E.T. Orodi

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Edwin Tashaku Orodi was a Nigerian politician of Tiv extraction who contested and won a parliamentary election on the platform of the United Middle Belt Congress in 1959. UMBC, then was in opposition in the federal and regional governments and was dominated by Tivs. After his election, Orodi jettisoned the UMBC to align with the dominant Northern Peoples Congress.

Life

Orodi was born to Orodi Ugba whose father, Ugba Gwar was famous in Tivland and was among the first set of chiefs appointed by the colonial authorities. Orodi Ugba was also among the first students in his area to attend Western schools. In 1936, he was a contestant to the position of Tor Tiv, prodded on because he was one of the local educated persons from Tivland.

E.T. Orodi was educated at Ugba Elementary School prior to which he attended a school in Gboko. From Ugba, he proceeded to the Katsina-Ala Middle School and later the School of Health, Zaria. In the 1950s, he worked as a pharmacist in the civil service and in the local Native Authority. In the late 1950s, while attending the Yaba Pharmacy School, his interest in politics was kindled, though, his family was more supportive of the NPC, only the regional and pro Middle Belt State opposition party, UMBC could guarantee him electoral success. To succeed in politics, he approached his friend and in-law, Joseph Tarka who had become the leader of UMBC about his intention to contest his constituency seat to the House of Representatives in Lagos.

Orodi with assistance of Tarka was made the party's candidate and won his election. However, after his victory pressure came from NPC contacts in Tiv land and from his relative, Gondo Aluor the Tor Tiv who was sympathetic to the NPC as most other Northern traditional leaders, he was soon contemplating joining the NPC. In late 1959, he made up his mind to join NPC and went to Sokot to visit the Sardauna, Ahmadu Bello, his decision to join was varied but he largely followed the advice of his persuaders and the logic that joining the party of the government in power was the real way to bring development to his constituency. When the parliamentary session started he led an exodus of UMBC members from Santera constituency and some other Tiv leaders to cross over and move to NPC. Many of the new NPC members later enjoined more rewards as a result of being in the dominant party. Orodi was rewarded with a parliamentary secretary position but he also gained disaffection from his constituency.

In 1964, UMBC, the leading party in Tivland decided to boycott the election paving the way for opposition party to gain more ground. However, the election results also provided fodder for disenfranchised citizens to let loose their frustration and attack leading members and structures of the NPC.