Comrade Abba Moro, The Bridge Builder, Boundary Breaker


Former Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has picked the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, senatorial ticket for the Benue South senatorial zone. Abba Moro Announcing the outcome of the election, the returning officer, Mr. Soji Akingbade said Moro polled a total of 462 votes to defeated his closest rival, Mr. Joe Ojobo who garnered 365 votes while former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Chief Mike Okibe polled 165 votes. Comrade Abba Patrick Moro is a former minister of Interior, the supervising body, which saddled with the affairs of the Paramilitary Agencies in the Country. He was the only minister that generated over 51billion naira from passport sales to the Federal Government, despite all the controversial saga that surrounded him, he was able to triumph and scale through all the circumstances, he said after the death of his father, as fate will have it, he kept progressing from one level to another.
Exactly July 3, 1958, Comrade Abba Patrick Francis Moro, a three -time Chairman of Okpokwu LGA was born to the farmer family of Chief Moro Agbamu of Okwungaga, Ugbokolo District of Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue. His immense attachment to the academia took him to the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, in 1983, where he was employed as a lecturer. While at the Polytechnic; he held several academic and management positions.
For the NSCDC, it has a plethora of activities ranging from the restructuring to the repositioning of that outfit for service delivery- we have the full complement of the armed squad to enable the corps tackle hoodlums and pipeline vandals, the anti-terror and the anti-bomb squad and also the anti-chemical and biological weapons squad.
In terms of infrastructure, the NSCDC has ensured that the welfare of its staff members are adequately addressed. Just recently, we commissioned the third phase of the staff housing unit and before the end of this administration; plans are underway to commission the modern administrative block of the service in the headquarters. We have commissioned within the same period the Disaster and Risk Management Academy in Katsina and Abeokuta. In order to sustain the housing finance scheme, we’ve also commission the corporative mortgage finance bank”.
In 1989, he became the National President, POSSAN. His leadership role at the Benue State Polytechnic Senior Staff Association did not only wet his appetite for greater service but armed him adequately for political leadership in the larger society. Within this period, Comrade Moro, a very hardworking and result oriented man with an unbending passion on youth development, devoted a larger part of his time to the training of young men and women under his tutelage to arm them with the requisite knowledge to become useful to themselves, their communities and society. Comrade Moro who had himself acquired good education believed that every Benue indigene must be educated to the limit of his/her ability to enable him/her become a leading light among his/her contemporaries. While lecturing at the
Benue State Polytechnic, he gave indigent students financial assistance to pay school fees and meet other financial needs.
Throughout his career as a lecturer, he discharged his duties as diligently as possible, with the fear of God as his propelling spirit and service as his guiding principle. Within the period, Comrade Moro was also appointed the Pioneer Chairman, Governing Board, College of Education, Oju, Benue State and he held that position between 1991 and 1993.
In 1996, Comrade Moro shifted his gaze from the classroom to the larger society in his further quest to serve humanity. When he announced his decision to join politics in 1996, many students and his colleagues who knew the stuff he was made of wept openly. But Comrade Moro, the People’s Chairman as he was to become popularly known, had made up his mind to go into politics and to him, reneging on his decision would deny him the opportunity to contribute his quota to the upliftment of humanity. Consequently, from the cut and thrust of academia, he made a foray into the murky waters of the nation’s politics where he made legitimate efforts to exert political relevance in Benue State by repeatedly contesting for the Chairmanship of Okpokwu LGA in 1993, 1996 and 1997 without success. In 1993, the army struck to abort the political process. In 1996 and 1997, he was disqualified on the nebulous excuse of being a member of NADECO, a political coalition that agitated for a quick return to democratic rule. His dream to impact on the society positively was fulfilled with his victory at the Local Government Council polls preceding the general elections of 1999. Thus he was elected the Executive Chairman of Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State in December, 1998, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and held this position for four consecutive times from 1999-2006, elected twice and appointed Caretaker Chairman twice .
On assumption of office, he remained fanatically committed to the growth and development of the Local Government, through the instrumentality of good governance as a major pillar of grassroots mobilization and a man of the grassroots who is largely appreciated by his people because of his passion for their welfare and wellbeing.
He cultivated his comradeship “right from my secondary school I was a unionist so to say at a very low scale. I was deeply involved in student unionism in my days in the university too. At a point, I was the pioneer Secretary-General of the National Association Political Science Students while at the same time I was the Publicity Secretary of the University of Lagos Political Science Students Association. But of course, I carried it to the polytechnic like I said as a lecturer. Subsequently, the position of chairman of the Senior Staff Association of the Polytechnic, local chapter enabled me to contest for the post of the national vice president of the Polytechnic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and later became the national president. So, all my life really I have been a struggling man moving from one level to the other. But like I said with a dint of hard work and determination, I was able to weather the storm; I was not born to an aristocratic family or too rich a family. I was open to the stark reality of poverty and hardship. But in between I actually developed this penchant for fighting for the welfare of everybody including my humble self because I believe very sincerely that God has been so kind to me, moving me from one level or the other to higher level. I cannot but thank God for my life having risen from various positions, from being the chairman of Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia State to being the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, at various times being coordinating person for the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) in Benue State and coordinating for the election of the Senate President, David Mark and the rest of them. This is how far I have come and today by the grace of God, I was a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. On the pull Down syndrome he experience while he was a minister,
“Sometimes this issues of pull him down can be frustrating. And like I said, at certain point in one’s life, when you think that you are doing your utmost best and people somewhere else are plotting day in, day out, 24 hours to drag you down. When a sizeable number of all the people think that you are doing your best, contributing your best and then you find a very vocal group trying to insist on ensuring that they undo you, definitely you feel very, very demoralized. And sometimes you feel like giving up and say ‘well if this is what they want, let them have it.’ But again, I want to say that I still find some level of consolation in the said belief that I am doing it right, that I am putting in the very best I can, believing that God in his wisdom has thrown me up from this humble background to a position of prominence and privilege of thinking for the rest of Nigerians, working for the rest of Nigerians. I believe that that serves as a source of inspiration because it’s a rare privilege that every responsible citizen of a country would want to continue to work selflessly for the country. And that is exactly what I am doing today. In spite of the distractions that I suffer, in spite of the frustrations that I suffer from looking at people deliberately treading on falsehood to dent my integrity, I find consolation in the realization that God in his wisdom has placed me where I am. And to the best of my ability, I will always strive to serve the course of humanity”.
As the Chairman of Okpokwu Local Government Council, he introduced bursary and scholarship awards to Okpokwu indigenes in the belief that if education is available to all, it could enhance and deepen democracy in the society and it is no longer news that what other Council Chairmen in Okpokwu LGA couldn’t do, Comrade Moro did and surpassed their achievements. As a thoroughbred administrator, Comrade Moro is a sort of revolutionary leader in the mold of leaders like Dr Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore .Yew first Prime Minister of Singapore, who transformed his country from a third to the First world with pragmatic transformational agenda he initiated, executed and completed the following projects as his humble service to his community: Fifty-Nine prototype clinics; Seventeen culverts; five bridges; Twenty-Five two classrooms blocks; Twenty-One three classroom blocks;66 classroom blocks (renovated and rehabilitated); 166,000 specially designed exercise books distributed to primary schools pupils; Mini library Edumoga Community Secondary School, Ojigo; Two office blocks at Government Secondary School, Okpoga; 72 open market stalls constructed; 34 locked-up stores constructed; Six three bedroom council quarter; Local Government Council’s Secretariat renovated; High Court Judges Quarters, renovated; High Court of Justice, Renovated; 26 hand dug pump boreholes; Okpokwu Local Government Guest House, constructed; Okpokwu Guest House bought and renovated; Okpokwu Stadium renovated; Purchase a land to build a motor park in Okpoga; Renovated and furnished the state VIP Guest House; Constructed the Okpokwu Multi-purpose Hall; Graded a 26 Kilometers Okpoga-Ojapo, Eke, Ojapo-Ogege Roads; Two Hostel blocks constructed at Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo; Convocation Square constructed at Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.
Propelled by his numerous achievements and growing popularity in Benue State, Comrade Moro contested the PDP Governorship Primaries in 2007, but lost gracefully to the eventual winner and incumbent Governor, Gabriel Suswam. After conceding defeat, he joined forces with other stalwarts of the party to ensure victory for Suswam at the gubernatorial elections. He later became the Benue State Coordinator of PDP Presidential Campaign in the April 2007 General Elections.
Beyond the confines of Okpokwu Local Government Area, Comrade Moro, equally excelled in serving his fatherland as Pro Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State from 10th February 2008 – 26th August, 2009 and Pro Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, from August 2009 to 2011. Having seen the Integrity and doggedness of Comrade Abba Moro in grassroots politics, based on his pedigree, Comrade Abba Moro was appointed Director General of Senator David Mark’s fourth re-election campaign as the build up to the 2011 general elections gathered momentum and as a man who never admits the existence of failure in his dictionary as a grassroots politician with unique, deft, unreservedly pragmatic maneuvering, he ensured the effective mobilization of the people of the Benue South Senatorial District to deliver on his mandate by ensuring the landslide electoral victory of the Senate President.
He was appointed Honorable Minister of Interior in 2011, a position he occupies till May 29, 2015. With in- depth knowledge and understanding in administration garnered over the years on assumption of office as Interior Minister, Comrade Moro knew that the challenges before him were enormous, but not insurmountable. For a start, the minister embarked on re-structuring, reforming and repositioning of the four paramilitary agencies under the Interior Ministry which are – the Nigeria Immigration Service , the Nigerian Prisons Service , Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Fire Service.

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