From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday failed to attend the 50th birthday celebration of Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State held in Makurdi, the state capital.
The president was instead represented by his Chief of Staff Gen. Jones Arogbofa as investigation revealed that the President’s absence may have some political undertone.
It should be noted that since after the conduct of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward congresses in the state which was marred by some irregularities as well as the alleged endorsement of two serving PDP senators from each state by the national leadership of the party, all has not been well with the party in the state. This is just as Suswam has vowed to go ahead with his senatorial ambition describing the purported endorsement as a ‘farce’.
A day to the governor’s birthday, a certain publication in one of the leading national dailies (not Peoples Daily) by a group known as PDP Supporter’s Club had advised the president not to visit the state on the grounds that there are no projects to be commissioned, adding that workers’ salaries have not been paid for over three (3) months now.
It was learnt that the presence of the Senate President, David Mark and national chairman of the PDP, Alh. Adamu Muazu both of whom seemed not be disposed to Suswam’s senatorial ambition, did not go down well with the celebrant. Most annoying was the presence of Sen. Barnabas Gemade whom he deliberately refused to acknowledge.
Suswam who thanked God for sparing his life from a ghastly motor accident a day to his birthday, maintained that it is through His grace that he has been able to steer the ship of the state for this period of time.
He begged for forgiveness from those whom he has offended, saying that he has also forgiven those who had wronged him in any way.
Suswam averred that politics is not a do or die affair, insisting that power comes from God even as he assured President Goodluck Jonathan that the state will ensure his re-election in 2015.
Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Gen. Jones Arogbofa who apologized for the absence of his boss due to pressing national issues, wished Suswam well for clocking the golden age. While the Senate President said the governor is his child, and urged to consolidate on his numerous achievements.