Senate Minority Leader and representative of Benue South Senatorial District, Comrade Abba Patrick Moro PhD, who donated food items on Christmas Eve, has met with mixed reactions, particularly from Idoma youths of the region.
In a bid to spread Christmas cheer, Senator Moro distributed thousands of bags of rice and other gift items worth millions to his constituents. His gesture, aimed at easing the economic burden faced by many, saw over 5,500 bags of rice and various other items being shared among constituents, reportedly spanning across party lines and council wards.
Addressing the crowd in Otukpo, Senator Moro was said to have emphasised his commitment to his people, acknowledging their unwavering support throughout his political journey. A report by Onjefu Ajeibi posted on many Facebook groups like Okoho Nation, Idoma Nation and Owukpa People of Nigeria, said many recipients expressed gratitude for the Senator’s generosity. However a growing number of constituents took to social media to voice their concerns.
Roads and Other Development Projects
Enumerating their grievances, Enumaje James queried the efficacy of rice donations in solving core infrastructural issues like good roads and unemployment. This sentiment was echoed by Cul Ture, who emphasised the need for tangible development projects over festive giveaways.
Digital creator, Mr. Agbo Adakole, painted a vivid picture, highlighting the irony of transporting rice through dilapidated roads while ignoring the pressing need for infrastructural improvements. “How was the truck driver able to drive through that terrible road to bring the rice to Otukpo?” Adakole asked. “When will our leaders stop using hunger as a weapon against the common man? So now those that managed to get this rice will feed on it for the next 360 days till next Christmas again. It’s not funny at all.”
“N160 Million SUV”
Residents from various local government areas also chimed in, with Okwori Sunday Japee emphasising the dire need for road repairs in the Eduomga region. In Okwori Sunday’s words, “Rice is never our problem. Tell him to do road from Ekeh to Eduomga Eja road is nothing to talk about. Tell him to use that N160 million SUV money for his people please. We Eduomga are not hungry. Seriously I dont know why he totally changed. Someone I thought he will do well for us, but he is not doing anything. Haba, Oga Senator, you can do better.” The sentiment was shared by Joseph Ewache, highlighting the lack of basic amenities in Edumoga.
The discourse further intensified with comments insinuating that the senator’s goodwill was primarily directed towards members of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Critics like Obande Robert Okoh questioned the equitable distribution of the rice across the nine local governments within the Senatorial District. “Which constituents?!” Obande Robert Okoh asked with sarcasm, adding “he brought the rice to PDP members, caucus and stakeholders, how trucks of the rice he brought that can go round the 9 local governments in his constituents?”
Tommy Ocheni offered an alternative perspective, suggesting that the funds allocated for the rice could have been channeled into empowering local artisans through low-interest loans.
As the debate rages on, it remains evident that while Senator Moro’s gesture was well-intentioned, a significant portion of his constituents yearn for sustainable development solutions over seasonal giveaways. In 2020, Senator Abba Moro was awarded AkweyaTV’s recognition for his contribution to the development of Zone C Senatorial District. The plaque was presented to him in March 2021 after he missed the ceremonies on 16 December 2020 at the now-defunct Sheraton Hotels, Abuja.