Some Nigerians are still living witnesses to the politics of bitterness and name dropping that characterized Benue politics from the first republic to now.
It would be recalled that the first and second republic politicians will still remember “you Tarka – me, I will Daboh you” and Daboh verses Aper Akuh, the Late NPN Governor of Benue State.
In the family affair between Godwin Daboh and Late Senator J.S. Tarka, the two brothers from Tiv extraction, took their personal quarrel to the national arena of Nigerian politics, which consequences is still lingering in the minds of some right thinking Nigerians.
Joseph Tarka was known for his anti North, when he fought the government of NPC of Late Sir Ahmadu Bello. It was also in Tiv land in the second republic that Godwin Daboh was in the news again, when he accused Late Aper Akuh of corruption.
That allegation of corruption was talk of the town, until Aper Akuh died in 1987. Akuh was revered for his open door policy and the man who was adjudged as the best Governor Benue had ever produced. That name dropping, gave Godwin Daboh the acronym of anti-corruption crusader, until he died last year.
After the demise of J.S. Tarka and Aper Akuh, Benue people are still confused about who is their leader.
From the second republic to now, prominent Tiv citizens in the likes of Chief Paul Unongo, Chief Isaac Sha’ahu, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Senator J.K.N. Waku and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Benjamin Shaha have held important positions in the country, yet a Tiv leader has not clearly emerged.
This name dropping and politics of bitterness is being perpetrated against another Tiv elder statesman, this time, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, a Former Chairman of Katsina-Alah Local Government, Commissioner, Member of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Physical Commission, Caretaker Chairman of Plateau PDP and a Founder of PDP in Benue State.
The dog eat dog affair in Tiv land continued unabated, may be due to the fact that the Tiv men wants the Tiv nation to develop at a quick pace and those at the top seem not pulling the machine of progress faster.
The travail of Abu King Shuluwa started late last year, when he attended a function organized by Chief Paul Unungo in his village, followed by another thanksgiving service held in honour of Senator Barnabas Gamade. That was not all. Abu King Shuluwa was also taken unawares when he was accused of anti-party activity for allowing APC members to attend the opening of his house which was razed by fire last year.
In the bitterness that followed, Chief Shuluwa was removed as Deputy Chairman of PDP Elders Committee in the state.
Thinking that the politics of vendetta and intimidation would stop there, Abu King is now facing another battle for his political soul in Katsina-Alah, his constituency.
Recently, many houses were razed in Katsina-Alah, in a fight between the member representing Katsina-Alah in the State Assembly, Hon. Hambadoon Amena and the Special Adviser to Governor Gabriel Suswan on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Solomon Wonbo.
The hulaba too in Katsina-Alah started when some members of the PDP in the area wanted to recall Hon. Hambadoon who was said to be the loyalist of Chief Abu King Shuluwa.
When contacted, Shuluwa contended that he was being intimidated for mere allegation that he was not supporting the Senate ambition of Gov. Suswam who was been alleged to unseat Senator Barnabas Gamade when his tenure elapse in 2015.
Shuluwa said his position as Deputy Chairman of Elders Committee was not made by the party and the party has no business in removing him.
On the opening of his house, the veteran politician said his house is his personal property and the PDP has no right to tell him how to run his home.
Shuluwa maintained that after all, he invited the State Governor, Gabriel Suswan for the opening of his house, but the governor refused to attend because he Shuluwa invited former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the occasion, accusing him of romancing with APC.