It is no longer news that reputations have continued to tumble; men who were popular in Benue state in 2015 are now condemned and derided before their very eyes as a reminder that those who aspire to govern must govern well if they are to earn the respect of the citizens. Should we take all these as pointers to the fact that events have started conspiring to take Benue state out of the woods in 2019? Are the catastrophic outing of the APC government, especially the growing insensitivity to the plight of workers, and the lack-luster performance of Governor Samuel Ortom harbingers of a great power shift?

The Ghanaian novelist, Asare Badiako knew what he was taking about when he said “people often prefer to live where they have always lived, doing what they have always done even if the outcome of their actions is a march towards retrogression.” This remark has been quite true in the light of Benue people for ages now. However, a growing concern for the plight of Benue state under misrule has encouraged many to realize today that “we the people” can make a contribution to good governance by changing how we design and use our thinking faculties in 2019.

With the likes of intellectuals like Paul Orhill preparing to enter the ring, realization is springing upon many of us that the moment has come to effect a change in the real sense of the word. Many people think of Paul Orhill as a professional and philanthropist, but he is also a good administrator responsible for the lasting solution to fake and expired drugs in the country. The decision of Paul Orhii to contest is a decision based on brilliant intuition leading to deep insights on what Benue state deserves. The time to change our thinking, and change our story is now.

Who then is Dr Paul Orhii? The Ushongo born icon is no doubt a rising star in both his profession and the political firmament of Benue State and Nigeria at large whose great acts of accommodation often baffle his most ardent followers. He is variously acknowledged as an academic par-excellence, an outstanding administrator; astute politician; philanthropist and great community developer.
His Unmatchable Credential.

Born in 1960 to the family of Orhii Kur of Mbayem and Lamen Btwev of Mbaviende, all in Ushongo LGA, he attended St. Francis College Otukpo where he was atop her graduating class in 1980, excelling in both the sciences and the liberal arts subjects. While studying Medicine at the University of Jos in 1982, Dr. Orhii won a highly competitive scholarship and became one of the 23 sucessful candidates out 168,000 applicants to study medicine in Russia. Paul graduated with Honours from Stavropol State Medicine Institute, Russia in 1989, and was immediately offered an opportunity to pursue a PhD in Medicine ( Neuropsychopharmacology). This made him the first foreigner ever to be sponsored by the school and to be awarded a teaching assistantship. Paul successfully defended his PhD in 1992, two years before schedule time. His Thesis attracted international attention, and within his first year into PhD, he was invited to make presentations at prestigious international scientific meetings. His abstract won a travel award to the Third Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry in Tokyo, Japan in 1991. After his NYSC, he arrive the USA as a visiting scientist in 1993 and worked as a biomedical scientist with the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio, where he also supervised graduate students’ research. He left to attend Law School full time in Houston, Texas. He is fully licensed as an Attorney and Counselor at Law in Texas. He is a member of the (American Bar Association ABA), and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, the European Pineal Society (EPS), and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Dr. Orhii is multi-lingual and very proficient in Tiv, Russian and English Languages. He also has a vast exposure to divergent cultural, political, educational and economic systems of the world, a wealth of experience that cuts across different social and cultural strata. His medical training and excellent leadership qualities acquired from decades of interacting with people of diverse backgrounds in his capacity as a liaison between school administrations and student bodies, coupled with his legal training and a successful outing as the Director General of NAFDAC have adequately prepared him for the task ahead, especially as no governor in the history of Benue State has his level of exposure and education.

Benue state has had it rough with the emerging leadership that has clearly not being in the interest of the people since the return of democracy in 1999. The outcome of bad leadership can be seen everywhere – the harsh dryness of life and existence, dearth of infrastructure, the battered roads, the tired faces of the people, and the heads of crops filling out atop short stems like children too early ripening into adulthood due to lack of fertilizer.

What the people need now is someone to show the light so that the people will find their way out of the era of darkness, someone who is adequately prepared to address the socio-political, economic and cultural challenges with an impressive sense of duty and commitment. The background of Dr. Paul Orhii as recorded here makes easier for the people not to search further afield for a man with the magic wand. This is a man who has been here and there across the remotest places in the state providing communities with solar light, donating electricity transformers, renovating schools donating medical equipment to hospitals and providing scholarships to indigent students and so forth.

At NAFDAC, he was a success story. His dedication to waging war against the country’s counterfeiting cabal, grinding their nefarious activities to a halt with all the attendant pressure shows a man ready to swim the murky waters and excel at the highest level in public service and imprint his footsteps in the sands of time. He has to his credit such honours as

 Honorary Fellowship Award, Chemical Society of Nigeria
 National Honors Award, President Goodluck Jonathan

The Zoning Card
Our current approach is flawed. We have played the zoning card since the 1880s and where has it taken us? Is it not madness to be doing the same thing over and over without making progress? This is a time for sober reflection, and what our people want is a better way of doing things irrespective of where that is coming from. We have always got it wrong when good leadership is sacrifice at the altar of zoning and the huge developmental deficit keeps increasing. The essence of governance is that it should be in the interest of the people, and nothing more.The coming of Dr. Paul Orhii will certainly define the look of Benue politics in 2019.

This article is sponsored by Conference of Benue students in The common wealth of nations in support of Dr Paul 

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