2011: Mark, Benue National Assembly Caucus Endorse Jonathan

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, July 28, (THEWILL) - Just 24 hours after the 19 Northern State Governors declared that President Goodluck Jonathan could contest the 2011 general election, the Benue State caucus in the National Assembly has declared its total support for Jonathan should he decides to run for the office.

The caucus also affirmed its unalloyed support to the position of its governor, Hon. Gabriel Suswam for kicking against zoning. Suswam was among the seven northern governors that voted against zoning at the meeting of Northern Governors in Kaduna last Tuesday.

Making the position of the caucus known at a press conference Wednesday at the National Assembly, Senator Joseph Akaagerger representing Benue North East Senatorial Zone with eight out of the twelve members of the House of Representatives said the governor’s position was the true reflection of the people of the state.

Akaagerger, who is the vice chairman, senate committee on communication confirmed that the Senate President David Mark and all National Assembly members from the state have endorsed Jonathan for the 2011 presidential elections.

He said, "The attention of we the Representatives of the people of Benue State in the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) has been drawn to recent media publications relating to the current burning national question as to whether or not President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is competent to and should or should not contest the 2011 Presidential Election.

"We wish to state unequivocally as follows: that consequent upon consultation with the Benue State National Assembly legislators’ caucus, the governor of Benue state, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam was mandated to hold consultation with all principal stakeholders of the PDP and Benue people generally.

"That such consultations were duly held and we have confirmed with our constituents and hereby support the views expressed by the state governor.

"Any statement to the contrary by any individuals or groups who certainly do not carry the people’s mandate, should be discountenanced as the opinion of the insignificant minority."

Although, David Mark and former governor, Senator George Akume were not present at the briefing, Senator Akaagerger confirmed while responding to questions that the Senate President was fully in support of the position of the caucus but could not comment on Akume’s stance on the issue.

Members of the caucus at the briefing were Solomon Agidani (Apa/Agatu federal constituency), Hon Terngu Tsegba (Gboko/Tarka), David Idoko (Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo), Augustine Adikpe (Oju/Obi), Emmanuel Jime (Makurdi/Guma), Orker Jev (Buruku), Chile Igbawua (Kwande/Ushongo) and Christy Allaga (Gwer East/Gwer West).

Only three members of the House, Hon. Hernan Iorwase Hembe (Vandeikya/Konshisha), Mzenda Iho (Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo) and Nelson Alapa (the only ANPP lawmaker from the state) were absent at the briefing and did not sign the resolution of the caucus as well.