Conrad Utaan: Benue: 100 percent of nothing


As a people, we have become not only gullible but also suffer some level of amnesia because of our inability to connect today with yesterday. What is happening to the PDP happened to Nigeria yesterday.

I remember quite vividly how in 2017 Governor Samuel Ortom, even as an APC Governor at the time, started shouting to high heavens about the spate of insecurity that pervaded the land at the time. The party vilified him. Even leaders of the party in his home state, for self preservation, distanced themselves from him and his agitation. Ortom was not deterred. He went ahead to facilitate the quick passage of the Open Grazing Prohibition Bill and immediately signed it into law. This novel piece of legislation has since become a model for many other states in Nigeria.

If only the Government at the center had listened to Ortom, perhaps the story would have been different today but they didn’t. Infact after the massacre of more than One Hundred poor defenseless farmers and the mass burial that followed, the APC Federal Government effectively broke ranks with Governor Ortom, who at that time was also an APC Governor. They accused him of playing to the gallery and even alleged that he buried empty coffins to stage a media show. Where are we today?.

Governor Ortom openly accused the Federal Government of complicity in the killings that were taking place especially in the North Central and warned that if not checked, it would spread to other parts of the country and Infact consume Aso Rock too. This was many years ago, where are we today?. Prisons are being sacked by marauding bandits, militants have taken over our roads and railways, kidnappers have taken over our cities and completely changed our social orientations and the entire country is presently under a siege of insecurity. If only this Federal Government had listened, today they will be calling Governor Ortom, Samuel the Prophet.

Recent happenings in our party the PDP, have given Governor Samuel Ortom cause to sound the warning bells again like God has always led him to. It is an uncommon gift that we should count as a privilege to have in our ranks.

The Presidential Primary election of our party PDP has long come and gone and of course the candidate of our party has also chosen his running mate. Although his preferred aspirant did not win, as a consummate politician, Ortom understands more than anyone else that it is time to move on. However, he insists that the party is failing in its institutional responsibility to quickly reach out to pacify divergent interests and heal the injuries of those who are justifiably aggrieved. Like always, he calls out for equity, justice and fairness. Is that too much to ask?.

Governor Ortom is a party man through and through. He believes in winning together. He believes in a fair deal for everyone. He desires that the entire party travels in the same direction so everyone can win.
Ortom has not joined the call for the removal of the PDP National Chairman. Neither has he chosen another presidential candidate over the candidate of the party. He has only called to question the ability of the party to deplore its internal conflict resolution mechanism to resolve the impasse within its ranks. Sadly, like Nigeria, the PDP is definitely not listening.

I speak not because I seek to bring the house down from within but because I love this party. It is foolhardy for the leadership of our party and our candidate to begin to carry on like it has already won elections because the truth is, we haven’t. At Least, we are not there yet. It is more like calculating a hundred percent of nothing. It smacks only of arrogance and nothing more.
The party must lend an ear to good counsel now before it is too late. Governor Samuel Ortom and his friends are not the problem; they are indeed the solution to the problem and the future of our great party, the PDP.

Engr. Conrad Utaan

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