By Jude Ityovenda
The beauty of democracy is that those who vie for office advertise themselves with what they have achieved in life to merit the office they aspire to. The voters are also expected to evaluate the aspirants with those records in mind. In Benue, ever since Governor Aper Akuimposed Mike Mku on Wannune constituency of Benue state in the 1983 elections into the House of Assembly, Hon Mike Mku has refused to move one step ahead. He has instead maintained a steady profile of a failed politician.
The emergence of Mike Mku as an NPN candidate for the House of Assembly seat was a Machiavellian move by Governor Aperku to ease out a sitting member of the House, Hon Victor Kpojime. The lawmaker was a popular legislator because he was vocal in defending the interest of his people during debates in the House. This often brought him into confrontation with Governor AperAku, hence the governor’s decision to replace him with a docile candidate – even against the will of the people.
The primaries to decide the NPN candidate for the House seat in the constituency failed to hold for the seven times they were officially scheduled. Amazingly, the results were produced one day out of the blues to show that Mku had won. The incredible thing about the primaries was that those who produced the results claimed that it was held on a Sunday morning! How the hell could anybody in their right senses have organized a party primary in this predominantly Christian community on a Sunday morning?
His brief tenure at the Benue State House of Assembly was a complete disaster. On one occasion, the NTA camera caught him sleeping, his mouth wide open, while debates were going on in the chamber of the House.
After the military struck at the end of 1983, Mku had no job and resorted to doing what he knew best. With his diploma in library science, a job was later arranged for him in Benue Cement as Assistant General Manager, Commercial. There, he achieved a spectacularly negative record. He was known in the company as an unserious man, the main reason why he failed to achieve anything for the people of Jemgbagh who would later refer to his dismal record and reject him at the polls.
After the death of former Head of State, General Sani Abacha’s death, Mku joined up with the PDP and contested the primaries for governorship against George Akume. He was totally rubbished in thecontest by coming last. President Olusegun Obasanjo then, out of sympathy and his penchant for providing jobs for the boys, made him his Special Assistant with a portfolio to repatriate Nigerian women living abroad but doing nothing serious back to this country. He failed even there.
By 2003, aware that his dismal records were known to all and sundry in the PDP, he defected from there to UNPP and contested again the governorship Again he came last in the race. Before long, he came back to the PDP to contest in the 2007 in the senatorial primaries; again Akume defeated him.
In 2011, he was again in the race for PDP primaries in the senate. In the middle of that race, George Akume, who was also seeking the PDP ticket, defected to the ACN. It was thus a fight between Terngu Tsegba and Mike Mku. Of course, Terngu Tsegba floored him.
It is because of these records of serial failure in the quest for political office that voters in the state regard Chief Mku as one of the biggest jokers in Nigeria. He is a man without records, a dreamer whose dreams are warped; a rolling stone and a merry go round. He is yet to get the nomination of his party and yet he is all out attacking the records of Senator George Akume. We, members of his constituency, find it funny that before his party nominates him for the race, he spends all his time and energy talking about Akume, who belongs to a different party. He should beg his sponsors to give him the nomination before he opens his mouth to talk about people in other parties.
Jude Ityovenda can be reached on email@example.com