Suswam, Tarzoor in a relay of excellence

One is finally having cause to heave a sigh of relief with the emergence of Prince Terhemen Tarzoor as the People Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Benue state from the primary conducted on Monday December 8th, 2014. The relief of course has to do with that reassurance that the achievements of the outgoing governor, Gabriel Suswam will be sustained by his successor.

The term successor is used here with all sense of confidence contrary to the barrage of misinformation making the rounds as to the true state of affairs in Benue state, particularly in the wake of electioneering process around parties' primaries. The tales that has been spread outside of Benue state around the country give the impressions that are at best misleading and often laughable since elections are not won by stridently repeating falsehood.

As opposed to what naysayers are peddling, the administration of Suswam is leaving behind achievements that will make Prince Terhemen Tarzoor's election a walk over given the positive impact it has made on the lives of Benue citizens. In education, agriculture, healthcare, security, employment creation and boosting investor confidence, Tarzoor has an array of projects he can use to brag about his would be predecessor's achievement and a basis for which his party, the PDP, should be elected in the February elections to continue running the affairs of the state.

Confirmation that the duo would successfully work as a team is already a reality with Tazor picking the Commissioner for Works and Transport, John Ngbede, as his running mate. This is the hallmark of a political family that is able to reach decisions amicably without unnecessarily heating up the polity. This is what gives one that assurance that Benue state is guaranteed a seamless transition in the aftermath of the elections.

A Tarzoor governorship is also certain to guarantee the completion of on-going projects initiated under the Suswam governorship since government is a continuum. The same can be said of the growth oriented policies of the outgoing administration. These facts must be borne in mind by Benue people as they head for the polls since the trend has shown the penchant for people oriented projects to be ignored or completely abandoned when there is a change of political parties at the helms of affairs. When this happens there is the resulting cost to the state as the amount already expended on the projects are lost or the gains from policies are truncated once discontinued.

The need to avoid such bleak future is already glaring given the manner of campaign emanating from those who lost out to Tarzoor at the primary. They are not just satisfied with defecting but have embarked on a campaign of actively working to confuse the people as well as confuse the issues. Instead of coming up with campaign messages that address issues, they have resorted to name calling and manipulation of information with the sole intention of brewing disaffection ahead of an imminent Tarzoor win in the coming weeks. Such tantrums, coming from people who could not win primaries in their original political parties, should ordinarily be dismissed with a wave of the hand but is important to set the record straight so that Benue people get to know what they should really be talking about.

Fortunately for Benue state, the PDP is strongly on ground and Tarzoor should be taking oath of office come May 29. Those who are allergic to this truth are apparently behind the fables being woven about the party's dwindling fortune in that state. Such inaccuracies being peddled are likely the outcome of frustration that derive from the realisation that the defections from the PDP to lesser known political parties were tactical errors that are now being rued.

The decision by Suswman to continue serving Benue people by running for Senate has further confounded these defectors. Being in the Senate strategically places the outgoing governor in a position to consolidate on his achievements as he will be able to influence national legislations in ways that strengthen his successor's quest for economic growth for the state.

While Suswam would be returning to familiar turf in the National Assembly, he has demonstrated, with his eight years of service as governor of Benue state that experience garnered from one arm of government usually proves useful in the other arm. This perhaps explains the team spirit behind the tandem race that Suswam and Tarzoor are running in the interest of Benue state. Tarzoor, like Suswam has had his sojourn in the state assembly and has also occupied leadership positions as a former lawmaker and must thus understand the intricacies that his predecessor daily deals with.

These two great men have committed to running this relay race on behalf of the people of Benue state, the least that can be done for them is to ensure that they record such resounding victories at the polls that they would not need to deal with any future distractions in relations to the mandates that the people are poised to give them. The state and the lots of its people will be better for it.

Comrade Philip Agbese is a social crusader and contributed this piece from Abuja.

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Articles by Philip Agbese