Dr. Patrick Dakum energizing the Plateau Youths. Written by: Iliya Vilret Jwan.


Dr. Patrick Dakum energizing the Plateau Youths. Written by: Iliya Vilret Jwan.

Plateau state labour party Governorship candidate.

with a reputation for being frugal, Dr. Patrick Dakum has emerged as a powerful force ahead of plateau state governorship election 2023, energizing voters with messages of prudence and accountability that are amplified by an army of social media users.

In a state that seems to always be on the lookout for a messiah to solve its myriad problems, young social media-savvy supporters have elevated Mr Patrick to sainthood and are backing his largely unknown Labour Party against two septuagenarian political heavyweights.

His name is often trending on social media on the back of numerous conversations sparked by his supporters, instantly recognisable from their display picture of his image or the white, red and green logo of his party.

These are mostly urban under-30s who refer to themselves as the "Coconut-head generation", because they are strong-willed, independent-minded and contemptuous of older politicians who, they say, have done little for them.

But opponents say Mr Patrick is a political impostor, one of many who spring up at election time with delusions of being a third force that will wrestle power from the traditional parties.

Many supporters of the main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Peoples Congress (APC) neutral observers agree he is head and shoulders above the other candidates, but say he lacks the States popularity to win the election and have warned his supporters that they risk wasting their votes.

He dumped the APC after his supporters and well wishing citizens claimed he was ‘robbed’ in which the party went on to choose Dr. Nentawe G. Yilwada who is regarded as Governor Lalong ‘Anointed one’ as its Governorship flag bearer.

Critics says he joined the Labour party to prove he has what it takes to be governor, where he was an APC governorship candidate, for deciding to cross over to the Labour Party.

His supporters are also convinced that he was pushed out of the APC because he refused to bribe delegates at the party primary they regard him as an unconventional politician prepared to take on the APC and PDP behemoths seen

as different sides of the same coin, who they accuse of dipping their fingers into the public purse.

Some of his track records: 

Patrick joined the IHV team that founded the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria. Working out of several hotel rooms the odds that this small group-Patrick Dakum, John Farley, John Vertefeville, Charles Mensah, Alash’le would succeed in changing the landscape of Nigeria’s HIV response is highly unlikely. But success rooted in faith framed in God’s plan guided Patrick’s leadership approach. It wasn’t easy for Patrick as he faced many challenges-external from entrenched dysfunction in the health sector and still remarkably scaled through. In the face of his beloved son Daniel’s untimely death during this period, Patrick’s courage and trust in God carried us all through this tragedy. Patrick’s greatest gift is rooted in his deep Christian faith that gives him equanimity and profound wisdom to allow God’s Plan to unfold. 

“IHVN under Patrick’s leadership has achieved excellence as an antidote to the pernicious epidemic of HIV in Nigeria and has changed the landscape of healthcare in Nigeria. Along the way God has gifted Patrick with other successes: rank of Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, successful grant funding in the tens of millions of dollars, and scientific publications totaling more than 34 with more to come. (see “The Ripple Effect”, pp 168-169).

“What else do we need to testify to the credentials of a man with intimidating cerebral capacity? Despite his numerous official, private, family and community commitments, he creates time to publish and share professional knowledge in Journals and periodicals this being why he is a visiting lecturer and consultant to universities and health institutions overseas (especially in USA) and also at home. His is a classic case of a lifting of man by God from grass to grace. 

“As one of his contemporaries and friends said in his testimony on Dr. Dakum, he is exceptionally versatile, which is a trait of many persons with exceptional gifts in Natural and Applied Sciences. No wonder, he moved from one professional and career job to another until he took up his present responsibility as the Country Director of the International Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria.

With months to the election, there is no denying the momentum building behind Dr Patrick but cynics also point to the lack of a State party structure to support the view that, while possible, an Patrick governorship campaign remains highly improbable.

He retorts that his structure is "the plateau people that live in poverty and the majority of Plateau state citizens who don't know where their next meal will come from". If half of those turn out to vote him on Election Day, it might very well be all that he needs. 

“Along the line, Dr. Dakum was “arrested by Christ” and thus began his sojourn in the vineyard of the Lord, with admirable commitment and remarkable landmarks. Today he is one of the most committed Elders of COCIN church, so frequently used in church committees from the GCC level down to LCCs and CCs, to the extent that he is in almost every serious COCIN committee, dealing with evangelism, outreaches, fund-raising committees, Karl Kumm University fund-raising and mobilization committees, etc. Yet perhaps the area the COCIN Church cannot forget his leadership role is that of Sunday school teaching of children, for which only our heavenly father can reward him for the adept teaching and motivational methodologies he brings on board consistently. The most admirable aspect of his church commitment is that he and his wife are both involved, with each of them taking specific specialization in the church. 

"As if the aforementioned public and private commitments are not enough, Dr. Dakum is a natural community leader. He has a very long list of community projects that he has executed in his Mupunland, but also beyond. It is for this reason he proudly dons two traditional titles. He is "the Nguman Dak Yil Mupun Land). As if to underline his abiding connection to his roots, he is also "the Korong Jiblik" (meaning Hero of Jiblik). No wonder, he radiates unparalled confidence any day at any venue at Mupun community events, functions and meetings. He is truly revered and loved by his people and he shares this privilege with many other highly-respected and very cerebral Mupun sons and daughters, who are also pace-setters and leaders in their spheres of life and professions. 

“I am indeed humbled and priviliged to be associated with Dr. Patrick Sunday Dakum”

Written by:

Iliya Vilret Jwan

B.S.C Political Science

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