From Abraham Uwuasom, Makurdi
A front line member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State, Pharmacist John Enger has decried the continued systematic marginalization of the Tiv people in Nigeria especially by the far North even as they were the fourth largest ethnic group in the country and second in the north.
Enger, a former Commissioner for Lands and Survey in Benue state bared his mind in an exclusive chat with Time Nigeria Magazine in Makurdi.
He expressed sadness that the Tivs who have always contributed tremendously to the oneness of the country, loosing many souls in proves, yet were not accorded the desired recognition on the nation’s scheme of affaires most especially as it regarded the distribution of appointments.
The top contender for the House of Representatives seat for Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency in 2019 threw his weight behind the clamour for restructuring noting that it was only by so doing that other nationalities within the country would also be giving a sense of belonging.
The former Council Boss who expressed concerned over the fight against corruption in the country charged the federal governments to be all inclusive stating that the non-investigation of certain persons perceived to be close allays of the government was fast given the fight the toga of a selective one by many Nigerians.
The Pharmacist turned politician while throwing his weight behind the granting of financial autonomy to local councils in the country, said, it was only by so doing that development could get to the people in the rural areas “not all local government chairmen are corrupt and it is my believe that if the autonomy is granted, there will be more development at that level of government which is also the closest to the people.
“Gone are the days when Local Government Chairmen use to carry out local projects such as the building of culverts, primary health centres, schools and so on and this could be attributed to the new system where by money meant for development in the local councils don’t wholly get to them and so how will they develop this places and also make life more meaningful for their people? He queried.
He charged the APC led leadership in the state and the country to advance ways through which they can make life more bearable for the people expressing sadness that the level of poverty was fast becoming unbearable for Nigerians most of whom he said were full of expectations from the ruling party at inception.
Enger, a victims of herdsmen attacks over the years urged all well-meaning sons of the state to embrace ranching of cattle’s as contained in the anti-open grazing law signed by the Benue state governor, Samuel Orton for lasting peace to be restored between Fulani herdsmen and Benue farmers saying, threats of overruling Benue by certain groups was not the way out.
While urging his supporters to always conduct themselves with a high level of decorum, Hon Enger advise against money politics noting that those who come to buy votes are usually not accountable to the electorates once elected promising to at all times be close to his people and also ensure qualitative representation if given the nod.