Di Reverend Father wey become Benue state govnor-elect

Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia

Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia
Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia for church

Benue state for North Central Nigeria make history again on Saturday 18 March as di pipo elect Catholic priest – Reverend Father as dia govnor during di 2023 Govnorship elections.

Benue na di only state for Nigeria wey don ever elect Catholic priest as govnor.

Di Independent National Electoral Commission, Inec bin declare Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia of di All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of di govnorship election for di state.

Alia get di highest votes to beat im closest rival, Peoples Democratic Party candidate Engr Titus Uba, wey be di current Speaker of Benue assembly.

E secure 473,933 votes to win, Engr Uba wey get 223,913 votes. Di margin between di two parties na 251,020 votes.

Alia get di majority of di votes for 17 local goment areas out of 23 LGAs.

Dis no be di first time

Dis no be di first time wey Catholic priest go dey elected as govnor for Benue state.

E happun for 2 January 1992, wen Very Rev. Fr. Moses Orshio Adasu become govnor under di platform of di Social Democratic Party (SDP).

E rule for only one year and ten month before General Sani Abacha remove am from office for November 1993.

Some pipo still dey hail am as di best govnor ever for di history of Benue. Dem claim say na during im tenure, e embark on many ogbonge development projects, e establish Benue state University for 27 December, 1992. E reactivate and upgrade di College of Education Oju, build infrastructures among odas.

Wit anoda priest as govnor, Benue state fit only hope for di best.

As e tok for im manifesto, Rev. Fr Alias say “Our vision is to build an economy based on functional education, employment generation, agricultural development and growth with a focus on food production and processing in a secured environment that ensures food security, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth political journey

Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia during im political campaign

Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia
Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia during im political campaign

Di name Reverend Father Hyacinth Alias dey ring bell among Christian faithful for Benue state, especially members of di Roman Catholic Church sake of im “Special healing masses for di sick and di wearied.”

E dey popular for im healing ministry and exorcism, as e claim to dey comot evil spirit from pipo wey dey possessed.

According to di priest, from di informate wey dey available for im website, E say im don pastor many local communities for Benue state wey help am to meet di downtrodden, di sick, di weary and pipo wey dey abandoned and rejected for di society.

So wen di priest announce im decision to contest for di govnorship seat for Benue state under di All Progressives Congress, di “Yes, Father,” mantra spread like wild fire throughout di north-central state.

Sake of im ambition to run as govnor, di Catholic Church of Gboko Diocese suspend am from public ministry, wey mean say Revd. Fr Hyacinth Alia no fit celebrate public eucharistic mass.

Di church suspension no mean say e no be priest, di only difference na say e no go fit continue to stand for pulpit to conduct mas.

For inside statement wey Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko & Apostolic Administrator William Avenya sign, e tok say “I write to communicate to you di suspension of my priest, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth lormem Alia from public ministry afta series of admonitions to im Ex can. 1371, 2° CIC.

“Di Mother Church no dey allow her clerics get involved for partisan politics on dia own Ex can, 285, 3 CIC.

”You dey aware say my son, your brother and your priest don buy party forms to contest for di Office of di Governor of Benue State under di All Progressives Congress APC, wey dey totally against our vocation.

“Therefore, to respond to di spiritual and pastoral needs of di Church for di Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I don suspend am from di exercise of sacred ministry.”

Revd Fr. Alia also say im motivation to abandon di pulpit and contest to become govnor na bec of dosi passion im get to turn di state into a beta place and liberate di pipo from poverty.

“Ignoring di mandate mean say I no appreciate wetin God don do for di state as di food basket of di nation,” Alia tok.

Who be Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Alia

Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia

Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia
Benue state Govnor-elect Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia

Before e divert into politics, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Alia wey dem born on 15 May, 1966 to di family of Mr and Mrs Thomas Katsina Alia na priest of di Catholic Church.

E come from Mbangur, Mbadede, Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State.

Di govnor-elect attend St Francis Primary school, Agidi, Mbatiav for Gboko Local goment Area for im First School Leaving Certificate before e go St. James Minor Seminary, Makurdi wia e obtain im secondary school certificate in education for 1983.

In line wit im desire and commitment to ansa di Lord call as a Catholic Priest, Revd Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia gain admission to study for St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos.

E obtain Diploma in Religious Studies for 1987 plus Bachelor of Arts Degree for Sacred Theology in 1990 (affiliate of Urbaniana University, Rome).

E later go Fordham University, Bronx NY, USA for Master of Arts Degree for Religious Education (Psychology and Counselling) for 1999. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA for 2004 for anoda Master of Arts Degree for Biomedical Ethics. E complete im Doctorate Degree for Biomedical Ethics for di same University for 2005.

E get international professional experience for educational management and health care administration. E be expert for developmental goals and budget coordination, assessment, and planning of health care services and programmes for the short and long term. Expert for community development and cultural diversity and sensitivity.

Di priest also say e na strict disciplinarian, a detribalized priest wey get high spirituality and moral standard.

Rev. Fr Dr. Hyacinth Alia bin serve as Director of Pastoral Services, Catholic Health Services, North Campus Lauderdale Lakes, Florida USA,

E serve as Chaplain, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Chaplain, St Joseph Mercy Health System Ann Arbor, Coordinator and Chaplain, Jamaica Hospital and Medical Queens, New York.

Apart from im services for obodo-oyinbo, e don pastor for many local communities for Benue state wey include: Parochial Vicar St John’s Parish Gboko, Assistant Cathedral Administrator, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral Makurdi, among odas.