BY IYORWUESE HAGHER.
My fellow Benue Citizens and Compatriots.
My name is Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, a proud Nigerian elder statesman from Benue State. I and my family, friends and supporters in Nigeria are going to vote Atiku Abubakar the presidential candidate of the PDP on Saturday 16th February. I thank Benue people for peaceful campaigns. I also invite you to vote Atiku for the following reasons:
- Atiku loves Benue State People. He is one of us. He suffers when we suffer and rejoices when we are happy. He is the great Umbrella for Benue. He is titled as Tiv benefactor “Zege Mule U Tiv ”. As Vice- President, Atiku Abubakar, prevented his government from waging war against the Benue people. He rushed to our rescue when the Nigerian Army attacked and massacred people in Gbeji, Vaase, Ayillamo, Adoor and Zaki-Biam. He flew to Zaki Biam the following day and condemned the action and apologized on behalf of the Federal Government. He visited and sympathized, he condoled our people and condemned the Government in which he served. Governor Akume was there! Senator Iyorchia Ayu was there. And I was there with thousands of Sankera people. Atiku is one of us.
Not so, President Buhari. He refused to condemn his Fulani kinsmen for wanton killings in Benue State. Buhari has sided with them. He refused to apologize on their behalf as Fulani elder and patron of the Miyetti Allah. Not even when he came to campaign. Buhari might be fighting corruption, but has failed in the protection of lives and properties. He has failed to show sympathy to Benue citizens like Atiku.
- During the 2001 Killing of hundreds of Tiv people in Taraba and the displacement of over half a million Tiv people from Taraba, Vice-President Atiku participated in the reconciliation efforts of the Tor Tiv and helped the Tiv and Jukun to reconcile. He donated five million to the Tor Tiv for peace building and return of internally displaced people. I was there, Tor Tiv was there Governor Akume was there, Senator Iyorchia Ayu was there, Brigadier General Atom Kpera was there, Bishop Nyom was there, with thousands of other Tiv and Benue citizens. Atiku is a better type of Fulani man. With Atiku as president, the Tiv and Fulani can live in peace and mutual prosperity and he will not use his Fulaniness to enslave Tiv or Idoma, Igedde, Etulo and others. Atiku will not make us second-class citizens and slaves in our country Nigeria.
- I can count several Benue politicians, traditional rulers, academics and business people who are friends of Atiku. Atiku is not aloof. He does not have a cabal running a deep state government. Vote for Atiku who is a better Fulani man that respects and believes in Nigeria’s diversity. He respects Nigerians and us for being of different languages, for being farmers and for praying in our different ways to our God from him.
- Atiku believes in Education and the power of entrepreneurship. He built many companies and a private university and has trained many Benue and Nigerian youth. Under Buhari we have over 13 million Nigerian children not enrolled in school. Atiku unites and solves problems. Buhari divides us and creates more problems. Atiku thinks of our future and freedom and prosperity. Buhari thinks of the past when the British colonized us. He wants us back there colonized by his kinsmen.
- Atiku respects the power of the Benue State people to make their laws, which will be respected by his government when he is president. Atiku believes in the rule of Law. He believes in restructuring. Our vote for Atiku will be for the blood of our martyrs, and for all killed in Nigeria because of insecurity and our gallant soldiers who are being butchered by the Boko Haram. The vote will also be for Leah Sharibu a teenage girl and Christian martyr who the Buhari’s government left her to be brutally tortured and maybe killed by the Boko Haram for refusing to convert to Islam.
- Atiku established several businesses after retirement where he employs thousands of Nigerians, from diverse backgrounds and pays them real wages. Atiku is connected throughout the country. Atiku does not believe that only his family and tribesmen and his in-laws; and others who speak the same language with him, or pray with him in his Mosque, are good enough to head big institutions of government. Atiku is a believer in Nigeria’s diversity.
- Atiku is agile, smart and articulate. He is the president that all Nigerians can be proud of. Atiku is never confused, knows what is happening around him. He does not appear to be very sick and falling when campaigning and does not seem to suffer from memory loss. Vote Atiku vote the umbrella. Let’s get back a secure and safe Nigeria which will attract foreign direct investors.
There are many other good reasons why we Benue citizens should vote Atiku on Saturday. I thank you for listening to me. It is my belief that any elder that walks by and observes something wrong in his community, without trying to correct the wrong, has established that wrong, as the new norm and new standard of behavior. Leaders that tiptoe around injustice, and evil and do nothing, do more harm than good in a political community. We did wrong in 2015. It is time to correct the wrong. Voting the APC is monumental wrong. This is why we should vote the PDP and Atiku Abubakar. God bless Benue and give us peace as we elect good people. Thank you!
I am Ambassador Professor Iyorwuese Hagher.