By Shabul Mazadu
It was huge praises and testimonies galore rained on Plateau State Labour Party, LP, governorship candidate, Dr. Patrick Sunday Dakum, at his campaign office, Yakubu Gowon Way, Jos, yesterday by Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, IHVN, employees Forum, Plateau State chapter, tagged Dakum’s Mentees, whose employments were at his instance.
The mentees of over over 250 members had 50 representatives led by Mr. Hosea Sukkushe on a solidarity visit to their mentor and Chief Executive Officer of IHVN, Dr. Dakum, to boost support for his political ambition.
Speaking, Sukkushe said of over one thousand employees of IHVN employed by their mentor two hundred and fifty were of Plateau extraction which formed the state’s forum of Dakum’s Mentees.
According to him, if not for their mentor, they wouldn’t have been what they are today as each one of them is an owner of houses and cars via his inbuilt magnanimous empowerment finesse.
In return of their mentor’s benevolence he said, they will stick their necks in harm’s way and die for him, adding that in show of their appreciation which will remain continuesly, they contributed over eleven million naira to his campaign at the outset when he was in the All Progressives Congress, APC. And that previously they contributed huge amounts to his 50th and 60th birthdays respectively.
Sukkushe stated that all members of the mentees forum have their political parties, but have unanimously thrown their weight behind Dakum who is in LP, with the exception of very few who were constraint by unavoidable inclination to act otherwise. Despite this, he went on, Dakum holds them so dear to his heart eschewing all forms of victimization. He said, “Not all of us as members of the mentees are in Labour Party, but because of the fact that he is in Labour Party, most of us have to join him, even those that are in other parties like his Personal Assistant in the office whose senior brother (Caleb Mutfwang) is contesting the governorship on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He is working directly with him (Dakum). In fact before you see his Excellency (Dakum), you have to see him. But because of Dakum’s nature, he allowed him to continue working. There are a lot of the mentees that are not in Labour Party, but they keep supporting Dakum.”
The Forum granted six opportunities for their members to testify of the benevolence of Dakum and the impact it made on others through them. They were:
Benedict Bamshak Mairiga
Nimzing Miri
Asabe Gomwalk
Ann Agwazo
Obed Dihis and
Gabriel Dawam.
In their testimonies, they narrated how they unexpectedly by grace secured their job through Dr. Dakum, and how he granted them the leverage to further their studies.
Furthermore they added that Dakum has been a guide to them through moral and spiritual counsels as a father would.
The mentees who are running over a decade and half working with IHVN, attested unanimously that Dakum is an emblem of spirituality, honesty, modesty, patriotism, vision and forward-looking; and buttressed that he also set up spies to see whether the mentees are reaching out to others and their communities which some of them stated the projects they did for their people. And that anytime he received positive reports, Dakum jubilantly smiled at them.
They said also their mentor always reminded them to remember Plateau in times of employing new staff.
Responding to their testimonies, the LP Governorship running mate, Hon. Edward Pwajok, said he too is a mentee of Dr. Dakum, but was excluded by the mentees. He said, “I never knew him before five months ago, but Dakum went on to search for me, but I was dilly dallying. In these few months of campaigning and working with him, I had almost similar testimonies of the good works that he has done in the state that has turned around the fortunes of many people. Many of them do not belong to your organization. Therefore my motion is that at least expand your group.
“For the Plateau people to benefit from all the goodies that I can see in all of you, we are by this, offering him to the good people of Plateau State; such that after May 2027 after his first term of office, we’ll have all the testimonies in all the 17 local governments of the state.”
Pwajok added that while the testimonies on Dakum were ongoing, tears of joy rushed down his eyes. He said, ” With these qualities, tears came down my eyes when you were reading them. Some people from other states and other parts of Nigeria will say something is wrong with as in this state if we fail to elect Dr. Patrick Dakum. If we only keep this good news to ourselves, people will not be saved. Christ told his disciples go and preach the good news, and make disciples of men and women. Go ye into every nook and cranny of Plateau State and preach the good news that Dr. Dakum is coming.”
On his part, Dr. Dakum after appreciating all that was testified about him, said that people kept wondering where his campaign funding is coming from saying, “One of the questions that people have been asking is where is Dr. Dakum getting money for his campaign? I didn’t want to say anything but you people have made me not to be silent. Dr. Dakum mentees are part of the funding agencies for the Dakum campaign. So let me on behalf of the entire campaign team thank all of you.”
He expounded saying there are some that are sending N200, 000, N100, 000, and some N2000 and N1000 monthly, adding that the magnitude of the contribution is not in the quantity but the heart.
Speaking on his running mate Pwajok, Dakum said, “We are going to rectify this (Dakum’s Mentees) to Dakum/Pwajok Mentees, and the reason is because one of the first activities the learned brother of mine (Pwajok) had was to asked me to come and commission the Labour Party Office in his ward, in Kuru. And when I went there a lawyer came up and presented a plague (an award) for him on behalf of the mentees he raised, and he didn’t know that there were many mentees looking up to him. The person traced the story so many yes back and in my heart I said God has brought us exactly together, because it means that we are going in the same direction.
“This gentleman, why I am saying a lot about him, is for you to know the fact that we are a team that is ready to work. We are not a team that is here to chop, neither are we here as a team that will learn to work.”
On how he met Pwajok, he said, “When I approached him at first, he said no, saying he wants to pipe down on politics. But in my heart I said, this man doesn’t know that when I identify somebody, I go after the person. And gradually when we talked, I told him about the state and why I preferred him. There were heaps of applications and some people sent delegations to lobby for somebody to become the deputy governor in Labour Party, but I kept quiet. I said God if this thing is from you let this man agree. And finally we all decided to work together. So, bring your mentees so that they will join these ones to expand the board of mentees. We will need all these people to contribute to making Plateau greater. And I think by extension to making Nigeria greater.”
Speaking on the fate of Nigeria, Dakum said, “We are on a journey which we believe will make Nigeria better, and there is hope for Nigeria. We are confident that Peter Obi/Yusuf Datti are a team that we can trust with Nigeria. They form a team that we believe things will turn around for the better. We will not continue on a downward spiral that will lead to a complete destruction. We will turn around and begin to work on an upward spiral as far as development is concerned. The same we believe of Plateau State. If we continue the way we are, we are on the path of total annihilation as a state. In fact, when it comes to the states that can survive on their own if Federal Allocation is taken away, Plateau is not one of them. It means then there is the need to have a turn around. In other states like Lagos, Kaduna and even Nasarawa state here, is moving faster in development than Plateau. It means we can do it. And all we need is to be focused and continue on the good that God had enabled us to do. It’s not that we are perfect, but what we need when we make mistakes is to realise that we are humans, and we stop, assess, then take the path that is right.”
Finally on his mentees he said, “Mine is to say a very big thank you to all of you. When he (Pwajok) was talking about tears, I have now discovered a secret way of containing my tears. When mine started coming, I pretended that my eye was itching me. You get to hear emotional speeches like these at burials, but when they are said while you are alive, you really need to thank God. I am not going to talk for long because you have heard me over and over again. And because we have been with you for many years, some of you can stand up and give speech on behalf of Patrick Dakum and it will be exactly what I will say, and I know that. But you see mentoring is a life long thing. So, we will continue until the day that it’s time for us to take off, then we will take off believing that the duty that God gave us we were able to do it to the best of our ability. We will continue to pray that all of you will continue to grow bigger and better. That I believe in my heart, that many of you will do better than Dr. Dakum. And it is not when you become bigger, no, in your little corner you will be able to do much bigger than me.
“Here are the three principles that all of you heard that constantly guide everything that I do, and I discovered that they are the same principles that guide Edward Pwajok this year, and you will not forget them because you have constantly heard them many times. They are the three Fs. Number one F is faith, number two F is family, and number three F is friends. If you constantly do this, I believe the sky will be your meeting point. Finally let me beg you, apart from the campaign and voting et ce tra, I want grandmentees. When you have a mentee, the mentee should give birth to mentees. Very soon, I know some of you have started already, please those of you who have not gotten two, three or five mentees expand your pool so that when we get to Government House, you will come with my grandchildren. The grandchildren wil be those that you have mentored.”