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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Religion, ethnicity, not problem of Benue South but development – Onjeh

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The APC 2023 Senatorial Candidate for Benue South, Comrade Daniel Onjeh, has charged members of his campaign team to engage the electorate with honest and realistic assurances of his aspiration to be part of the critical mass of Federal Legislators in the 10th National Assembly that will enhance the quality of debates on national issues bordering on the lives of the ordinary citizen, rather than discussing religious, ethnic or tribal sentiments.

Onjeh made this assertion yesterday during the inauguration of the Advisory Council, Directorates and other hierarchies of the Onjeh Campaign Organization, held at the Double ‘K’ Resort, Old G.R.A., Otukpo, Benue State.

Speaking further at the occasion, Onjeh stated that his campaign organization had architected a novel, megalithic and deeply entrenched campaign structure for his 2023 senatorial bid, with the belief that the new Electoral Act will enhance the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process and votes in the next General Elections would actually be at the Polling Units, hence it is necessary for all politicians to connect with, and genuinely convince the electorates in order to canvass for votes. Onjeh was however optimistic that his 2023 senatorial campaign would be a reference point for future senatorial campaigns in Benue South.

Expatiating at the occasion, Com. Onjeh stated that while the Okpokwu-Ogbadibo-Otukpo road remained in a deplorable state all through the tenures of two Christian Presidents, namely Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the road was eventually fixed in the Administration of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, who happens to be a Muslim President.

Com. Onjeh further commended President Buhari, whom he described as a Northern Muslim from Katsina State, for actualizing the long-anticipated Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, as well as the much-celebrated Oweto Bridge, amongst other critical infrastructure that positively impact the economy and living standards of Benue South people. He also thanked President Buhari for introducing the Trader Moni; Survival Fund; Conditional Cash Transfers; the 1000 Jobs per Local Government initiative; N-Power Project; the Anchor-Borrowers Scheme; COVID-19 Grant and several other laudable initiatives that helped indigent citizens to cope with the global economic downturn.

The APC 2023 Senatorial Candidate opined that the problem of Benue South people was neither ethnicity nor religion, but the common, deeply ingrained problem of underdevelopment. Onjeh stated that although the Buhari Administration had achieved greater results compared to its predecessor in the area of security, the Agatu people still yearn for improvement in the security situation of their land. He advocated for the establishment of a Military Base in Agatu, which he said would be of twin benefit to the Federal Government as it will protect the Oweto Bridge, a crucial link between the north and the south; and protect the lives and properties of the Agatu people, thereby enabling them to return home to their primary occupations of fishing and farming.

Comrade Onjeh equally deprecated the state of insecurity in Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Local Governments, with a call on the Benue South electorate to support the emergence of a President in 2023 whose policies would favour the legal mining of coal, with adequate compensation to the people of the host communities.

Describing the roads connecting the Igede people with the rest of Nigeria as deathtraps to motorists/commuters and safe havens for kidnappers, Onjeh noted that the Igedes yearn for a solution to their acute road infrastructural deficits, to ease vehicular movement and boost economic activities in Obi and Oju Local Governments. He added that the beautiful topography of Igede Land could serve as tourist attraction to generate revenue for both the Government and citizens.

Furthermore, Com. Onjeh advocated for the legal commercial exploitation of the abundant clay deposits in Otukpo and its environs, adding that Otukpo is long overdue for the localization of ceramics, tiles and related industries to boost the local economy and create job opportunities for the people. He also noted that the seemingly inexhaustible coal deposits at Owukpa was being stolen and fritted away due to inefficient and illegal mining practices. Onjeh opined that if judiciously mined, the Owukpa coal deposits could sufficiently power electricity production across the country, aside stimulating the economy of the entire Benue South.

Also of concern to Onjeh was the urgent need to put safe and legal practices in place for mining of the copious limestone deposits in Ado Local Government. Onjeh noted that Ado could become the next epicenter for the commercial production of cement in Nigeria, if the necessary steps are taken now to utilize the large bodies of limestone deposits that God had naturally bequeathed Ado with.

Regarding the 2023 Presidential Election, Onjeh stated that a close and honest look at all the Presidential Candidates would easily reveal which could be best described as Mr. Development, adding that the people of Benue South desired roads that compared to the roads of Lagos State.

In his concluding remarks, Onjeh appealed to Nigerians to promote the unity of the country in spite of our religious, ethnic or political differences, adding that no nation divided against itself can defeat insurgency, banditry or even oil theft. Onjeh opined that all those who fleece public funds capitalize on the fault lines of religion and ethnicity to perpetrate their acts with impunity, therefore he urged Nigerians to stay united in order to fight and defeat all the societal ills confronting us as a nation.

The Onjeh Campaign Organization is comprised of a Central Advisory Council at the apex, with former Senate President, Sen. Ameh Ebute, as Chairman. In addition, it has an Advisory Council for each of the 9 Local Governments in Benue South. It also has 19 Campaign Directorates comprised of 30 appointed officials, with Hon. Dave Freedom Ode from Oju Local Government, as Director General.

The campaign structure equally has four Federal Constituency Liaison Officers; a four-member Local Government structure in each of the nine local governments of Benue South, and further percolates to the numerous Council Wards and Polling Units across Benue South.

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