BENUE GUBER-2019: DR. PAUL ANGYA, THE MAN TO BEAT, MILES AHEAD OF OTHERS

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FREEPRESS – Benue people are on the march again as moves have begun in various sectors to elect  a Governor who will superintend over the affairs of Benue State come 2019. Already many individuals and groups have began jostling for attention and recognition using whatever facts they can lay their hands to justify their moves.

The issue of who occupies government house in 2019 is very crucial to all Benue people. One of the functions of periodic election is to offer people the chance to take their destiny in their own hands and effect a change of bad leadership.

Again, governments in Africa nay Nigeria control more than three thirds of the resources of the state and could decide people’s destiny, either positively or negatively. A bad government brings misery and sufferings to the people, while good governance brings happiness and better life for its citizens. It is therefore imperative that whoever will occupy Government House Makurdi must possess certain basic attributes and qualities to face the challenges of governance.

Benue state need a governor who will in addition to infrastructural development, respect the rule of law, due process, fear of God and respect the views of others. Such a Governor must be well educated, disciplined and humane in all things and courteous. When you look at the army of gubernatorial aspirants, you will certainly see all manner of people, but any discerning mind will be able to choose the man who can make Benue alive again. A man that by nature is kind, easy to access, soft spoken and very humble. A person whose humility is transparent with verifiable past records of achievements and stewardship. Benue needs more than ever, someone tested in leadership positions and who thoroughly understands the workings of well structured government and corporate establishments.

Benue state need a man like Paul Angya, on the seat of governance. Angya who is educated, dedicated and unintimidated by the challenges presently facing the State. Not only do people think he is the most qualified candidate for the job from a strictly resume standpoint, Angya is someone whom many have known and worked with for years with glowing recommendations of a truthful, vibrant, Godfearing, intelligent, honest, assertive, philanthropic and a man with charismatic mien whose love for his people cannot be forgotten.

Dr. Paul Angya

Dr. Paul Angya is a dynamic, visionary and strategic leader who has a deep understanding of National development and cohesion. He is currently a Director at Standard Organization of Nigeria, where he acted as its Director General in 2016.

Angya is a trained lawyer, a security expert and a scholar specializing in standardization and consumer protection laws. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Jos and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Law from Benue State University and University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Angya, was the Director, Corporate Affairs and SON Consults and honorary legal adviser to the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), Nairobi, Kenya as well as honorary legal adviser of the African Eco-Labeling Mechanism (AEM) – An AUC agency dealing with Environmental and Sustainability Standards in Nairobi, Kenya.

He was at different times, the secretary to Council of SON, Director Administration and Human Capital Development (DA&HC) / Secretary to SON Council; Director / Secretary / Legal Adviser, Standard Organization of Nigeria SON; and Acting Director Legal /Enforcement Depth., National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).

Angya, was also responsible for drafting and concluding international (and local) consultancy and inter-agency collaboration agreements including the SONCAP Scheme/Intertek consultancy on SONCAP, SON Yellow pages, technical and collaboration agreements with China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Congo, DRC, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, BSI/Incomme Group, Institute of Analyst of Nigeria, Nigerian copy Right Commission, Nigerian Institute of welding among others.

Dr Angya is considered as one of the finest and pragmatic leaders of Benue origin, with a passion for governance and a hands-on skill for delivering key transformational projects that drive socio-economic development.

On his ambition to lead Benue state, it is all about an opportunity to give the Food Basket of the Nation, hope and direction. Since throwing his hat into the contest, Angya has been traversing the length and breadth of Benue State, holding strategic consultations and building alliances with political leaders, stakeholders, opinion molders, as well as groups and individuals towards the actualisation of his aspiration to be elected Benue state governor at the 2019 general elections.

So far, it has been so good, with his natural charm and personality appeal propelling him steadily onward on a path already made straight by his brilliant career track RECORD. Such is the quality and power of the Angya personality to keen watchers of the 2019 Benue Guber race. It is becoming clearer that this Vandeikya-born thoroughbred technocrat is the man to beat, as indeed, all verifiable and objective political score-charts put him ahead of other aspirants, in terms of credibility, acceptability, broad-based strategic socio-cultural connections and moorings.

Dr. Angya shares one thing in common with Aper Aku—charisma. In his simple and unassuming manner, this quiet gentleman, with an open face, probably comes across to most people as an enigmatic technocrat. But a close interaction with him soon makes evident his deep intellect, his wide open arm approach in his relationships with fellow human beings. Most people have a limited view of life, caught in a maze and not being able to see beyond the next dead end. Dr. Paul Angya has an aerial view approach to issues, with a clear view from above the limitations of the myopic, he sees above the maze and his far reaching vision makes the every day petty squabbles and feuds of elementary Nigerian Politics, look childish and senseless to him.

To him, Benue is more than one single politician’s interest. He sees politics as an opportunity for all to contribute to the betterment and progress of Nigeria in which we all live.

Responsibility, as Angya sees it, is not the sole reserve of those who win elections, but a call upon all. Winning or losing an election, is not the most important thing, rather, the crucial issue is the peace and progress of the entire country, fostered through the operations of a mature polity and politicking.

Angya’s principles, manifested in his recorded actions, leave other politicians wondering if he were not naïve. But the truth is that to him, winning is not a one man’s thing, but an ideological category. It is not the politician that wins; it is the ideology that wins. Thus, everything must be done to make sure that the right set of ideologies wins, and once this is achieved, it matters little who is at the driving seat.

It is this principles that made him to join the Labour Party of Nigeria, whose ideals he strongly believes in and his politics so far, will leave no one in doubt that his aspiration is the success of the party in the state, and not so much his own success in attaining a particular office.

This is why there is no room for bitterness in his politics. His focus on party ideologies and objectives creates no room for personal feelings that could be hurt. To him, the politician must be the source of kindness and succour to his fellow human beings, an opportunity to have his arms wide open to all, irrespective of party affiliations. This singular quality makes him stand taller in profile, than all the other aspirants in Benue State today.

Dr. Angya has travelled to many local government areas in Benue state on consultation with political leaders and elders, and he is still going to others. Everywhere he has gone, he has always been in the habit of opening his presentation with words of peace as regards the 2019 contest. He emphasizes with all sincerity that there is no do or die competition in his heart and that whoever emerges as the winner among them would be accepted by him without rancor.

Before the current campaign to be Governor of Benue State, Angya’s image in Benue State and beyond was that of a loyal, principled and committed person. Key personalities in the state have attested to the fact of Angya being a thoroughbred personality. His razor sharp intellect had also been part of his persona. With the manifestation of this important personality trait of a team player and a broad-minded political actor, it is obvious that Benue State, nay Nigeria, has an emerging and engaging leader in Angya.

In ideal political practice, persons aspiring for various political offices are expected to present manifestoes, which reflect both the blue print and directions of their administrations. Manifestoes form critical components of electioneering. This is because it empowers the electorate to hold the leaders accountable on their promises, even when they did not fulfill them or promise bridges where there are no rivers.

Dr Angya’s manifesto (The New Deal for Benue) is anchored on the mission of elevating the quality of life of Benue people, and vision of making Benue State the premier destination in Nigeria. It is basic that a goal must be accompanied by objectives that would drive it to ensure that it is met.Thus, Angya has proposed to leverage on areas where the state has comparative strength.

One of the unique characteristics of Angya’s manifesto, is the focus on the key areas of human development: Education, Agriculture, Security, Youth empowerment, infrastructure and Health. This is the idea of a man who will include anyone that has anything to offer towards the development of the state, not a man who would build barriers based on political sentiments or build an empire for himself.

For the education sector, Angya intends to create a functional education system that would benefit all. Accordingly, he will give serious attention to providing quality education for all. For this purpose, his government will progressively improve the State’s budgetary allocation for the funding of education; ensure effective implementation of the Universal Basic Education scheme in the State, including giving priority attention to pre-primary and special needs of education. He intends to renovate, adequately equip and staff all secondary, technical and vocational schools and provide them with basic educational resources and services. His government would strengthen the inspectorate department to ensure regular monitoring of schools for greater accountability and efficiency; give priority attention to the training, retraining and the general welfare of teachers. As one who understands the suffering of students he would promptly pay bursaries to all Benue State students in tertiary institutions.

The NEW DEAL FOR BENUE gives priority attention to agriculture to enhance food security, stimulate agro allied businesses and create jobs for the people. Accordingly, his administration will encourage and support young people to train and engage in commercial farming and ensure that farmers have regular and direct access to fertilizers. His government would encourage research that would yield improved seedlings, and other agricultural input and support services. Furthermore, his government would create an enabling environment for private investors to establish large scale farms for mass production of staple foods such as yams, rice, cassava etc; attract foreign direct investments in agricultural production and processing, to create agro-business opportunities in order to generate employment and develop local entrepreneurs. Considering the importance of agriculture to Benue state he would ensure prompt payment of the State’s share of counterpart funding on national and international agricultural development programmes.

The NEW DEAL is to make Benue State secure, safe and peaceful. For this purpose, Angya’s government will collaborate with the Federal Government, the security agencies and all stakeholders to combat crime and guarantee the safety and security of lives and property in the State. His government would partner with the police to enhance surveillance and intelligence gathering in communities. He would provide support to the police and other security agencies to strengthen their operational capabilities to enhance their effectiveness in crime detection, investigation and prosecution. He would uphold and enforce the relevant laws against all forms of criminality in order to bring lasting solutions to the herdsmen and farmers crisis.

In the area of youth development, Angya’s manifesto means developing our youth to achieve their full potential as future leaders and productive assets of the State. He is therefore committed to giving priority attention to youth development. He will to this end adopt and implement a comprehensive youth development policy that will enable the youth to overcome their limitations and contribute to the socio-economic development of the State. His government would initiate a youth leadership programme to develop young and talented leaders in various sectors to serve as role models and mentors for others. He would provide adequate educational, sporting and recreational opportunities for the youth. His government would create opportunities for the youth to acquire vocational training and life-long skills that will enable them to be gainfully employed. His government would Partner with the private sector to create jobs and income earning opportunities for the youth. He would equally create a Partnership with Civil Society Organizations to train the youth on ICT, entrepreneurship and values re-orientation. He would Provide entrepreneurial training to enable the youth to own and run businesses and encourage young people to take to economically rewarding small business ventures and provide them with technical support.

Dr Angya’s manifesto is of first class roads, transport and drainage infrastructure to drive rapid social and economic development in the State. To achieve this objective, his government will invest in the construction of first-class roads, bridges, and other mass transit infrastructure by reputable contractors. He intends to dualize roads leading to local government headquarters and major towns in the State. His government would reconstruct or expand existing strategic roads in the state with covered drains, pedestrian walkways and street lights. He would tackle road congestion and ensure free flow of traffic in necessary areas. His government would upgrade the drainage systems in our major cities by adopting modern area-wide drainage planning solutions to avoid a repeat of flooding in the state that usually cause damage to properties every year during raining seasons thereby rendering affected people homeless. His government would construct bus terminals and motor parks to stop the loading and offloading of passengers along streets. Promptly, he will take measures to ensure safety on our highways and introduce roads maintenance services in partnership with private investors.

As the current functional state of our health sector/hospitals is becoming a critical issue facing the state and its patriotic indigenes, a lot of political aspirants both past and present have in different ways promised during their campaigns to totally overhaul, rejuvenate and develop our health care systems to meet the standards expected of it. Even our current government and its executive made the same promise and is still speaking of continuity in a project that was never thought off, talk more of being started. None has been able to keep to this promise. WHY?

The answers can only be provided by a person who truly understands that the fight for freedom is not an easy one. A person who understands what it means to be a common man.This solution can be given by a man who believes and lives by his words, who understands the need for a good health care system to be made available to the masses. Not just someone who will promise to rehabilitate the health sector only for political campaign reasons and declines once he wins election thereby betraying the vote of confidence of the masses.

Dr Angya’s manifesto proposes universal access to affordable quality healthcare for everyone who resides in the state. He shall arrest the present decay and decline in healthcare services and ensure that the public healthcare system actually delivers to every patient. For this purpose, his government will improve budgetary allocation to fund healthcare delivery in the State. He would carry out needs assessment and, where necessary, establish health facilities in underserved areas of the State. He intends to rehabilitate, equip and adequately staff existing general hospitals and health centres in the State. He would make functional the free medical services scheme for children up to 5 years, pregnant and nursing mothers, the physically and mentally challenged and senior citizens. His government would ensure prompt payment of counterpart funding to attract and enhance international and national funding on healthcare development and partner with the private sector to invest in the development of an affordable, qualitative and efficient healthcare delivery system for the State.

In general, Dr Angya’s manifesto means responsive governance. For him, power belongs to the people always and not to the governor, who is merely a trustee. Accordingly, he would neither abuse nor personalize power. Instead, his governance model would be one that is inclusive, policy-driven, open and people-centred. For this purpose, as a government he would respect and uphold the rule of law and ensure that everyone is equal before the law. His government would respect the sanctity and independence of the legislature and the judiciary. He would not interfere but work harmoniously with the State House of Assembly and the Judiciary to move the State forward. He would ensure that the State Executive Council is truly accountable for their duties through regular performance monitoring and evaluation schemes. He would reform and reposition the State’s Civil Service for efficient and effective service delivery through training, value re-orientation and meaningful motivation. His government would effectively tackle corruption and reduce cost of governance.

2019 election is a referendum on our future. It is an opportunity to choose the future that we want for Benue state.

We must choose, if we want a Benue that is the leading light in the West Africa region, a self – sufficient territory with a diverse workforce of educated and employable citizens with the capacity to turn our infrastructure and assets into productive economic resources.

We must choose, if we want a Benue that will join the modern age, whose people can easily connect to the new global economy through the internet and whose schools consistently surpass the minimum standards in the West Africa region. Nigeria will no longer be our yardstick for measuring performance.

We must choose, if we want a Benue that can ensure food security by becoming the agro – processing hub for West Africa. A state that can stand on its own feet and ensure that its people are not disenfranchised in Nigeria.

In this election, we have the opportunity to elect a governor who will represent the views of the people, address their fears, and speak to their hopes. Benue needs someone who will respond to our collective hopes and aspirations and project a glorious future for its people of all classes.

The time has come for,

MOTHERS: to ask themselves of how many husbands, children and siblings they are still willing to lose to death due to the poor state of our hospitals. Personally in February, I as an individual witnessed several maternal and infant death at the North Bank general hospital due to poor/ lack of hospital equipments, staff and medical professionals.

STUDENTS: will you willingly enthrone a government/individual who believes education is for the rich. Who does not want to know how much you suffer to pay the outrageous school fees you are being charged. The time has come for you as a student to say NO.

DOCTORS: for how long will u be marginalised and under payed. These are the people God gave the wisdom and knowledge to treat diseases and illnesses, a lot of their efficiency is centred on their frame of mind. When you are maltreated and ignored, can you function properly?

That is the reason why every Benuelite big or small, rich or poor, wherever you are and whatever you do have the responsibility of making the right choice. Forget about the money shared and gift items, they only last for a while. When after it’s all gone and spent, how do you face/handle the issues in your home? When your child or husband or wife falls sick, where will you go? When you can’t afford to send your child to school because of non payment of salaries, Who will you call? When you can’t transport your agricultural products to the market because of bad roads, Can the bribe/wrapper/rice you receive today see you through? THINK.

Make a right choice today for a better and brighter tomorrow. Support Dr. Paul Angya, a man full of life and vigour. A man who has a heart that will humbly serve the people and listen to their needs. A man who has no godfather to please or obey. A freelancer who owes no body and is not under any kind of financial investigation that can bring disgrace to the state. A man who has served the country loyally and during his acting days as DG, Standard Organization of Nigeria was able to reduce the rate of fake goods in the Nigeria Market.

Dr Paul Angya is married to Professor Charity Ashimem Angya (nee Pever-Ge), the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the Benue State University, Makurdi (the 1st and only female to have served in that position so far), a global brand, a Godfearing woman and an astute administrator, whose’ stellar performance is still being celebrated throughout the state and beyond.

Prof. Charity Angya is another woman you cannot but mention if you are talking of women at the helm of affairs in the education sector. The first female Vice Chancellor of Benue State University (BSU), Prof. Angya who read Theatre Arts at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), graduating in 1983, with a B.A, Second Class Upper Div. and a Masters and Ph.D (also in Theatre Arts), 1985 and 1988 respectively, from the University of Ibadan, besides some post-doctoral trainings in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dundee, Scotland and Senegal, started her academic career at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) with such position as Examination Officer, among others before relocating to BSU as Coordinator, Department of Theatre Arts, member Governing Council between 2004 and 2008, acting Vice Chancellor, 2005, Head of Department, Theatre Arts (2006-2010) before she was elevated to the position of Vice Chancellor in January 2011.

Prof. Charity Angya has proven herself to be a pacesetter in almost every area of administration – from infrastructure to paperwork. Her achievements include full refurbishment of students hostels, built many new lecture halls, offices, ICT complex, new library complex, new convocation Square, prompt procession of students’ results and documents for the compulsory NYSC national service, prompt release of results such that students now see their scores pasted on notice boards upon resumption for a new academic session. Prof. Charity Angya, a holder of national merit award, Officer of Order of the Niger (OON), has her sight set on achieving more and she will no doubt be an immeasurable asset to her husband’s administration.

Come 2019 all Benuelites are expected to CAST their vote for Hon.Dr. Barr. Paul Angya (a voice for the masses) for a better future.

One of my favourite lines in the record-breaking movie Black Panther, were the words of T’Chaka to his son, T’Challa: “You are a good man with a good heart. And it is hard for a good man to be king”.

This may be the case in Nigeria, our best minds may never lead us, except we go out of our way to make this happen. I, for one, believe we can make the best of our minds lead us, and this, we must.

So Benuelites, can we get a good man, and make him king?

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