In the Idoma cosmosphere, there are so many drums, but the Okanga -talking drum- is the finest of them all. It is the exclusivity of the echelons. Reserved for epoch occasions. It is the drum that announced the royal presence of the king. Its melody is the most pleasing thing to the soul. Its soothing sound quiets crying, babies. It gives joy to sad minds. It inspires the common man. It is the messenger of truth, bearing omens and prophecies.
Many centuries went by, but the drum hasn’t lost its cloying taste. It keeps evolving as the years roll by.
This piece is not an ode to the revered drum of the old, but a tribute to a phenomenon whose pristine lifestyle epitomizes the thrilling character of the ancient drum; High Chief Philip Agbese (Esq), the Okanga Isinabo 1 of Agila, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate For House of Representatives, Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal constituency of Benue State.
Chief Phillip Agbese is many things rolled into one and means many things to many people. To the poor, he is a cheerful giver and a wealth creator. To the voiceless, he is a dodged human rights activist. To the youth, he is a job creator, educator, and mentor. To the women, he is a gender-friendly politician and empowerer. To the sick, he is a succor giver.
To his constituents of Enone, he is a bridge builder, an astute philanthropist, a water provider, an electricity facilitator, a scholarship offerer, a community builder, an egalitarian politician, and a beacon of hope.
To his Idoma tribesmen, he is one of the brightest stars from Idomaland. To other Benue people, he is an illustrious example of a detribalized Benue son. To other Nigerians, he is a patriot and a nationalist per excellence. To other Africans, he is a pan-Africanist. And to other people of the world, he is cosmopolitan and humanist.
Despite his towering profile, Agbese’s magnanimity is second to none. His milk of human kindness is unfathomable from the bridges of friendship he has built across cultures, races, and religions.
Without sounding immodest and backed by empirical evidence, Chief Philip Agbese stands tall today amongst his opponents as a peerless brand of humility, integrity, prudence, love for the poor, honesty of purpose, candour, and a patriotic fervour still uncommon here in Benue South, nay, Nigerian effervescent political horizon.
From records, he had a profound cumulative impact on the people of Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State.
Antecedent, they said, begets expectation.
I’m ever confident, that, Chief Agbese will deliver quality representation to our long-suffering people. Even the people are aware of that. It’s evidenced in his fanbase which cuts across party lines.
The train has derailed. But we have found respite in the sound of hope. Okanga we know!
Itodo, a Public Affairs Analyst & Newspaper Columnist writes from Otukpa, Ogbadibo LGA, Benue State.