An APC chieftain, and founder, Idoma/Buhari Support Group, Hon. Iwodi Friday Adogo, in this interview with our Editors in Abuja, explains why immediate past Minister of Agriculture in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Audu Ogbeh, deserves to be appointed in Buhari’s cabinet.
What informed your decision to form the Idoma Buhari/Support organization?
It is glaring, except for those whose visions have been beclouded by sentiments that President Muhammadu Buhari performed incredibly well in the first term. I worked and supported his aspiration for the second term because I believe so much that he can deliver the nation from the clutches of poverty, corruption and economic degradation. What is more, I checked through from 1999to 2015, and from my analyses, what I saw in Buhari’s government is commitment towards security; serious mindedness and a selfless man who thinks every error of the past must be corrected, and a solid foundation laid for the sake of posterity. As a result, I pitched tent with him and decided to work for him because everyone that came up for the presidency in the2019 election did not have the kind of impeccable character the country needed desperately to right those foundational wrongs of our past government officials. I decided to form the group to help return Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, to the Villa to continue his good work for another four years.
How effective was your group in mobilising support for President Buhari ‘s 2019 re-election despite the fact that Idoma land, your place, is considered to be a PDP strong hold?
Many Nigerians understand the hegemonic grabbing of Idoma land by the opposition PDP. The Zone has been a PDP one since inception of the Fourth Republic. But this time, the APC pulled the votes and won both governorship and presidential elections in the Zone C Senatorial District of our dear Benue State. The group made good outing from door to door appealing to Idoma people to consider the 16 years neglect we faced when PDP ruled for 16 years.No roads, no water, no electricity, poverty abound even in the middle of abundant natural and human resources.
At a point, we had a Senate President from our Zone who was like the president of the country. But unfortunately not any meaningful infrastructure was driven home for the eight years of his senate presidency. All we had was thuggery and killings here and there. Today, President Buhari has changed the narrative so we mobilized to work for his reelection and we won.
We expensed huge financial and human resources to put up structures and other publicity materials like billboards, pamphlets, radios and television jingles so we were able to drive home the president’s achievements within the first four years. We also asked our people to give him another chance as Idoma nation stands to gain more from Buhari than any other contestant in the election.
How is your group funded?
It is done mainly through personal efforts and contributions from communities, especially those who believe in our caue and a better Nigeria.
Why have your remained a staunch supporter of the President?
For many reasons, but mainly because of his crusade against corruption, and for securing the country from insurgents who in the last dispensation virtually overran the north of the country.
What areas would you want President Buhari to impact on Benue and Idoma land in particular?
Well, that’s a huge question because we have numerous issues to tackle. First, our roads need rehabilitation; Makurdi to Otukpo needs serious Federal Government presence. We are also in dire need of a Federal University of Health Sciences. We need those infrastructures to boost our socio-economic well being. And as a food basket state, being the highest producers of yams, cassava, oranges, mangoes and other cereal crops, we want the FG to boost us with production and preservation systems, create a fruit juice production industry that would better address the wastage we face every season.
Honourable, Your group has currently been in the forefront of campaign for Audu Ogbeh to be included in Buhari ‘s second cabinet. What informed your decision?
Except for the political sentiment I mentioned earlier, we all know Dr. Audu Ogbeh has performed credibly well as Agric Minister under the APC- led Federal Government. He ensured our food security throughout the period our country faced the harsh economic recession. That adage that a hungry man is an angry man almost disappeared from our hearts because there was food for everyone.Audu Ogbeh is a quintessential professional farmer who is vast in matters concerning Agriculture. It is based on his experience and performance that we are asking the president to return Audu back to the Agric Ministry to impact on the ministry and bring his experiences to bear.
There are those who feel Ogbeh has not done much for his people,what do u have to say on that?
Well, everybody is trying to put himself up for reasons best known him. Let me tell you, these men are selfish and unpatriotic people in the society. They know quite well that Ogbeh performed far above average but they came up with whatever motive to stain Audu’s return. They know from the bottom of their hearts that Ogbeh deserves a second term.He eminently deserves it,
What is your message to President Buhari as he has assumed office for the second term?
My message to the President is be magnanimous in victory. He should not look at how the votes from regions or states went, he should carry every part of this country along. I have no doubt that the President is passionate about the country so I believe my message to him is simple, ‘take every part of Nigeria along in his appointments and other incentives’.