Nigerians React As Benue Govt, Police Trade Blames Over Killings

The friction between the Benue State Government and the Nigeria Police Force took a dramatic twist on Tuesday.

This was when the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood and Chief Press Secretary to Benue State Governor, Mr Terver Akase appeared as guests on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

The Police spokesperson described Governor Samuel Ortom during the heated argument on the programme as a drowning man while Mr Terver Akase questioned the competence of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris claiming that the IGP should resign or be sacked for ‘lies.’

Following violent attacks in Benue State, many have been left dead leading to mass burial of the victims by the state government while several others have been displayed.

Nigerians who watched the programme as the Police Spokesperson and Benue State governor’s Chief Press Secretary exchange words took to social media to express in reaction.

While some condemned Mr Moshood for calling Benue State Governor a drowning man, others opined that the Benue State government is merely pointing accusing fingers at the Police in order to trade blames.

Read the mixed reactions on Twitter, below:

 

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and Federal lawmaker, Ben Murray Bruce also voiced their opinion using their official Twitter handle. While the Ekiti State Governor said the comment by the IGP is an insult to all governors in Nigeria, the lawmaker’s Tweet was about herdsmen got rifles.

Benue State Seeks Review Of Apex Bank’s Loan Interest Rate

Interview: Benue Governor Reveals Militia Sponsored By HerdsmenThe Benue State government has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reconsider its present 28% interest rate charged on loans to ensure smooth financial benefits to borrowers and better economic position for business operators.

Governor Samuel Ortom made the demand on Monday while declaring open a two-day CBN fair for stakeholders on promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development, holding at the Royal Choice Inn in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State.

Represented by the Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Tersoo Kpelai, Governor Ortom applauded the initiative of the apex bank intervention policies which he said would in addition to lower lending rate, further improve the economy local businesses.

“I like to appeal to the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider lower lending rates from the present 28% charged on loans. If this is done, promoting and enhancing local businesses in this era of financial constraints, particularly desirous business owners in Benue State, will certainly sustaining the status of Benue as the food basket on Nigeria,” the Governor pointed out.

Mr Ortom commended the CBN for the introduction of systems that help in curtailing fraudulent transaction in the country, a platform the state have adequately deployed to control salary verification and payment.

“We have taken advantage of the CBN policy of Bank Verification Number and deployed it for the verification and payment of civil servant monthly salary and the application of the policy is working smoothly to enable us ascertain the financial expenditure with emphasis on staff salaries,” he said.

Governor Ortom further called on the CBN to strengthen its public enlightenment programme and extend it to the rural communities to avail themselves the opportunity to participate in economic recovery process.

Welcoming participants to the two-day fair, the CBN team leader, Mr Aliyu Katuka, stated that the intervention programme of the apex bank,was meant to boost economic growth of both the country and individuals by promoting their financial Base.

“This fair is organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of intervention stimulus plan for local businesses with a view to grow both the nations’ economy and the participating individuals,” he explained.

Participants at the fair are drawn from both the military and para-military, civil servants, traders as well as religious and traditional institutions.

Benue Govt. Condemns Poor Learning Environment For Students

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on insecurityThe Benue State Government has described the academic environment where some primary and secondary school students take classes under trees as shameful.

The Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in company of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Mr Philip Tachin, disclosed made the comment during an inspection of the 7.6 Billion naira SUBEB model schools in Guma and other parts of the state.

The inspection visit to the project sites became necessary, following allegations from some contractors that, seven billion Naira had been diverted from the total 7.6  billion naira project cost.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase, has however, described the allegation of financial mismanagement as false.

Meanwhile, primary and junior secondary school students have had to gather under huge trees at the Gbajimba LGEA Model School to receive classes as most of their buildings became inhabitable due to years of neglect and herdsmen destruction.

As the reconstruction project continues, the state government officials expressed satisfaction with the pace of work as they eagerly await the return of the students to good learning environment.

The host community also commended the state government for rebuilding their school which was burnt down by herdsmen in 2014.

Benue School Of Nursing And Midwifery To Regain Accreditation

School of Nursing and Midwifery, BenueGovernor Samuel Ortom says the Benue State government is set to regain the accreditation of its School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Governor Ortom, in partnership with a development partner, Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP), said reconstruction work at the school had reached 95% in the 700 million Naira investment aimed at upgrading the school to an all degree awarding institution.

He told reporters that the institution in Markurdi, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria, had been provided with facilities which include a 7.5 KVA transformer, fully kitted ICT and anatomy lecture hall, laboratory, library and the construction of new hostel accommodation.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on insecurity
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

The Governor explained further that the upgrade was part of the proposed plan to affiliate the school to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital for clinical sessions.

He noted that all was set for the visitation panel from the Council of Nursing and Midwifery for possible re-accreditation of the institution and pledged to fast-track the upgrade of the school.

On his part, the Deputy Programme Manager of CIHP in the state, Emmanuel Udeh, was confident that the completed lecture halls and administrative blocks would stand the Councils’ test.

He said the Council would also be pleased to see the improved laboratory and library which were part of the list of accreditation requirement the it issued.

Benue State School of nursing and Midwifery
Some blocks constructed by the state government at the nursing and midwifery school

The Principal of the School of Nursing in Makurdi, Pauline Atse, hinted that some of the students had participated in a mock clinical session for the accreditation exercise at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.

On her part, the Principal of the School of Midwifery, Victoria Gusa, expressed optimism that some of the challenges they face would be addressed.

Governor Ortom had in May directed the Ministry of Health to apply for the re-accreditation of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

The institution’s operational license was withdrawn in 2014 and the ministry is expected to apply to the Council of Nursing and Midwifery for accreditation.

Governor Ortom gave the directive while on the state wide inspection of ongoing projects ahead of preparations to mark his administration’s One Year Anniversary.

Prisons Service, Benue Govt. Partner To Avert Jail Breaks

Prisons, Benue, Jail BreaksThe Nigerian Prisons Service and the Benue State government have taken steps to prevent the rising cases of jail breaks across Nigeria.

Both stakeholders have resolve to increase surveillance and construct more cell blocks at the Makurdi prison in the Benue State capital, north-central Nigeria.

The Comptroller of Prisons in Benue State, Mr Peter Pevigo, told Channels Television that the joint security committee was contributing maximum armed personnel to counter any jail break attempt in the state.

He pointed out that long period of awaiting trial and prison congestion were major causes of prison riots and jail break attempt.

On his part, the Benue State Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, promised to ease the pressure on the existing prison facilities, hoping that the judiciary would complement the government’s effort by addressing the challenges of prison congestion.

He acknowledged that 117 inmates were sharing a single cell built to accommodate only 36 prisoners.

Mr Abounu disclosed the government’s plan after a working visit of the Benue State Exco members to the Makurdi prison, to donate 200 mattresses and 400 plates to the inmates.

Benue Infrastructure: Govt. Threatens To Sue Officials Who Try To Siphon Funds

Benue state government, Samuel Ortom, The Benue State Government has threatened to prosecute officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and contractors handling the 7.6 billion Naira reconstruction of public schools.

The investigation is meant to reveal if funds meant for the reconstruction of the schools destroyed by herdsmen were diverted.

The Governor of the State,  Mr Samuel Ortom issued the threat in Makurdi, during the official flag off ceremony of the reconstruction project of over 700 schools, most of which were destroyed by herdsmen during the widespread attacks on communities and public institutions.

Mr Ortom urged the contractors to consider the future of the Benue child in the execution of the project, by avoiding sub-standard jobs.

He, promised to personally monitor work on the project sites to ensure compliance to best practices.

The school, LGEA Adem Lrimary School in Makurdi council areas along Naka road, received a face lift after it was burnt down by rampaging herdsmen in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Mr Philip Tachin, who was represented by a member of the board, gave details of the impact assessment of the destruction and source of funding for the projects.

Done with the flag off ceremony, all the contractors are mobilising to the various project sites to ensure work is completed within three months, as specified in the award details, to enable pupils return to class for conducive learning.

Scenes from the horrible destruction of public primary schools in Moon Council Ward of Kwande council area in 2013, like many other parts of the state, remain fresh in the heart of the people.

Today, herdsmen freely graze their cattle within the school premises while the inhabitants fled their ancestral homes due to the vicious herdsmen attacks.

Benue State Offers 5m Naira Reward For Terwase Akwaza

Benue state government, Samuel Ortom, five million naira reward The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has pledged to give a reward of five million Naira to anybody with useful information about an alleged criminal, Terwase Akwaza.

The suspect has been accused of various criminal allegations and is now declared wanted.

The secretary to the State Government, Mr Bem Melladu, announced the reward after the Security Council meeting in the state capital, Makurdi, in hopes that residents would see it as an incentive to join in the hunt for the suspect popularly called ‘Ghana’.

They have also, urged members of the community not to give cover to the suspect and his entire gang.

The Commissioner of Police was also directed to re-visit some cases, especially the murder of Reverend father John Adeyi, with a view to tracking and bringing the killers to light.

IFAD: Farmers Call For Extension Of Programme

Agriculture,ifad, farmers, ifad programmeFarmers benefiting from the rural finance programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Benue State Government, to extend the programme beyond 2017 to keep them away from unemployment and idleness.

The farmers, Mr Geofry Ahundegah and Nguto Gloria, made the call when the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and IFAD delegation visited Logo council area on an assessment tour of the cooperative farm groups, where they showcased their harvest and farms.

The Minister of Agriculture who was represented by his Technical Adviser on Donor Funds, Mr Auta Apeh says, the rural finance project is a huge success capable of meeting domestic food production, if sustained beyond March 2017.

While the farmers are busy earning a living through Agriculture under the IFAD rural finance programme, government with do well to encourage the programme to keep young people busy and help achieve food sufficiency for Nigeria.

Ortom Signs MoU With Chinese Consortium On City-Wide Industrial Development

Benue, Medical graduatesA Chinese consortium under the aegis of One Belt One Road Funds Management Company Ltd (OBOR) and the Benue State Government have agreed to a city wide commerce and industrial clusters in the state.

The agreement follows an earlier Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Government and governors of the North Central states and the Chinese consortium who are in Benue for further discussions.

The Chairman of the group, Mr. Rujun Yuan, was accompanied by the Nigerian High Commissioner to China, Mr. Orevba Olusola, who listened to the key areas of interest from the Benue State Government in a bid to help diversify her income sources.

Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, request the consortium to extend their area of interest to cover industrial development to help harness the abundant agricultural produce in the state.

The Six Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed between both parties in China and Nigeria, covers investment in housing development, agriculture, petroleum, power, rail, road infrastruc¬ture and industrialization.

Benue Government Promises To Raise Triplets Born In IDP Camp

Benue, Ortom, Looted Funds
Governor of Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom.

The Benue State Government has promised to help raise the triplets delivered to the family of Mr and Mrs Boniface Iorliam.

The triplets were delivered at the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area, Benue State, Nigeria due to herdsmen attack on their village close to Nasarawa State.

The Governor of the State, Mr Samuel Ortom, made the pledge while making a cash donation to the family with their new born babies at the residence of the Parish Priest of St. Francis Catholic Church Daudu, who took the family in from the harsh weather condition at the IDP Camp.

Governor Ortom, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, called on the Federal Government to address the humanitarian crisis going on in the state.

The Parish Priest also called on good spirited individuals to help the displaced family in their time of need with the birth of the triplets.

Benue Govt. Tasks MDAs On Budget Implementation

Benue, Samuel OrtomThe Benue State government has directed its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure 100 per cent implementation of the 2016 budget.

The State Governor, Samuel Ortom, gave the directive on Monday, with the executive oversight power vested on the Director of Budget in the Ministry of Finance.

He signed the 2016 Appropriation Bill of 150 billion Naira into law at the Government House in Makurdi, the Benue State’s capital.

The Governor warned his executive committee members to avoid plundering state resources set aside for government projects, so as to deliver its campaign promises to the people.

In his reaction, the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Honourable Terkimbi Ikyange, asked the executive arm of government to ensure proper construction of massive roads across the state as captured in the budget.

“This is to enable movement of agricultural produce from the farms and increase the campaign on improved value chain in the sector,” he said.

Ortom Flags Off Gbajimba, Police Barrack Roads

Samuel-Ortom-Benue-StateThe Benue State Government has commenced construction work on both urban and rural road projects to ease traffic congestion in Makurdi metropolis.

Governor Samuel Ortom, on Friday, informed reporters of the development during the official flag off of the Mobile Police Barrack road in Makurdi and the Origbo-Gbajimba rural roads in Guma Local Government Area of the State.

Governor Ortom noted that the development would stimulate economic activities in rural communities.

The Governor, however, urged contractors handling the two road projects to stick to the contract agreement and deliver the work on schedule, pointing out that neither him nor anybody in his administration would demand for kick-backs.

The Governor believes that the road, when completed, would address traffic snarl in the city centre.

He also said it would help farmers freely move their farm produce.

The contractor hoped to deliver the projects, five months ahead of the scheduled date of delivery.

The projects were initiated by the immediate past administration in Benue State, but were abandoned.