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Selection Of Och’Idoma V: Show Restraint – Sen. Moro Calls For Calm

Comrade Abba Moro, Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District on Wednesday, called for restraint following the reactions trailing the selection/election of John Elaigwu Odogbo as the new paramount ruler of the Idoma nation.

Recall that Dr. Elaigwu was selected/elected as the Ochi’Idoma V by Kingmakers in a keenly-contested election held in Otukpo on December 30, 2021.

But, since his emergence as the Och’Idoma-elect, some groups and individuals have been kicking against the process that produced him, saying it was faulty.

In a statement he personally signed, Moro, while reacting to the mixed reactions and controversies trailing the development, enjoined all combatants in the circumstances to cease fire, sheath sword and join hands with the new paramount ruler to preserve the traditions and culture of the Idoma people, which will serve the interest of all and sundry.

Below is his full statement:

“Since the election of Dr John Elaigwu Odogbo as the successor paramount ruler of the Idoma Kingdom, claims and counter claims have been trending in the social and mainstream media. This certainly is not healthy for the cohesion and peaceful coexistence of the good people of the Idoma Kingdom. This has compelled me to make this call for calm and restraint on the part of all parties involved.

“I’m aware that some persons are not happy with the process of the election of the successor Och’Idoma V. Understandably so. Some persons lost the election and one person won. But in the contest of this nature for one position, only one person can and will win. The election of Och’Idoma V is not and cannot be an exception. While accepting but not conceding that any of the other contestants could have won, the reality on ground is that Dr. John Elaigwu Odogbo won. While some persons may not be too pleased with the process of the election, the truth is that the exercise was conducted in line with the existing Benue State chieftaincy law 2016. Though the law may not completely be in tandem with all aspects of the traditions and culture of the land, it is the law. As law-abiding citizens, we must accept and abide by it. We must accept the outcome of the exercise that was conducted in line with its provision.

“I’m also aware that efforts were made to amend the Benue State chieftaincy law 2016 before the sudden hunting expedition of the Och’Idoma IV, and because nature abhores vacuum a successor paramount ruler had to be elected within three months. As in all contests, every contestant had the opportunity of identifying and consulting with critical stakeholders and there is nothing strange in the governor being consulted. There’s equally nothing strange if the governor, as a human being, chose to identify with any of the contestants. After all, he is the governor of the whole of Benue State. We must note that in politics, as in war, fair is foul and foul is fair. We must accept that the man that identified the more effective stakeholders and consulted widest won the election. Besides, we must accept that Dr. John Elaigwu Odogbo is, himself, a bonafide son of the land.

“Further disparaging/denigrating the process and its eventual outcome will only further diminish the institution of the stool of the Och’Idoma. This will not serve the interest of the Idoma Kingdom.

“I, therefore, enjoin all combatants in the circumstances to cease fire, sheath sword and join hands with the new paramount ruler to preserve our traditions and culture that will serve the interest of all and sundry. Let us join hands together towards ensuring that the Benue State chieftaincy law 2016 is amended immediately to accommodate all aspects of our traditions and culture to avoid a similar situation in the future. The stool and institution of Och’Idoma is revered. The selection/election of the Och’Idoma has never had issues, had been seamless, smooth and rancour-free. Society is dynamic and evolves with modernity, I appeal to us all not to take any further steps that will demean the sacrosant, effectiveness and respect of the institution and stool of the paramount ruler of the Kingdom. We must learn to be sportsman in contests, knowing that we win some and sometimes we lose some. After all, as Christians we all know that leadership comes from God.”

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