Major stakeholders from the Minda geopolitical axis in Benue State have endorsed Chief Dr Samuel Ortom for the 2015 governorship election in Benue State.
They included former National and State Assembly members, former council chairmen, former members of the Benue State executive council, party executives, eldest politicians of Iharev extraction from Guma, Makurdi, and Gwer West, as well as other elders,women and youths.
The endorsement took place at the Makurdi residence of the Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment who has indicated interest to contest on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Those who spoke for the various segments of Minda at the event included Retired Judge Sylvanus Agagbe, Tyoshin; John Tarzoho Azulo, Isherev; Bem Belagu Moji, popularly known as Professor of politics, Mr Joseph Chia, and Clement Akpe, from Masev; as well as Theresa Bai, for women of the area.
There were light showers after elders,Vanger Iorhon and Sam Aga, from Nongov led by Jerome Hwande presented Chief Dr Ortom to the various groups and they accepted him and all concluded that the showers were a sign of God’s blessing and acceptance.
The oldest politician in Minda, Iyo Iharev who was present also gave approval. The speakers gave reasons including the fact that someone from Nongov, the eldest offspring of Minda, deserved to be given the first opportunity to take a shot at the highest office in the land if it came to the area as well as Chief Dr. Ortom’s pedigree.
They maintained that of all the governorship aspirants from the area the Minister was the most seasoned politician with the requisite experience at all levels of government who over the years had reached out to people from all the segments of Minda in various ways.
They said his conduct and relationship with all manner of people reflected the fear of God, another quality that has endeared him to the people across the state, adding that as such he was the most easily marketable and acceptable in the contest.
The speakers stressed that the governorship transcended Minda hence the need to present someone whose acceptability cuts across the entire state.
They appealed to other aspirants in the area to team up with Chief Dr Ortom in the overall interest of the people of the axis.
Spokesman for the coalition of 32 Iharev youth groups, Mr John Jov, listed Chief Dr Ortom’s support for Professor Emmanuel Kucha, their son to become Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, facilitation of the employment of 58 Iharev sons and daughters, provision of scholarships for indigent students from the area as well as treatment of snake bite victims and hernia patients as justification for the endorsement.
According to Mr. Jov the Oracle conglomerate founded by the Minister has also provided jobs for numerous Iharev people while the closest people to him including his wife and driver also come from their area.
He stated that Chief Dr Ortom’s gesture of taking up the challenge of single-handedly securing justice for Christian Igbana Iwan, an undergraduate who had been condemned to death was further proof of his love for the Iharev people hence they chose to adopt him for the highest position in the land.
Others who spoke for the Hausa and Ipusu communities were Alhaji Abu Kenchi, and Barrister Ambrose Ikpah, associated themselves with the position of the other stakeholders.
They unanimously stated that given his antecedents, experience and connections from the local, state, national and international levels, as well as in politics coupled with his God-fearing nature he was the most suitable person for the job in the current dispensation.
They also appealed to the other aspirants to support the Minister rather than making the race a crowded affair.
In his response, Chief Dr Ortom pledged that if given the mandate he would run an inclusive government with specific roles for the other aspirants who he described as also eminently qualified although he was the most suitable for the times.
He stated that he was overwhelmed with the gesture and expressed appreciation to God who raised him from humble beginnings to the present level and the people for the confidence reposed in him pledging that he would do everything to justify it.