By Onjefu Okidu
The recent wave of agitation for an Idoma governor appears to be waning the hitherto substantial agency of adversarial elements who have been using a Maggi cube to misdirect the Idoma people. It seems, Idomaland is about to witness a genuine political consciousness and a purposeful revolution. The transformation is occurring in an era in which the pervasive means of communication are affording more and more individuals and groups the ability to increasingly become reasonable, truthful, innovative and creative without much socio-economic hindrances. So far, three unprecedented impressive historical moments have been recorded. The first were the voice and platform rendered by an Idoma illustrious daughter, Patricia Ojo. Her reopening of the line of communication on the moral urgency of the need for an Idoma Governor in 2023 on WhatsApp rekindled the urge like a spark of light. With or without altruistic motive, Patricia Ojo symbolizes the new face of the urge which has been overflowing the essence and inner core of all idoma people, Judas and non-Judas alike. She represents a larger pattern on issues of motherhood and motherland with great concern for the future of the children. In expressing her concerns, she implicatively suggests that the future of the Idoma children are both beautiful and endangered, so worthy, yet so ignored. Like Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955, Mrs Ojo’s contributions may rescue millions of Idoma children from modern day slavery.
The second historical moment is the proliferation of agitation groups on social media platforms to advance Patricia ojo’s courageous historical debut. So, so, so many groups, especially on WhatsApp and telegram. This signifies the growth of the consciousness. The passion, zeal, ideas, models, theories and frameworks being put forward have been incredibly unprecedented. The groups have been distinct but the spirit and the focus have been connectedly one. This further lend credence to the general belief that the Idomas are among the superior intellectual performers globally. Invariably, they are never lacking in high impact ideas. Some of the names that have featured very prominently in this regard include; Madaki Omadachi Ameh, Daniel Atayi Edoache, Wilfred Adegene, Stephen Onmeje, Obande Jacob Ajene, Abel Oche, Noah McDickson, Kelvin Odatse-Peters, Ankeli Oche Abel, Gabriel Olofu, Wilson Inalegwu, Agebe Odeh, Lilian Ene Anyebe, Isaac Egboja, Monday Morgan, Ogbe Obande and Ejembi Simple Odeh, just to mention a few. These are men and women who have been spinning the wheel of the movement. Although from time to time, some of them have been distracted by mundane and irrelevant ice breakers such as the parade of birthdays of some perceived prominent persons, wisdom stickers, party info, etc, they have kept the struggle alive.
The third and the last historical moment was the Otukpo merger meeting of Wednesday June 17, 2020 which saw the various agitating groups agreeing to fall under one group called Benue Rebirth Movement (BRM). It was a fantastic integration. So far, this is the most encouraging. With unity and ideas, the movement has warded off fifty percent of any kind of threat. A related encouraging development was the unanimous choice of Monday Morgan as the BRM National Coordinator. Apparently, his choice goes far beyond theglamourous stature of a retired Air Vice Marshal and former Chief of Defense Intelligence.
He was chosen because of his demonstrated altruistic vision for Idomaland and his ability to garner broad support for the movement given his apolitical orientation. His social predisposition couple with his ability to establish rapport across barriers of class, clanish and kindred identity, religion, gender and age will help a great deal in refocusing the people. AVM Mogan himself has made it very, very clear that he is not interested in being a governor but interested in changing the undignified political position of the Idomas as a people. “I want to make a difference, I want to make a change. We have to urgently rescue our children from the claws and jaws of eternal slavery and restore the dignity of the Idoma people” He had pointedly declared. Apparently, this should be the urgent mission, vision and philosophy of every right thinking Idoma man and woman at this moment. Despite the impressive outing and progress, the movement faces monumental funding challenge.
The greatest arsenal at the backyard of the hitherto political usurpers is money, money and money – a repeat, money, money and money. It must berecognized and accepted that lack of funds has constituted the greatest hindering obstacle to the success of genuine political movement such as the BRM. It is one of the inexplicable ironies of the Idoma society in recent times that money is the strongest magnet that draw the people in support of any venture including even efforts to safeguard their interest and well-being. There is a fundamental shift in value. And so the most popular question has been; as they are making that noise, do they have money? Money is by far a more dangerous enemy of the on-going wind of rebirth than the totteringburglars. In fact, the external opportunities are overwhelming as other marginalized groups in Benue State are falling head over heels to serve as allies of zone C in their struggle to also produce a Governor.All it takes is for the Idomas to be united, organized and extremely waxed up, Naira wise.
True, the generality of the people no doubt are falling in line and those at frontline of the agitation have the ideas to make things happen but the movement needs to first and foremost generate stupendous funds that can transcend a maggi cube to a chicken wing. This is where all Idoma sons and daughters should again unite to make the movement a revolution. Usurpers are already prowling and looking out for errors and weaknesses that will justify the acceptance of their Maggi cube. Money according to the bible “answereth all things.”Good thinking without cash can be enormously frustrating. There should be enough funds to implement every aspect of the strategy to throw off adversaries. This is the time the Idoma people should bring all they have to support the BRM so that, they and their children will partake in sharing equally what Benue State and indeed Nigeria have been providing. No amount is too small. Every breathing soul of the Idoma extraction should sacrificially share in the monumental albeit momentary financial burden associated with the movement. The only way the validity of usurpers and spoilers can be checkmated is to surpass them in cash.
Dr Okidu wrote from Ilorin.