ACCEPTANCE SPEECH OF CHIEF DR SAMUEL ORTOM ON MONDAY, 13TH APRIL, 2015, AT THE NUJ HOUSE, MAKURDI, AFTER THE DECLARATION OF RESULTS OF THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION BY INEC.
Last Saturday Nigerians went out to complete the electoral circle started on March 28th, 2015 with the Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
On that day our compatriots started the execution of an agenda for change by voting massively for candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to saddle them with the task of providing them with the right leadership needed to chart a new course for the nation.
One of the most respected Nigerians of all time, General Muhammadu Buhari, was elected President of the country alongside a majority on the same platform in both chambers of the National Assembly.
My election as Governor on the platform of the APC at the state level has come with similar expectations and also thrust upon my shoulders and those of my Deputy, Engr Benson Abounu, onerous responsibilities to justify the confidence reposed in our party by Nigerians in general and the Benue electorate in particular.
That Engr Abounu and I have come thus far in this journey is first and foremost the Lord’s doing, and it’s marvelous in our sight.
Both of us rose from humble beginnings with little to fall back upon except the abundant grace of God and reliance upon He who elevates people from the dunghill to positions of authority as has happened to us this day.
As Christians we believe that power belongs to God who gives it to whosoever He wants, that a man can receive nothing except given to him from above and that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong but it’s God who grants favor.
The APC which has become a platform from which Nigerians expect change is a product of the sacrifices, commitment, resilience, as well as foresight of patriotic Nigerians and millions of compatriots who have paid the price including the supreme one.
We wish to acknowledge these leaders and patriots and pay them special tribute.
In Benue State, Senator Dr George Akume, and Chief Audu Ogbeh are a veritable representation of this class of Nigerians who have been complemented by Senator Barnabas Gemade and others.
This victory is for such people and all Nigerian and Benue compatriots, institutions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security agencies, the press, civil society groups, all voters, as well as political parties and their leaders who participated in the process that has produced the results which we are celebrating today.
There is actually no vanquished but only victors.
We rejoice with all citizens of Benue who voted to and made other contributions to make change possible for whom I pledge to work irrespective of ethnicity, political or religious persuasion.
The challenges of the day require the contribution of all hence I hereby extend my hand of fellowship to all Benue citizens especially those who contested with or against us as we believe they have genuine aspirations for the people and request that they join us with such ideas.
Let me reiterate my pledge to govern with the fear of God which would entrench core values including transparency, accountability, fairness, justice, humility, integrity, truthfulness, selflessness, integration, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and unity which shall make development inevitable.
May I express special appreciation to the APC family in Benue State especially the working committee, the Ortom / Abounu Governorship Campaign Organization led by the indefatigable Director General, Professor Steve Ugbah, my supporters within the state and outside, those who made spiritual and material contributions and all who resisted inducement so that they can bring about change.
May I appreciate in a special way the Governor of Benue State, Dr Gabriel Suswam, for the spirit of patriotism and sportsmanship and which he exhibited by calling early to congratulate us and seek a meeting between us to fashion out smooth transition.
Similar appreciation goes to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Prince Terhemen Tarzoor and the Director General of his campaign organization, Professor Iyorwuese Hagher who also called to accept the results and congratulate us.
This gesture which deepens the democratic process and diffuses tension is deeply appreciated.
We look forward with faith in God and hope for the people as we accept this mandate.
In God we trust.
Thanks and God bless.