ADIKPO AND VANDEIKYA, JULY 11, 2014.
Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom, governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Benue State set out to consult with Kwande and Jechira people on his 2015 aspiration on Friday, July 11, 2014.
Indigenes of the area inhabit four local government areas of the state, namely Kwande, Ushongo, Vandeikya and Konshisha. The consultations took place in Adikpo and Vandeikya respectively.
Chief Dr. Ortom met with district heads and second class chiefs in the palaces of the royal fathers in the two towns and political stakeholders at the Adikpo Comprehensive College, Adikpo and LGEA Central Primary School, Vandeikya.
But the people of the two areas ended up celebrating him at every turn.
The entire trip was like a huge carnival. His convoy of more than 30 vehicles, most of them branded with his photographs, was an amazing spectacle to behold.
His entourage was also something to write home about.
It included Frank Usa Adi and Nahan Zenda, council chairmen of Guma and Gboko who were received by their colleagues Terver Orduen of Ushongo and Benedict Kume of Vandeikya.
There were prominent elderly politicians from the five intermediate Tiv speaking areas, Sylvanus Agagbe for Minda, Simon Shango for Jemgbagh, Atsaga Anemba, for Kwande, Chiata Azabiam, Sankera, and Clement Adzuanongo, Jechira who gave testimonies on the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment at the various meetings.
Another group was that of former council chairmen, former members of the Benue State executive council, former members of the state and national assemblies as well as former state working committee members of the Peoples Democratic Party across Benue State.
Messrs Moses Enenche, Christopher Adi, James Pine, Joseph Akaaza, Tsenongo Abancha, director general of the Ortom governorship organization, Sarwuan Tarnongo, Terwase Orbunde, Dominic Ihyuman, and Lydia Nyor were all former council chairmen who accompanied the Supervising Aviation Minister.
Dr. Adzer Abya who was a member of the Benue State Independent National Electoral Commission, BESIEC, and Orbunde served in the House of Representatives on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.
Other former legislators in the state assembly on the entourage included Mr. Jerome Hwande who was also council secretary in Guma, Douglas Begha and John Kyado from Ukum, Hyacinth Nyakuma, former majority leader, Moses Odu, George Alli and Frank Igbe and Abraham Kwaghngu.
Prominent transporters, Messrs Terna Hembah of Nezam Transport Nigeria Limited and Paul Ubwa of Pleasure Travels as well as Makurdi based businessmen Alhaji Garba Baba and Abu Kenchi also accompanied Chief Dr. Ortom to Kwande.
It would be difficult to enumerate all who were on the entourage but a great number of women including three popular restaurant owners in Makurdi, Angor, Verakys and Abiola as well as Dr. Bibiana Igbabul, Hon. Mrs Ortese, Mrs. Sorkaa made the trip just like several youth groups.
There was joy and excitement during the visit as old friends who had lost contact reunited and exchanged phone numbers.
The royal fathers also called out to people on the encourage who they had known for a long time.
Yet the real celebration was kicked off by Kwande women who decorated Chief Dr. Ortom and his wife, Chief Mrs. Erdoo Eunice Ortom, in colorful Tiv traditional attire and presented gifts to them.
These included baskets of pears, oranges, mangoes, locust beans, and kolanuts.
A group of women in Jechira replicated what happened in Adipo in Vandeikya.
Every where he spoke Chief Dr. Ortom was passionate in pledging to tackle unemployment by creating wealth and opportunities through partnership with the private sector to industrialize the state, if given the mandate.
He said he would attract agro processing industries particularly those that will utilize citrus, tubers, grains and other cash crops to the areas even as he would seek to exploit the mineral resources of the state and add value to education, health, agriculture and infrastructure through private sector participation.
The aspirant who also spoke about bringing the fear of God to bear on governance pledged that his resolve would engender the core values of transparency, selflessness, justice, accountability, forgiveness and reconciliation leading to peace, unity and development.
The royal fathers, witnesses and PDP stakeholders who spoke were unanimous that Chief Dr. Ortom was a God fearing man, a longstanding politician, a man of integrity, humane and industrious who rose from humble beginnings to his present heights having passed through the crucible of service from the local to the national level.
Chiefs Simon Gbaguma and Stephen Nduul spoke for royal fathers in Ushongo and Kwande local government areas respectively while Ter Ushongo, Chief Ambrose Iyortyer spoke for the second class traditional rulers in the area.
In Vandeikya Chiefs Lazarus Unaha Koko and Peter Nongoatse spoke for the royal fathers in both Konshisha and Vandeikya while Ter Ikyor, Chief Jam Gbinde and Ter Kunav, Chief Dyako Atser also made remarks.
Former PDP state chairman and commissioner of health, Chief Mike Iduma accompanied the aspirant and spoke on behalf of people from the Benue South Senatorial District in all the places visited.
The speakers stated that from his antecedents he would remain in touch with the people and address their aspirations as he had indicated by engaging hundreds of youths in his business outfits.
PDP stakeholders who spoke included party chairman for Kwande, Adzua Ikyur, his counterparts from Ushongo, Jonathan Antse; and Vandeikya, William Ortese as well as Professor John Sambe, Chief Orya Korinjo for Kwande; and Dr. Aker Gajir and Chief Aloysius Abuul for Ushongo.
They pledged support for Chief Dr. Ortom’s ambition saying that with the deepening of the democratic process he was the best governorship material for the time given his wealth of experience in politics.
Chief Korinjo, former Special Adviser to the Governor on politics enjoined other aspirants to step down for the Minister on account of his experience adding that most of them needed political tutelage first before contesting for high political office.
In a goodwill message former Attorney General and Justice Minister, Chief Michael Aondoakaa, SAN, stated that he and Chief Dr. Ortom were the best aspirants in the race adding that if the people eventually choose him he would throw his weight behind him and expected the minister to do same if the lot fell otherwise.
Renowned Katsina-Ala based medical practitioner, Dr. Joseph Aganyi delivered the goodwill message.
Various groups donated offices to him in Vandeikya, Tse-Mker and Ushongo which he inaugurated.
The royal fathers blessed Chief Dr. Ortom by praying over him and his wife.
Member of the House of Representatives for Kwande/Ushongo Federal Constituency, Chief Benjamin Aboho personally attended the event in Adikpo while Senator Barnabas Gemade, Senator representing the Benue North East was represented by Mr. Thomas Anajav, his senior legislative aide.
With the Kwande and Jechira trip Chief Dr. Ortom concluded the first phase of consultations with major stakeholders across the state.