FROM THE BENUE PEOPLES HOUSE…..
25TH TO 30TH JAN. 2016
By Terver Akase
I am glad to welcome you to the last edition of ‘From the Benue Peoples House’, the weekly review of activities of the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
In this package, European Union, EU delegation visits Benue and promises to partner the state in development; plus, Governor Ortom discloses plan to extend the tenure of elected local government chairmen. You will get these and more.
ORTOM VISITS DECEASED DON’S FAMILY…MOVES TO RESOLVE ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN DISPUTE
Governor Ortom, accompanied by his deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu, and other top government officials on Monday visited the residence of the late Associate Professor Regina Odeh who lost her life in a car crash at Garaku in Nasarawa State the previous day.
Until her demise, she was a senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts of the Benue State University, Makurdi.
Governor Ortom described the deceased as a patriotic citizen who played a key role in the Strategy Committee which fashioned his administration’s blueprint and was also one of the resource persons who trained the All Progressives Congress, APC, agents for the governorship polls last year.
He proceeded to the Benue State University where he inspected facilities at the Zoological Garden being managed by Riverille Resorts and pledged to wade into the controversy between the core investor and the institution.
…HOSTS EU DELEGATION, PROMISES THREE-YEAR TENURE FOR COUNCIL CHAIRMEN
Governor Ortom hosted a delegation from the European Union, EU, at the Benue Peoples House, with the assurance that he would utilize any grant from the organization judiciously.
The EU delegation comprised Professor Jonathan Zwingina, Dr. Ahmet Kocak and Mrs. Serap Korkarer.
Speaking with journalists later, Governor Ortom said he would send a proposal to the State House of Assembly to amend the local government law to provide for a three-year tenure for the next crop of democratically elected chairmen in the state.
ZWINGINA LAUDS ORTOM’S EFFORTS
Leader of the EU delegation to Benue State, Senator Dr. Jonathan Zwingina said the efforts so far made by Governor Samuel Ortom will reposition Benue State for greater development.
Senator Zwingina stated this at a dinner organised for the European Union delegation at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.
He said the transparency and accountability thrust of the Ortom administration was the pillar for meaningful development, disclosing that the European Union had made Benue a pilot state to benefit from its support.
ORTOM SEEKS GREATER PARTNERSHIP WITH FG, CALLS FOR REHABILITATION OF HIGH WAYS
Governor Ortom on that day, called on the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to prevail on the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA to rehabilitate high ways in the state which have dilapidated.
He made the call when he received the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola who was in the state to inspect some federal government projects under his ministry.
Governor Ortom sued for greater partnership with the Federal Government for the execution o critical infrastructure in the state.
…ASSURES ON PAYMENT OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS ALLOWANCES, CALLS FOR END OF STRIKE
Governor Ortom assured the academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions in Benue State, that the Government will address their demands as soon as finances of the state improve. He therefore urged them to call off their strike to save the future of the students.
He who gave the assurance when he met with officials of unions in the state tertiary institutions, said the State Government was worried about the non-payment of allowances owed staff of the tertiary institutions, attributing the delay to unavailability of funds.
BENUE, KOGI, NASARAWA TO SYNERGIZE FOR GREATER DEVELOPMENT
Governor Ortom joined thousands of other Nigerians at the Kogi Confluence Stadium, Lokoja to witness the inauguration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the 4th Governor of Kogi State.
Speaking at the ceremony, he congratulated Governor Bello, and pledged the collaboration of Benue State with Kogi and other states in the region to address issues of development especially in the areas of entrepreneurship, industrialisation and security.
He said states of the North Central part of the country would benefit more if they synergize with ideas and resources.
Governor Ortom said emphasis of such collaboration would be on youths empowerment and job creation through agriculture.
Governor Ortom proceeded from Lokoja to Abuja where he attended the monthly of Nigerian Governors’ Forum that evening.
Governor Ortom attended the National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
…COMMISERATES WITH THE WAZIRI FAMILY
After the NEC meeting, the Governor paid a condolence visit to the family of Senator Adamu Ajuji Waziri, husband of former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri in Abuja over the death of their daughter, Saadatu.
He described the death of the young woman as painful and irreparable, and prayed God to grant the Waziri family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Governor Ortom returned to Makurdi from Abuja.
BENUE PEOPLES HOUSE ALERTS ON SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST GOVERNOR ORTOM
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Mr Tahav Agerzua issued a statement alerting the public to beware of an organised campaign to smear the State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
The statement read in parts:
“Our attention has been drawn to an advertorial sent to newspapers and other platforms claiming that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has given contracts to a company in which he has vested interest.
The said advertorial contained letters purportedly written by the company soliciting for contracts which it claimed the Governor gave approval for their payment running into hundreds of millions of naira which it claimed was, made.
The general public is hereby notified that the said letters and the signatures on them have been forged as part of an organized smear campaign deliberately calculated to portray Governor Ortom as corrupt.
The campaign is at best an indication that corruption, which the Governor detests and has stood against, is attempting to fight back in accordance with its well-known character.
Members of the public are therefore advised to disregard the publication while media proprietors need to note that providing a platform for its circulation exposes them to the risk of legal action”, the SA, Media and ICT added.
BENUE INDIGENES URGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RECESSION
Governor Ortom appealed to indigenes of the state to take advantage of the current economic downturn in the country to explore areas in which the state has comparative and competitive advantages.
He made the appeal at the funeral of the late Sir Ignatius Nomhwange.
The Governor stated that although the recession had brought in its wake hardship and several challenges the people of the state could turn it into an advantage by exploiting opportunities in agriculture, solid minerals, culture and tourism.
…SAYS RANCHES REMAIN THE BEST SOLUTION TO HERDSMEN/FARMERS CLASHES
Governor Ortom reiterated his call for the establishment of ranches as a way of ending frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
The Governor repeated his appeal when he appeared on ‘Weekend File’, network programme of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.
He said the establishment of ranches will serve as a long-term solution to clashes between herders and farmers.
Governor Ortom expressed confidence in the recent joint security meeting he initiated with his counterpart in Nasarawa, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura where a communique was issued on the roadmap to peace in border communities of Benue and Nasarawa States.
That draws the curtains on this edition of ‘From the Benue Peoples House’. Many thanks to the SA, Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua for his contribution.
Join us again next weekend.