An aspirant for the Kwande/Ushongo House of Representatives seat in Benue on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Devaan Hanmation-Mom, says her desire to hold office is based on a conviction that she can contribute her bit to qualitative legislation/oversight functions in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for her people. She says she has also chosen to contest in order to enhance inclusiveness in elections for women and youth in a bid to encourage more to vie for elective office.
By marriage, the candidate hails from Utange ward of Ushongo local government area, one of the 2 wards in zone B of Mata that the seat is currently zoned to. Never in the history of Kwande/Ushongo politics has anyone from Utange won an elective office save for a 3-month period in 1983 when Hon. Welegh Igbo was elected a State House of Assembly member. His tenure was truncated by the coup that ousted the government of the day. On other occasions when political positions were zoned to Utange, the aspirant failed to pick the ticket.
It is a jinx Hanmation-Mom hopes to break this time around, leaning not only on the added advantages of her dual origins as a daughter of Kwande and wife of Ushongo, but also on her vast experience in journalism and the development sector. Being female is also a plus for her at the moment as there is a great desire amongst both the electorate and political circles to give women a shot at governance.
Additionally, the slot is zoned to her area, a fact which cannot be overemphasized owing to the great importance it holds in Tiv politics. Hinged on the principle of “ya na angbian” one which Nigeria’s political class has adopted, “zoning,”is a system by which power is rotated amongst the six geo-political zones of Nigeria in an effort to ensure inclusiveness.
Defined in the Tiv context, “ya na angbian” encourages rotation of power amongst the clans in order to foster the ethics of inclusiveness, fairness and equity. A near strict adherence to this philosophy stands the Tiv race out. It is based partly on this principle of fairness, justice and equity, that Devaan Hanmation-Mom makes her bid for the Kwande/Ushongo House of Representatives slot.
But aside from zoning, the aspirant is certainly qualified for the post. With over 20 years work experience spanning Nigeria’s public service, the private sector and international organizations in various capacities, Hanmation-Mom brings a wealth of experience with her. She has worked for the government as journalist and communications expert (FCTA, NTA); the private sector (PAMAI); and International organizations (USAID, DFID, World Bank) on projects aimed at improving the living standard of resource constrained populations.
During her 12 year spell at the Nigerian Television Authority, she was posted to the National Assembly to cover the legislative beat, the youngest reporter from the NTA to ever be trusted with such an assignment. This afforded her a good opportunity to observe first hand, National Assembly legislators at work. The only new aspirant with such experience, this gives her an edge over her fellow competitors and will certainly help her to hit the ground running.
Hanmation-Mom has expressed a desire to deploy a robust approach to the supervisory role of legislation(oversight) with regard to federal projects. She aims to pay particular attention to those meant for the Kwande/Ushongo axis. It is through these oversight functions that projects captured in the budget are implemented.
Of course, in a democracy such as ours where federal presence is almost completely lacking at the rural level, constituency projects are key. So, while she will not overlook those, she aims to target those sectors that speak to boosting her people’s commonwealth, and alleviating extreme poverty.
Hanmation-Mom also aims to use her tenure to carry out interventions with the aim of freeing the unjustly imprisoned by fast tracking the cases of those awaiting trial. Her passion for this cause is based on her strong sense of justice for the weak and downtrodden.
The aspirant is the only daughter of Mr. & Mrs Hanmation, both deceased. Her mother Justina Yese Hanmation was a native of Mbaawe in Ushongo LGA and rose through the ranks to become the Chief Nursing Officer of Benue state, a position she held until her demise in 1994. Her father, Tony Hanmation, was a public servant of note having served the Benue/Plateau, Benue state, and Federal governments in various capacities. He was a native of Mbayoor in Kwande LGA. Devaan Hanmation-Mom is married to the first lawyer of Utange descent, Barrister Rommy Mom, a human rights advocate of international repute and one time NBA Chairman in Benue State.
She holds a BA in Mass Communication from Benue State University, Makurdi and has won multiple awards for excellence in her profession. Her hobbies include creative writing and public speaking.