2023 Benue guber: 70 indicate interest in governorship contest

The governorship battle in Benue state have already started heating up as no fewer than seventy (70) persons are currently jostling for the number one seat.

The contestants who are across political parties’ lines have continued to grow and may increase with the beginning of the new year.

But one of the aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ngutor Anyam, said most of the governorship aspirants in the state could best be described as job seekers.

Anyam who was speaking with newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday noted that the astronomical increase in number of contestants for the 2023 elections is because the ante for those to contest such elections has not been raised high.

He argued that if the ante for contestants were raised, as in other climes like Lagos state, it would discourage aspirants who have nothing to offer from coming out at all.

The aspirant also insisted that the Benue people must therefore articulate what it wanted as a people and raise a bar of leadership so that contestants would not be coming into leadership as a profession.

“It therefore means that in Benue state, we have to get to a point that as elders and leaders of the state we must articulate what we know as a people and raise a bar of leadership so that people won’t just be coming into leadership as a profession.

“I believe that we get results by having a correct research and approaching the problems as a system, that is what leadership requires”, he observed.

Anyam said if elected he would borrow from the leadership model of second republic Governor, Aper Aku to govern the state.

“I would like to borrow from the model of the late Aper Aku. When Aper Aku came in as a Governor, he did a need and resources based assessment of the state and on the basis of that report, he started projects like Taraku mills, Ihugh rice mill, Agro Millers, Benue Breweries and the rest of them.

“That is the way to go. It’s not by writing beautiful papers and beautiful agenda or saying I have a 12-point agenda; I have a 5-point agenda and when you come, you fail. For me, I am going to have four key areas: Education, Agriculture, Sports and job creation.

“A Governor cannot come and solve every problem but you need to interface with the people right from the grassroots to be able to know what problems you are able to solve for them.”

He further said, “certainly, if you want to deliver on the state, there are key issues like I mentioned earlier. You cannot provide employment if you don’t create industries in the state and you have quite viable projects like Taraku mills that can offer four times the size of the budget of Benue state, it’s a key project everybody should look at.

“We need to look at our Education. We have universities, we have higher institutions that are not functioning well. We are in the 21st century like I mentioned earlier, we need to have education that is relevant to the industries.

“Aper Aku had a very beautiful document, the Benue Development Plan, and I have a copy and I am going through it cover to cover. That is the infrastructure starting point. But like I also mentioned, in the 21st Century, there are key active projects that you can bring to the state like what is happening in Silicon valley in US,” he stated.