<<By Tahav Agerzua>>
A governorship aspirant in Benue State, Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom, has inaugurated a campaign strategy committee with a charge to members to produce a blueprint for the development of the state.
He announced that Professor Dennis Ityavyar would serve as chairman of the committee, Professor Yakubu Ochefu as his deputy while Barrister Michael Gusa would be Secretary.
Speaking at the conference hall of Smile Suites Hotel in Makurdi where the ceremony was held, Chief Dr. Ortom, who is aspiring on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the blueprint should be distilled from the aspirations of the people as well as his vision for the state.
The aspirant who is also Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment and Supervising Aviation Minister, stated that while he was determined to add value on all sectors of the economy if given the mandate, his priority would be to tackle unemployment and create wealth and opportunities through industrialization as well as a private sector driven economy.
Chief Dr. Ortom charged the committee to give special attention to harnessing the potentials where Benue State has comparative advantage pointing out that the only way to generate wealth for farmers across the state was to add value to their produce through processing.
He urged the committee to also evolve measures to tackle security challenges confronting the state noting that security issues which have become a global concern can neither be ignored nor underestimated.
The Minister pledged that if given the mandate he would govern with the fear of God which would translate to wisdom, transparency, fairness, justice, accountability, honesty, forgiveness and reconciliation which shall engender unity, peace and development.
Chief Dr. Ortom stated that committee members were chosen based on merit and antecedents and appealed to them to bring their wealth of experience to bear on the assignment.
In his response committee chairman, Professor Ityavyar, commended Chief Dr. Ortom, for the initiative of constituting a strategy committee which he said was a best practice in advanced democracies.
He pledged that members would put in their best in order to justify the confidence reposed in them.
Former Vice Chancellor of the Benue State University, Professor Akase Paul Sorkaa made comments which all members who spoke unanimously adopted.
“It’s only God who will say no to Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom becoming the Governor come 2015; I’ve watched all the contestants, I know all of them and it’s on that basis that I stand by what I’ve said,” Professor Sorkaa maintained.
All the speakers also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to render service to the people of the state.
Membership of the committee comprised six professors and other academics from the universities across the country.
Others are former members of the National and State Assemblies, former members of the state executive council, local government chairmen, women, youths, pioneer chairman, Benue State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Andrew Ayabam, as well as people from all walks of life.
It is likely that the Committee will be further expanded (Complete list coming soon)