<< By Nathaniel Ikyur >>
Ahead of the April 11th governorship elections, the All Progressives Congress, APC gubernatorial candidate in Benue state, Dr Samuel Ortom yesterday charged the people of Igede nation to vote for the APC in the forthcoming governorship elections, saying the future of the Igede people can only be guaranteed in the party.
Dr Ortom who also addressed various associations, groups as well as the National Union of Teachers, NUT from Oju and Obi local government areas said the people of the area cannot afford to remain the in the opposition, given the trend the country voted in the March 28th presidential elections.
Leaders of the various groups, the traditional rulers from the two local government areas took turns to speak at the occoccasions also assured the APC gubernatorial hopeful of their total support in the coming elections but asked Dr Ortom to adequately take the Igede ethnic tribe along in appointments when he forms his cabinet after May 29th.
Dr Ortom who had addressed four key groups in one of his last consultative meetings before the April 11th governorship elections in the area admonished Igede people to “work together and deliver the election to the APC so that the Igede nation will be on the same page with the rest of the nation”, pointing out that the people of the area “cannot afford to be in the minority politics giving the direction the entire country is headed.”
The former Minister of State, Trade and Investment urged the peoole of Oju and Obi to take the responsibility of ensuring that the APC wins governorship seat in Benue state, because as he outs it, “this is a task that we must all come together to achieve. This is no time for division but its time for reconciliation and speaking with one voice for the APC.”
While addressing the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Dr Ortom lamented the neglect in the educational sector, particularly the welfare of teachers who have suffered untold hardships for non payment of salaries and infrastructural decay across the schools in the state in the hands of the outgoing administration.
He promised that his administration would give priority attention to prompt payment of salaries as well as human capital development for the teachers to boost their morale.
Ortom called on the union to join hands with him by supporting his ambition and also to ensure that the APC wins “so that together, we can team up and rescue Benue. For us, we are concerned with what is going on in the state and we must all join hands to stop the canker worm from spreading and destroying our state.”
On the plethora of requests the traditional rulers as well as other community leaders from Igede nation put forward, the APC gubernatorial candidate urged the people of the area to work assiduously to allow their votes to count in the forthcoming elections.
A member of the elders forum who spoke on behalf of one the associations, ASP Dave Ode, (rtd) expressed optimism that given the track record of Ortom, he believes that his administration would not neglect the Igede like successive regimes have done in the past.