some POLITICAL EXPERIENCE that Igede nation can leverage on in the ongoing discussion about power sharing in Benue State as well as in Benue South Senatorial District (Zone C) as we are en route to 2023 General Elections.
Some persons may argue that Hon. Okwu does not have the oratory prowess or charisma in their own estimation to vigorously present the position of Igede nation before the other political actors from other ethnic nationalities in Benue State, but in my respectful view, Hon. Okwu is a good politician in the context of Nigeria’s politics. He knows the game of politics and has used his experience and resources to achieve his set political goal. This is what, unarguably, has earned him successive victories in the past three (3) general elections in 2011, 2015 and 2019 into the Green Chambers of the National Assembly, against all odds. You may hate him for whatever reason, but what you cannot take away is the fact Hon. Okwu has carved a political niche for himself, at least in Igede politics. I personally believe that he can use his experience, connection and resources to reach out to other political elite for Igede fair representation as we en route to 2023 general elections.
It should be noted that Hon. Okwu is a son of Agba and was elected by Igede people. Therefore, no matter his political power, height, might and the resources he might have accumulated in the course of representing Igede nation at the National Assembly, he must respect the fact that he cannot be more powerful than his father – AGBA or the electorate – IGEDE PEOPLE, whose mandate he has been holding in trust at the National Assembly since 2011 till date and still running. Interestingly, Hon. Okwu is renowned to be a ‘humble and responsible’ person, even though fate has brought him into limelight in spite of his humble background. So, in my view, wherever Igede people decide to send him to represent or present Igede’s position, he will not betray that responsibility or refuse to honour the call.
Therefore, beyond Hon. Okwu’s political ambition for any position of leadership in Nigeria, Benue State, Zone C or Igede nation, it is my respectful view that Igede nation can still leverage on his political experience, relationships and resources at this material time of our collective political life. Let us queue him up among the other Igede political elite to present the position of Igede nation before the other ethnic nationalities as we are en route to 2023 general elections.
I therefore call on the good people of Igede nation and the political actors to put behind their political differences, personal ambitions and/or resentments, and rather form a common alliance with this great son of Agba for the collective interest of Igede nation. This is one of the surest ways to set afoot a new man for the socio-political development of Igede Nation.
LOOK FORWARD TO THE 6TH IGEDE BOLD PERSONALITY….
James Udor Ebe, Esq.
The views expressed in this write up are strictly those of the author, based on his personal convictions, research and information sourced from relevant materials about the individual(s). It is not a sponsored or paid advert for any personal, clannish or political interest. The author takes personal responsibility for any information about any personality that is inaccurately stated and/or typographical or grammatical errors contained therein.