Benue: As Alia gathers tact team…

After all the political campaigning and propagandizing, the die is cast for the deliverance of governance and time to separate practical personalities and theorists is now. This can be said to be the actual situation of Benue state as Governor Fr Hyacinth Alia gets set to assembly and perfect his team that will literally “take the bull by the horn”. 

What the Benue state governor needs now are neither conventional “stenographers” nor those whose actions would amount to setting backwards his lofty vision and mission, but people that are sufficiently fired up to maintain the set tempo for expected transformation. 

Things have greatly changed over the years, with indications of more changes to come. Once upon a time, many saw the Volkswagon car, pick-up, drainage and big lorries as dream cars. At some time in life, black and white television, big trousers and high-heeled shoes were  considered competitive material needs. The white man was even seen as a physical God on earth. But people of today’s  generation are determined to challenge the unquestionable adulterated ideology.  

From the birth of Samuel in the Holy Book, it was obvious that he was destined to be courageous and lead his people righteously. 1 Sam 3:1-9, it was not clear whose allegiance Samuel was until his god father, Eli, sensed the presence of God and guided him properly on how to comport himself for God’s directive. Fear was the first challenge that almost hindered him from delivering  the message of God to his master, but Eli understood eventually and counseled him to speak, for obedience to God is better than sacrifice to man.

The relationship of Fr. Hyacinth Alia and his mentor, Senator George Akume, can be likened to that of Samuel and Eli. Eyes may see the gesture in the human perspective with different interpretations, but that which is more than human understanding could be the interpretation in their case. Many, I suppose, wished to be the chosen of Akume but the higher unseen authority made the difference. It is therefore expected that the senator who plays a double role of father and mentor will enrich the governor with both political experience, laudable directives, caution and defence that will not be detrimental to both himself, Tiv land and the entire Benue state.

Governing Benue state is the first biggest responsibility bestowed on the governor and though the expectation of the people is very high, they should not expect too much from him at the onset as he needs to understand the matrix between individuals and governance. Although he is faced with the challenge of forming his cabinet, many interested groups through different gestures, will be reminding him of their roles to ensure his success in Government House. Thus, it is desired that sincere prayers should be raised for him, particularly from his fellow clergy to achieve mind set goals, while bearing in mind that the likes of Cain, Abel, Joseph, Daniel and David have reincarnated in this our generation that is facing grievous challenges.

Evidently for Fr Alia there will be traducers. But all who will constitute an obstacle will fail. The envy of King Saul against David only quickened his destruction, hatred and death. He could not have possibly destroyed a man after God’s heart with a mission. In the book of 2Sam 2:5-7, David continued to show kindness to King Saul even after his death as a man with a kind and forgiving heart.

There is no doubt that Fr. Alia has a foresight but needs to widen his knowledge in real, practical time. Thus the reason for studying human chemistry and psychology without knowing that he was not alone in his unseen dream, will come to bear fruit. It will be unthinkable, nevertheless, for any one to assume a vibrant young governor in this generation would have left the shores of his fatherland to acquire more experience in Florida and come back to think and do things in the old ways of his fathers. All in Benue state, both the disabled and able body persons agree to “yes father”. This attribute is the reason he needs independent or unfettered allowance to choose persons whose input will be meaningful to his administration. As it were, he will need the ambience to enable him synergise with his “peer group” for equal caution. Although  he may wish to please all but everybody should know that every man has his time and season.  Irrespective of how difficult it is to say No,  it must surely be said where need be.

It would be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, around 2004 to 2008, introduced relevance into the Federal Civil Service by downsizing cadres such as stenographers and persons without added qualifications. The use of computer and independent ancillary work tools motivated even the most illiterate in service to academically empower themselves  for better performance. The governor, no doubt,  would wish younger energetic persons with brilliant ideas that rule the world to be in his priority listing. Fr. Alia is already a role model for the youths in particular. This singular act of his acceptance to lead them was exhibited during his inauguration ceremony. He may be seen as a pitiable governor without solid financial backing and in the midst of some “colonial” and doctored old men whose mentality is to bribe their way for colourful publicity. Everything about the governor already is news worthy moreso as the Bible says “whom God has blessed, he has blessed”. Also, Exodus 33:19 still confirms the wish of God for man by reminding  us that “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy”.

Suffice it to say therefore that the governor’s size may be deceitful  in the sight of men, but is very valued in the sight of distinguished authorities. No wonder that to address the proposal by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) who are suggesting a bailout fund of N702 billion to be allocated for salary adjustment in the form of fuel subsidy palliatives, the governor was distinguished  among his equals during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on the 15th of June, 2023 when he was appointed as the chairman of the committee set up to ensure the successful implementation of the unions’ proposal. Other governors who will add value to his effort as well as represent their zones include those of Anambra, Kaduna, Cross River and Oyo states.

They are expected to develop comprehensive modalities and guidelines for the effective distribution and utilisation of the proposed funds, that will effectively reach the target audience. The committee, nevertheless,  is looked upon to address the subsidy removal  and proffer solution that will meaningfully alleviate hardship  on the citizens.

Finally, the emergence of the Benue state governor is not only a “new dawn” in his state but also, for the country. There is a saying that “Clothing those not make a man but God’s anointing on him”. There is certainly holy oil on Rev Fr. Alia and he will deliver.

Nwokorie writes from Abuja via 08069456745