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Friday, 14 November 2014

Breaking News: One of the Top Contenders for PDP Ticket For Governorship Election in Benue State Has Just Stepped Down

Pharm Peter Chieshe
One of the top contenders for the gubernatorial election in Benue state has just stepped down, Hon. Peter Chieshe has just released a statement, stating the reasons why he will not be running for the governorship election again, come 2015. Kindly read the Press release below: 
 Dear Beloved Supporters and Benue Citizens.

1.      “The Times and circumstances call for breaking the silence. After deep reflection and consultation, coming on the heels of recent developments, I am sorely pained and regret to inform you of my considered decision to step aside from the 2015 Guber race. This is both in obeisance, and in submission to the combined decision and directive of HRM Orchiviligh Dr. Alfred Akawe Torkula, the Tor Tiv IV (who heads the Tiv Traditional Institution) and The Governor, Rt. Hon. Dr. G. T. Suswam CON ( who wields the Political leadership over the State) - requiring me and all aspirants outside of the MINDA axis to exit the race, " har ikyav inya" and comply forthwith”.
2.       Out of the blues, by political sleight of hand, it has been brought to our attention that, the 2015 Governorship seat has been zoned exclusively to the MINDA Axis, and that, on the mandate and firm instruction of HRM, the Tor Tiv, all Aspirants from all the other intermediate areas within the Tiv nation stand excluded from even contesting!
3.       This pronouncement alone is very devastating as it limits and excludes such candidates before the electorate. This is unquestionably a harmful and lethal premeditated blow from the Palace on the aspirations of any candidate or political axis.  
4.       With this deft move, the wind was taken out of my sails in this 2015 race by the combined and united decision of both the Tor Tiv and the sitting Governor. And in humble obeisance and submission, I regret to announce my decision to step aside from this Guber Race as required of me.  I do so knowing very well the deep-seated disgust, anger and disappointment that may overwhelm you over this devastating blow. Yet, it is incumbent upon me to let you know.
5.       It would appear to us from the foregoing that, just a few days before the selective screening of MINDA Aspirants by the Tor Tiv, the Tiv Traditional Palace and GHM may have between themselves (to the exclusion of the larger Tiv nation) zoned the 2015 Governorship seat to the MINDA axis! This decision was hitherto unknown to us and the larger Tiv nation!
6.       Following from (1) above, clear instructions were given by The Tor Tiv (through "Uter"), to all other aspirants outside the MINDA axis, requesting them to drop out of the race. Sequel to this, were thus summoned and directed by “Uter  asev” accordingly.
7.         Setting A New Precedent: A Barring Order
This again represents a totally new dimension, new development and another established Precedent of total exclusion of “Mba Ate mba gen” or ruling houses, from the political process by the Palace. In the past history, the established precedent was: “ihyev imyom icha ihyar ga”. With this recent pronouncement, a new precedent of total exclusion, a kind-of barring order against other ruling houses has been thus established.
8.       According to the clear directives from the Paramount Ruler (which instructions were) communicated to us through our Royal Fathers, The "Uter,"  We ( all Zone A aspirants) were summoned and ordered to step back from the guber race accordingly by our Royal fathers, the “Uter”. The Royal Fathers present at this meeting included: Ter Ikyor, Ter Kunav (of blessed memory), Ter Ushongo, and Ter Kwande. All were in attendance! This order was a Bombshell and death knell.
9.       Routing those instructions through our “Uter” constituted double jeopardy for me in view of the ‘forced’ acquiescence of our respective ‘Uter’ over the matter. The Royal Father (Uter) were to acquiesce while we their sons and aspirants, were required to submit and surrender without question.
10      Could this be a subtle administrative arm-twisting of aspirants and their constituencies from the Palace?
11.     The instructions from the Palace of the Tor Tiv to us were clear and non- negotiable. The directive came as a “mandate” and order to be complied with strictly. And Complying, I have.
12.     But with due respect to the esteemed office and person of HRM, It is our considered opinions that such style and mode of instructions is in our view tyrannical, autocratic, patently illegal and disdainful of our persons, visions, personal rights and Liberties under the Laws of Nigeria.
13.     They were dishonoring to our various constituencies and legitimate interests within the commonwealth of the Tiv nation. Above all, the style and manner was downright tyrannical and without due consideration to the legitimacy of JERCHIRA 's demand duly taken before the Palace and GHM for resolution.
14.     These developments constituted a set-up, and a death knell to my candidature as they left me with little room outside the tough options of:
1) Outright defiance of our political and traditional leaderships or
2) compliance, surrender, submission or ignoble abdication or forced abandonment of a just and worthy cause- in deference to arbitrariness, executive fiat, political sleight of hand, and inequity from the powers that be.
15.     My deep silence was to allow me ruminate and reach the best honorable decision and pathway of response. I have a gut-level revulsion against injustices in all forms, from all heights; yet patent disobedience even to unfairness and biased and misdirected leadership isn't on my cards. How do I obey an unfair, unjust, and patently illegal pronouncement from the King? Particularly, knowing I have a just cause and a legitimate platform for my candidature already canvassed by Jerchira before the Palace, GHM and the entire Tiv Nation?   
16.     Should I think of taking the path of the Three Hebrew Boys: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed- Nego? Which way should I go? Therein lies the quandary.
17.     I realize that Mahatma Gandhi's non- violent civil disobedience had proven a powerful weapon in confronting institutionalized injustices and I stoked this fire and toyed with the idea very circumspectly. But I finally laid it to rest, discarding it as an option or reaction.
18.     Again my spirit considered the Nelson Mandela’s pathway against the injustices of Apartheid when he took on his fight against the unjust system that consigned the Blacks to the nothingness in their own land.
19.     What about the late American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his non-violent civil disobedience to institutionalized injustices – which in my case, have shut me out of the race without a word of honour, or an explanation or resolution of the Jerchira legitimate demand duly placed before the attention of HRM  and GHM? 
20.     What should I do in view of the overwhelming odds stacked against me; shutting me out of the race in an election I am so prepared to dominate on vision and development strategy? These presented a heavy moral obligation on me hence the deep silence.
21.     Yet, I am constrained to defer and submit to my leadership. And submission, I do so painfully. Perhaps there is something the Tor Tiv and Governor know that I don't - which undergirds their decision. Throwing in the towel however, was never on my cards. Now I am forced to step aside through the power of a political sleight of hand or is it superior reason?
22.     I am constrained to step aside; to respect our hallowed institutions and persons that direct the affairs of our society even as my inner sense of reason and value system rises in gut-level disapproval on account of the patent illegality, injustice and unfairness of tyranny occasioned therein. I question the kind of justice that denies fair hearing and healthy deliberations over matters of the peoples’ commonwealth.
23.     I know fully well that my rights under the constitution are supreme. Yet, I defer and submit to HRM and GHM even as they exclude and disenfranchise me.
24.     I must read my fundamental rights under the law in conjunction with the practice of the Tiv internal democratic power and culture; and I submit to same even if the exercise of such powers fall short of established procedure and tripod of Gbaaondo and fairness, equity and social justice. This is do to enhance our unity of purpose and respect for our traditional and political leadership.
25.     However, My special thanks and appreciation to you all, for your invaluable support thus far. You have stood very stoutly in solidarity with me.
26.     Twice I have been shut out of the Guber Race account of Zoning. First in 2007 and now 2015. You have borne it all very patiently with me. I know it is very devastating for me and for all of you my supporters, who by their hundreds of thousands looked forward for a new Governor in me.
27.     I cannot find words deep enough, words fitting enough to express my boundless gratitude to all of you, my numerous supporters and sympathizers in this 2015 race. Thank you for knowing in your hearts that I have a great vision and contribution to make in the development history of our State if voted as Governor. Your confidence has always been good fillip.
28.     I ran with a great vision. And Yes, this great vision, I have. I sought for the opportunity to express this Treasure and uncommon vision by running for Governor and unveiling this very vision and Blueprint for prosperity - "THE BENUE MIRACLE"- before you all.
29.     With unflinching support you have all stood solidly behind my vision, my candidature and genuine aspiration to be your Governor; to provide a new leadership under a new vision for a new direction over our destiny.
30.     I know that in preferring me, you were looking forward to a better future and a better life for yourselves; and your children's children.
31.     I know you flocked to my vision and candidature because you looked forward to a better life under a new government - a visionary government; a people's government; a caring and friendly government; a responsible government.
32      You were in effect looking out for a responsive and sensitive government that would give succor to you in your hour of need; and rebuild the broken lives of the people. Lives shattered by years of denigrating poverty.
33.     And truly, your life under the Benue Miracle would hold great promise if the powers that hold sway made space for me to come into office in a free and fair election devoid of the ignoble exclusion to which I have been consigned.
34.     You preferred me because you know who I am, and what I stand for. Your preference for me shows that you desire a Governor and a government whose vision is to Change course from the status quo; to build a strong economy; an economy that creates wealth and jobs for all. You desire a leadership and government that will usher in a new wind of prosperity; an economy that will cultivate home-grown prosperity and break our dependence on the senseless dependence on allocations from the Federation account. You believed it’s Time to change course.
35.     You desire a government that will build an economy that will create home- grown wealth, home - grown prosperity; and jobs for all our youths so as to lessen the burden of hardship on the people and eventually make poverty history. You agreed with me that It's time to make poverty history. And Yes, It’s Time.
36.     My vision and blueprint "THE BENUE MIRACLE" you know, for I was first aspirant to unveil his manifesto. The Benue Miracle is a living Document and vision. It speaks in loud eloquence. Shall the Benue Miracle be buried alive?
37.     It's a vision Right on Time and Right for the people. Essentially, it is my vision and plan for our prosperity and that better life we all long for. To make life better under the Benue Miracle is the reason I run for Governor; it's the raison d'ĂȘtre why I threw my hat in the race.
38.     However, my Guber ambition isn't without it's challenges.
Ours is a structured Democracy whose conduct is subject to the zoning culture, and Primaries that are within the control of our Traditional and Political leadership. To this extent, our leadership controls the overall direction of the political process.
39.     Unfortunately, the leadership has scuttled my guber project and successfully removed the rug under my feet. With this deft move, the wind was taken out of my sails in this 2015 race by the combined and united decision of both the Tor Tiv and the sitting Governor.
40.     What I find particularly very unpalatable is the new aloofness of the GHM, which had originally given Jerchira the nod and  a kind of Approval-in-principle to proceed on this pathway and keep him briefed as we progressed. In effect, the Jerchira project proceeded with the knowledge, consent and support of GHM. Disowning Jerchira and its legitimate cause midway without healthy engagement and resolution is to me cruel politics of damnation. And I say this with due respect.
These are the weighty choices I have had to weigh very carefully. In spite of all my revulsion, my gut- instincts and Spartan discipline move me to submit to this unfairness and injustice; more in subordination and submission, with deference to constituted Authority than acceptance and admission of the injustice and unfairness.
This is the second time zoning has shut me out of the Race. 1st 2007 and now. Finally, I submit to the Leadership but I respectfully ask and plead for the correction and correction of this long standing injustice (regarding the aborted Jerchira mandate) for posterity. It pains to tack the Benue Miracle and force it to tarry.
It’s Time to Make Poverty History.
Long live the Tiv Nation,
Long live Benue State
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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