By Terver Akase
When Governor Samuel Ortom won the 2015 governorship election, one of the first three appointments he made was that of Tahav Agerzua as his Special Adviser on Media and ICT. The other two were those of Secretary to the State Government and Chief of Staff. Tahav was indeed the first to be appointed because he had to announce the other appointments of the Governor. Terwase Orbunde did not recommend Agerzua for appointment.
Long before the 2015 elections, the then Minister Samuel Ortom had Tahav as his media aide who anchored the media arm of the campaign organization. Their relationship dates back to some decades. Tahav told me on many occasions how good the Governor has been to him.
Terwase Orbunde did not introduce Tahav Agerzua to Ortom. The three men came in contact at different times and different happenstances with 95% of the circumstances being religious.
When the Governor first appointed me as his Senior Special Assistant on Media in September 2015, it was a familiar terrain for me to work with Tahav on the Governor’s media team as we had worked harmoniously before and during the 2015 elections even as I was in Abuja at the time.
Agerzua told me many times that he wouldn’t spare anyone who attacked our principal. Governor Ortom was his political party, he would often tell me.
I was later elevated to the position of Chief Press Secretary but I was still a subordinate of Agerzua as he was the head of the Governor’s media team owing to his status as Special Adviser. We worked assiduously and harmoniously in the Governor’s first tenure running into difficult moments such as the Fulani invasion, the infamous ‘red card’ which led to the Governor’s defection from APC and the 2019 election that came with the biggest challenge yet – the ‘federal might’ fiasco. Tahav was redeployed to culture and tourism where he also had competence and his relationship with the Governor remained cordial.
In all of these years, Tahav Agerzua has not told anyone if he has a personal problem with Governor Ortom. If Terwase Orbunde was his real principal and he was only genuflecting before the Governor, he didn’t tell us.
Events of the last few weeks have however left me wondering why Agerzua has suddenly left Governor Ortom, a man he vowed to defend with his last breath.
What is the Governor’s fault? If Governor Ortom decided to allow a transparent zoning process of the 2023 governorship and refused to impose Terwase Orbunde on PDP or at least declare him as his anointed candidate, how was that a ‘sin’ against Tahav Agerzua? If indeed Tahav considered Governor Ortom as his principal and not Orbunde, what has happened to that avowed loyalty? When did Orbunde replace Ortom as Tahav’s boss? Or was it all along a case of pretense?
If I were Tahav Agerzua, I would not have cast stones at Governor Ortom. The sole reason that the Governor has not personally offended him should have pinched his conscience. If Tahav is today the man behind the hood of APC press releases attacking the Governor (as some people are speculating) what justification does he have to launch media attacks on the Governor?
In the press statement signed by the APC publicity secretary yesterday, I read where they faulted the Governor’s call for prayers upon his former chief of staff Orbunde and I am wondering what is wrong with that.
The Governor also needs prayers as all of us do. He has often asked Benue people to pray for him. I wish I had the privilege of a Governor requesting for prayers upon me. What an honour that will be.