We have been marginalised for 38 years - Idoma president

 For 38years since the creation of Benue State in 1976, Southern Benue has remained marginalised with virtually nothing to show as dividend of democracy, President of Idoma National Forum, Engineer Okopi Alex Momoh has said.

Reacting to an interview by a PDP chieftain, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, where he faulted the process for the demand for a power shift to the Idoma, Momoh said Shuluwa and his co-travellers are only being haunted by their sins of complete marginalisation of Idoma, saying the Idoma will never revenge by paying wrong with wrong as two wrongs do not make a right.
“In the 38years of the existence of Benue State, the Tivs have had complete control of everything in the state and virtually nothing for the Idomas. The posture of the Tiv political dominance in the state which is the handiwork of politicians has created elements of reality in the Tiv/Idoma rivalry,”
“The age long request for creation of Apa State is occasioned by the persistent denial of the rights and privileges of the minority tribes and their exclusion from the governance process in Benue state. This denial and exclusion from the main political and economic activities of the state have led to complete stagnation of social, political and economic growth of Southern Benue,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that since the political restructuring in 1991 and 1996 which he said gave the Tiv 14 local government areas against the Idoma’s nine LGAs, there has been a deliberate neglect because of the avowed ‘constitutional two-third majority’ conferred on the Tiv. This according to him is making the Idomas and Igedes politically irrelevant in the affairs of the State.
“Since 1976, no person from the minority tribes has become Governor, Chief Judge of the State, Speaker of the State Assembly no matter how well qualified they are. A recent survey of employment and appointments in the state civil service shows a very appalling lopsidedness. The extent of marginalisation of the minorities in Benue State is more amplified in appointments.
Momoh also alleged marginalisation in academics, saying that Southern Benue can boast of about 100 academic professors of high repute in different fields of endeavour but that none of them has ever been considered suitable for the Vice-Chancellorship of the State University and the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

posted by by Christiana T. Alabi published on Dailytrust on 2014-03-25




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