By Moses Akarhan
Rufus Shaato, the returning officer for Benue North-West Senatorial election, penultimate Monday at the INEC local government collation centre in Makurdi, the state capital, declared Chief Titus Zam of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the senator-elect for the state’s North-West Senatorial seat.
From time immemorial, this is the first time such a position is coming to Tyoshin of Gwer-west Local Government Area of Benue State, the senatorial seat which is meant to be profited amongst the seven local governments under the zone. From the chart of the senatorial succession in Zone B, six out of the seven local governments have benefitted from the seat in the past. The late Chief JKN Waku, Guma; Fred Orti, Makurdi; the late Dr. Adagba, Gwer; Dr. George Akume, Tarka; Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Gboko and Senator Orker Jev, Buruku, leaving Gwer West to have the shot now.
Available records show that Chief, Hon. Padopads Awunah and Hon. Vincent T. Shirsha, all of blessed memory had earlier made remarkable efforts to bring the senate seat before “Tar Tyoshin” albeit unsuccessfully.
An idiomatic expression which says, “He who laughs last laughs best” has come to play in the emergence of “The Bar U Gboko”, Hon. Chief Titus Tartenger Zam. It doesn’t matter when you clinch a position but what you can do for the development of your constituency. After all, the first building, they say, is not the best in town.
A line from the play “King Henry the Fourth”, part two, by William Shakespear says, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. This means that a person who has great responsibilities such as a king is constantly worried and therefore doesn’t sleep soundly.
Thomas Aquinas, a Priest and Philosopher once said, “He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust”.
Zam has come on board at a time when injustice has taken the centre stage in our country. At the moment, there are incessant farmers/herders clashes and killings in the senatorial district where many of the people have been staying in IDP camps. The crisis has lingered for over two decades now. The onus lays on the senator-elect to make legislations that would put an end to the crisis.
The people of Tyoshin where Zam comes from have remained educationally backward despite the presence of three universities in the zone: Sarwuan Tarka Federal University, Benue State University and University of Mkar. He is expected to award university scholarships, home and abroad, for students of his constituency. We hear of National Assembly members awarding scholarships abroad for their constituents in the far north and it is done in the west. He is also expected to resuscitate education in the zone. Above all, there should be synergy between him and the three institutions in such a way that the people of the zone and indeed, Benue, would benefit immensely in the way of research and breakthroughs. This will liberate his people.
Youth who have attained formal education are roaming the streets without jobs. It is our hope that he will facilitate and acquire federal employments for Benue youth, particularly those from his constituency. Also, the senator should find a way of assisting farmers with farm inputs to boost their yields.
In his humble words of acceptance which are inspiring and assuring, we have no doubt that Hon. Zam is positively disposed to serve his people with the fear of God. It is our prayer that his humble words really manifest in his days of office. The speech reads in parts: “It is with a heart full of joy that I wish to appreciate all of you who supported and voted for me in the last Saturday’s polls. A good number of you had choices different from me but many choose me. It is your democratic right to vote for candidates of your choice in any election, I hold no malice against anybody.
“Therefore, I implore all of us to move away from the pre-election sentiments and accept my victory as our collective opportunity to have a voice about how we are governed.
“Going forward, I invite all of us to own up to this position and the responsibility it carries, I invite you to joyously carry your heads high but in utmost humility and fear of God.
“In the coming weeks, I shall be unveiling my legislative agenda for Zone B. Benue North west shall be great!! We will do it together to the glory of God and benefit of mankind in Jesus name Amen”.