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Sunday, 13 September 2015


As the nation awaits the unveiling of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees, which he has repeatedly promised to constitute before the end of this month, palpable anxiety, lobbying, desperation and intrigues have seized the entire political scene.
Already, it has been reported that the President has sent a total of 36 names to the Department of State Services, DSS for screening and whilst the identities of the nominees are top secret, we will look at some notable personalities from Benue State who are likely have been nominated.
1. Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh
Chief Audu Ogbeh’s 39-year old political career has seen him rise through the ranks from state assembly member in 1979 to being minister and culminating as chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 2001 to 2005.

Ever since leaving the PDP, the Otukpo-born politician has been an Elder statesman in the All Progressives Congress, APC and also a close confident of President Buhari.
With the President’s custom of appointing his close friends, it won’t be surprising to see Chief Ogbeh’s name on the list of ministerial nominees.
2. Professor Torkuma Steve Ugbah
Prof Ugbah appeared on the political scene after spending over 30 years in the US when he vied for the Benue Governorship seat in 2011 against former Governor Gabriel Suswam. Although he lost, the professor of marketing has retained his close ties with Senator George Akume who happens to be the biggest power broker in Benue State in the last 10 years.
Also in the last gubernatorial elections, Prof Ugbah served as the Director General of Governor Ortom’s campaign organisation. He had contested the primaries alongside Governor Ortom and even though he disputed the outcome initially, he later worked to ensure the victory of the APC candidate at the polls. He remains favourite to clinch the ministerial slot for Benue State.
3. Dr Mathaias Oyigeya
Dr. Oyigeya, a psychiatrist by training was the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi during which his outstanding performance brought him to limelight.
After his tenure as Medical Director, he contested for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP but lost to anointed one, Prince Terhemen Tarzoor as did Governor Samuel Ortom. He then switched to the APC before the governorship election and helped close the gap between the two parties in Benue South Senatorial zone which contributed in ensuring victory for the APC.
4. Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN
This might surprise many, but the former Minister of Justice under late President Umaru Yar’Adua is a die hard politician.
Chief Aondoakaa announced his departure from the PDP early this year to focus on private practice and business but he has been winning and dinning with the kith and kin of APC.
The 53 year old was part of the Benue delegation that visited the president shortly after his victory at the polls and is rumoured to have contributed significantly financially in the gubernatorial elections in Benue State.
5. Rt Hon Emmanuel Jime
A former Speaker of the BNSHA (1992 – 1993) and a former House of Reps Member (2007 – 2015), Hon Emmanuel Jime has been around for a while. He unsuccessfully contested the botched governorship primaries of the APC in Benue State and after a short legal battle, agreed to sheath his sword and withdraw his case against Governor Ortom.
Even though he claimed that he withdrew the case out of his volition, it is rumoured that the intervention of President Buhari into the matter may have included some offers on the table, one of which may have been a ministerial appointment.

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