Benue Governorship election, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, Abel Musorewa, Moses Adasu, Musorewa, Makarios 111,
Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia was early this week, declared winner of the 18 March Benue governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He contested on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). He is following the footsteps of Rev Father Moses Adasu who was also governor of the state from 2 January 1992 to November 1993 when General Sani Abacha became Head of State after shoving the Ernest Shineka-led Interim National Government aside. Bishop Abel Musorewa of Zimbabwe and Makarios 111 of Cyprus were also pathfinders.
Prof Faruq Kuta and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna who was the Returning Officer, declared that Alia won 473,933 votes ahead of his closest rival and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Titus Uba, who scored 223,913.
Alia, who is a member of the ruling APC, is expected to take over from Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP G5.
So far, the results of 20 governorship polls have been announced. The APC takes the lead with 14 states, the PDP with five states and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) with one state. The election in Kebbi was declared inconclusive by the electoral body while the collation of the results of governorship polls in Abia and Enugu was suspended.
Hyacinth Alia was born on 14 May 1966, in Mbangur, Mbadede, Vandeikya local government area of Benue State. He attended St. Francis Primary school, Agidi, Mbatiav in the Gboko local government area of the state from where he got his First School Leaving Certificate in 1983. He enrolled at St. James Minor Seminary, Makurdi, where he began his religious career. He gained admission to study at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos. He studied for a Diploma in Religious Studies in 1987 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Theology in 1990. In 1999, he obtained a Master’s in Religious Education (Psychology and Counseling) at Fordham University, Bronx, New York, USA. In 2004, he got an additional master’s degree in biomedical ethics from Duquesne University, Pennsylvania, US, 2004 and a doctorate in the same course and the same university in 2005.
He was ordained a Catholic Priest on 7 July 1990 by Bishop Athanasius Atule Usuh of Makurdi Catholic Diocese.
Reverend Moses Orshio Adasu
Very Rev. Fr. Moses Orshio Adasu (12 June 1945 – 20 November 2005) became governor of Benue State from 2 January 1992 to November 1993 when General Sani Abacha came in through a coup.
He was born on 12 June 1945 at Mbaamena, near Awajir in the Shangev-Tiev District of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State. He studied at St. James Junior Seminary Keffi from 1966 to 1968. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Divinity from St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos, an affiliate of the Propaganda Fide in 1972). In 1976, he earned an MA at St. John’s University, New York City and then at Catholic University of America, Washington DC in 1978, where he gained a Master of Religious Education.
Adasu, as contained in a document from the Government of Benue State Archives, was a Senior Inspector of Education at the Benue State Ministry of Education headquarters, Makurdi. He also taught in Secondary and Teachers’ Colleges in Jos, Otukpo and Adikpo, and at the Colleges of Education in Akwanga and Katsina-Ala. He was a member of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, the Benue State Prerogative of Mercy, the Advisory Council of the Episcopal Commission on African Tradition Religion, and the Board of Governors of the College of Education, Katsina-Ala. He was Chairman of the Presbyteral Council, Dean of Makurdi Deanery, Diocese of Makurdi and Vicar-General, Diocese of Makurdi.
On 2 January 1992, Adasu was elected the second Executive Governor of Benue State. He was said to have had a positive impact on conditions during his two-year term. In a 23 March 2003 article, “Centres of Incipient Storm” Oma Djebah, Louis Achi, Utibe Uko and Constance Ikokwu, wrote that Adasu “was said to have had a positive impact on conditions during his two-year term.”
Some of his achievements were:
He founded Benue State University on 27 December 1991.
He reactivated and upgraded the College of Education, Oju.
He conceived the concept of the Tarka Foundation, named after Senator Joseph Sarwuan Tarka and launched on 2 July 1992. The foundation’s building occupies five hectares of land in Makurdi and includes an art gallery, conference rooms, recreational centres and chalets.
He built BENCO roof tile, and the K/Ala fruit juice company and others.
He summarised the reason for his public office in an interview, “I’ve Come to Baptise Politics -Adasu”, published on Thisday of 31 March 2003: In his words: “I am in politics to baptise politics and make it pure”. Group Captain Joshua Obademi. He died on 20 November 2005.
Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa who was born on 14 April 1925, was another clergyman who went physically into politics. As presented by Lebo Nkatazo, “Zimbabwe: Muzorewa plots political comeback”, published in New Zimbabwe via allAfrica.com, he was a Zimbabwean bishop and politician who served as the first and only Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979. A United Methodist Church bishop and nationalist leader, he held office for only a few months.
Bishop Makarios III of Cyprus
Makarios III was born Michael Christodoulou Mouskos. He was born on 13 August 1913 and he died on 3 August 1977. His story was presented by Andrekos Varnava and Michalis N Michael, in their 2013 work, The Archbishops of Cyprus in the Modern Age: The Changing Role of the Archbishop-Ethnarch, their Identities and Politics. Makarios was, according to the writers, a Greek Cypriot politician, archbishop and primate who served as the first president of Cyprus and in which is widely regarded as the Father of the Nation or “Ethnarch”.