Tiv shouldn’t complain of marginalisation, they haven’t allowed others to govern Benue since 1976 – Morgan, Initiator, Benue rebirth

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Tiv shouldn’t complain of marginalisation, they haven’t allowed others to govern Benue since 1976 – Morgan, Initiator, Benue rebirth

Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan (retd.)

Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan (retd.)

 

 

 

Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan (retd.) headed the Defence Intelligence Agency of Nigeria from July 2015 to January 2016. An Idoma man by birth, he is the initiator of a pressure group known as the Benue Rebirth Movement, which is against the marginalisation of Zone C of the state (Idoma land). In this interview with JOHN CHARLES, he alleges that the Tiv people have been using their numerical strength to marginalise the Idoma since the creation of the state 46 years ago

 

You are the leader of a group known as the Benue Rebirth Movement; what is its mission?

 

The movement’s mission is to agitate and attend to the political isolation of the Benue South Senatorial District known as Zone C (the Idoma extraction). It is not a movement just targeted for election purposes. Benue State was created 46 years ago and has had five civilian governors. All were Tiv. Idoma people have yet to occupy the seat. What does this portend to the unity of the state?

 

The truth is that the two senatorial districts of Zone A and B are of the Tiv extraction. Like typical Nigeria, everybody wants to protect his tribe. The political leaders in Zone A and B believe that they should continue to rule since they are more populated. Democracy should not be seen as a perpetual marginalisation. If we are together in a commonwealth, shouldn’t they also give the minority the opportunity? That is the struggle and the point we are trying to make.

 

 

 

 

Can you blame the Tiv people for marginalisation? Anytime the Idoma are supposed to unite and fight a common cause, they are divided. A case study is the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primary, where delegates from most of the local government areas from the senatorial district did not vote for their only son, the deputy governor, Benson Abounu?

 

Yes, the governorship primaries of the two major political parties, the PDP and the APC, were manipulated to favour the Tiv.

 

Theoretically, suppose you look at it from the point of the submission of the so-called election. In that case, it looks like that, but the Benue Rebirth Movement is a movement looking for a stop to marginalisation. The grassroots has accepted it. Almost everybody has accepted it, including some in Zone A and B.

 

 

 

However, the political class is not ready because there is a lot of money to be made by very few elements who called themselves leaders in Zone C to compromise for their gain.

 

So, if you look at it carefully, even two weeks before the primaries, the movement raised the alarm that our political leaders were changing their tones, and then the political structure where they adopted people who would represent us (indirect primary) had a problem. It is not populist because the delegate system is very bad.

 

If you look at the list of delegates, politicians just went and recruited people who did not understand politics. They do not understand why the government should have a social contract with the people.

 

They brought farmers and made them delegates. You can imagine a farmer that for a year has never held N20,000 and is given N300,000 to ensure that the governor says nobody should vote for any other person except the person he anointed. And a few political leaders in Zone C who are not more than three sat together with the governor and made a list. Does that represent the voice of the people? So, what happened was allocation.

 

Even in the governorship primaries of the APC, you could see the way all the political giants were against it because there was no election. Still, somebody sat in one room and wrote out the result.

 

Because of this, we have initiated advocacy for the masses to let them know that they need to change, and the political class became scared due to the advocacy.

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