Beckie Torkwase Orpin: Paths Towards Restoration And Effective Governance
It is often opined that women are the bedrock to any nation’s growth and stability. While this in itself is a fact, some argue that it is more of a stereotypical statement than ideal. Attempting to place this argument on the basis of strengths and weaknesses of the women folk may not completely lay to rest the entire fact or otherwise of the matter.
For it is, like the male folk not everywoman that do possess some of the known unique sterling, enduring and impactful character traits that genuinely promotes and advances the growth, stability, serenity and a deeply value based society, making it quite herculean to genuinely come across a few of such women of sound virtues, proven excellent abilities and capabilities, courageous and firmly value -rooted stock; women whose noble actions over time have deeply impacted society’s lot for the better.
Mrs. Beckie Torkwase Orpin, ace broadcaster, public affairs commentator and public relations expert fairly stands out in this league of uncommon feminine stock that have marked out remarkable difference on the face of humanity. Those few known to have carved a niche towards society’s development, thus sparking the debate again on the viability or otherwise of the women folk as solid foundation to the nation’s growth.
Her well acknowledged exemplary public conducts indeed points to the induced facts about the excellency in the women folk, which she seeks and craves today in all earnestly, sincerity of purpose and spirit of altruism to ultimately utilize its entire essence to steer the affairs of governance at the third tier within the Nigerian federal system.. In this case, the increasingly complex administrative and economic hub of Benue State-Gboko Local Government Area.
A mission many consider quite challenging, yet when unarguably built on sheer selflessness and commitment to serve mankind; A vision that seeks to engineer a turnaround of the declining status of a once socio-political and economic nerve center in Tiv land. Gboko is characteristically at the apogee of vast commerce, agriculture, education, tourism in Benue State and indeed Nigeria.
Due to its strategic administrative and economic position as well as its hospitable nature, it had over the decades accommodated diverse ethnic interests and groups in Nigeria, mostly Ibos, Hausas, Yorubas and other minorities who have over the years thrived mainly on various petty trading and small and medium scale businesses. Prominent Tiv elites have settled in Gboko and own landed properties in various shapes and sizes across the land due to its accommodating atmosphere, thus providing the umbrella of shelter for the entire Tiv race.
Benue Cement Company now Dangote PLC, a cement factory situated in Gboko had provided several jobs to many, while it created a cream of millionaires particularly among the Tiv stock. During the first republic, Gboko served as the administrative capital city for the Tiv race where the legendary J.S Tarka co-ordinated most of the activities of the UMBC and later the NPN. The town has also housed the stool of the Tor Tiv from inception. Gboko has indeed contributed immensely in developing the economic bulwarks of Benue and Nigeria by extension.
Giving its social administrative and economic complexities, it has in the near past desired and required genuine leadership and agents of transformation, some form of cosmopolitan and pluralistic leadership approaches, the type of leadership that should be carved in broad-based managerial expertise and vast administrative acumen to purposefully reface its fast declining status and spur it to the intended greatness of founding father.
Mrs Beckie Orpin’s selfless crave to man the affairs of this local government at a time like this appears not to be misplaced by every ramification. It is truly a time that calls for great minds to throw in their hats with a view for overall resuscitate and reclaim this land and its inherent opportunities.
It is indeed a time that marks a reassurance of deliberate steps to reawaken the social, economic and administrative consciousness of this vital hub. Orpin’s novel, yet noble intentions have received wide accolades and acceptance from generality of the people alongside portent leaders of the land. Given that Orpin possesses the credible wherewithal, the desired worldview of issues affecting grass root development and the right flame of experience to genuinely entrench the needed restoration that has been long required to recover the ideal essence of this once enviable city in Tiv land.
No doubt, Becky Orpin acknowledged for her proven impeccable public showing had over the years worked with very committed leaders of contemporary thought in Tiv land, progressively and consciously learning the ropes to the latter. The result being a combination of loyalty, clear headedness, forthrightness, obedience, leadership tact as well as deeper understanding of existing and emerging security, economic and political challenges confronting the Tiv race.
She had worked with the then speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mrs. Margret Icheen as Chief Press Secretary at the return of democracy in 1999. She was appointed media aide to the then Executive Governor of Benue State Sen. Dr. George Akume, one of Benue’s greatest minds and leader known for his novel politics of humanism, benevolence and love for mankind.
At various times, Orpin consistently served as Media Aide and later as a Special Assistant on Media to the Distinguished Senator, when the latter became Minority Leader in the 7th Senate. Orpin earlier in life had drawn experiences from her career first as a broadcaster and later as a private sector driven person, this time with VASEPAMA LTD, a private firm owned by an indigenous Benue son, Chief Senator BAI Gemade-himself acknowledged to have largely impacted his fellow Tiv Kinsmen.
Mrs. Orpin had utilized journalism as a tool for liberation for the people. She had practiced it at the state owned Radio-Benue with uncommon hallmarks of truthfulness, fairness and objectivity with the twin aim of strengthening the walls of democracy as well as bolstering and entrenching sound cultural values; values that have unwittingly started eroding on the surface of society.
Early in 2013 when the legacy parties were still at its formative stages of collapsing into a single national party with the sole purpose of engendering genuine tenets, values and impact of democracy on Nigerians, which the PDP had since sold into extinct, Becky would work alongside Benue progressive leaders and other prominent national figures to ensure its success. She held these visions of a truly progressive entity dear and would unveil her inner values, strengths, by muting her valuable inputs to her principals and other national leaders which later brought about the APC dream to fruition towards the 2015general polls.
To Beckie Torkwase Orpin, seeking public office for self-induced pursuit does not suffice, but the combination of ones wealth of knowledge of experience, antecedents and practical achievements account to why one should aspire to serve at any capacity. The core intent of this meticulous manager, passionate mother and administrator to join the fray of those aspiring to man the affairs of governance at the third tier is indeed driven more on selfless service, altruism and the capacity to provoke a change and subsequent restoration of the once administrative and economic hub of Tiv nation- Gboko Local Government . For the local government system have been virtually abused in all facets and today remains a shreds of itself.
The near obscene social security, environment, and economic conditions of Gboko local government particularly in distasteful requiring a firm democrat, one with deep exposure, a grass root based individual who has ground and has been nurtured on these same conditions that have kept development, peace and growth as alien features for the people to feel. Becky clearly understands where the challenges glues the most, and indeed is set to unravel same and open newer opportunities that should naturally accrue to this land and its people.
In this wise, the Vande Kwase U Yandev (literally translated as the feminine rock of Yandev) in recognition of her onerous contribution to building motherland has raised five key areas in which she intends to bring about restoration in Gboko if elected as Chairman of Gboko Local Government council come September 2016. Agriculture, commerce and industry, welfare and poverty eradication, youths sports and tourism, education, literacy programmes and women development are key to her agenda.
To this end, this benevolent mother seeks to liberate Gboko local government from the trenches of underdevelopment which she hopes to take the city back to its glorious old days as the pace setters in sports, agriculture, commerce, culture and tourism as well as establish the status of Gboko as the central place of unity and peace.
Being one who has worked with closely with sound opinion leaders of the land, she had come in touch with the challenges of unemployment in Benue State. She had while working as a staff of the National Assembly assiduously stood to ensure that the Tiv constituents were treated with every sense of dignity and the desired attention. She would ensure that slots in the various MDAs, the paramilitary and military meant for the Benue blog were essentially allocated to them in line with the federal character principles. Beckie seeks to extend this vision to the grass root where her ideal administrative prowess would be better utilized to open up larger opportunities for the people.
In the area of Agriculture, Orpin recognizes its potential in building and driving the economy of the state. This is inspite of the glaring fact that the Nigerian nation has started shifting her gaze to other viable ventures like agriculture in the face of dwindling fortunes in crude. It is therefore of pertinence to Orpin that these farmers within her jurisdiction deserve adequate loans, grants, and modern farm inputs, to aid agriculture acceleration, expansion and for greater commerce.
In addition to her quest to improve commerce and industry she hopes to encourages traditional industries by promoting art and craft to establish relative success in industries across the local government area as well as promote tourism potentials as viable ventures for IGR improvement.
The agenda is also provoked on adding value and dignity to the civil servants by ensuring regular and prompt payments of salaries and other motivation packages to keep the civil service robust and productive. Mrs. Orpin sees education as key to liberation from the shackles of regression ignorance in her policy statement as she would move to make it accessible and affordable with greater emphasis on the girl child, women folk and other vulnerable segments of society in line with the state’s government progressive policy on education development. Sports would largely be utilized as a veritable tool of engaging youths and making them more meaningful in society.
Indeed time has come to effect this difference particularly as it affects local government administration and primarily Gboko local government. What is deeply required now is pragmatic and purposeful leadership built on sheer will and altruistic mandate to provoke massive restoration of the once pride of Tivrace, Gboko. This is possible. It is the time.
AKOSU EMMANUEL LUBEM
FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR
WRITES FROM WUSE- ABUJA