Ortom Calls On Immigration To Upgrade Border Security

ortom Following the resurgence of Fulani herdsmen attacks on the Benue communities, Governor Samuel Ortom has called on the Nigerian Immigration Service to upgrade the Kwande and Taraba border port with the Cameroons to check the influx of armed foreign herdsmen.

The governor made the request at a security meeting with both the Assistant Controllers of Immigration and Prisons in charge of the North Central Region, where herdsmen have continued to rain terror on local farmers on a yearly basis.

The ACG Immigration, North Central, Taylor Harry assured the people of Benue and other states within the region of immediate solutions, by tracking violent extremist fleeing from the Boko Haram enclave and armed foreign elements.

Also, the Assistant Comptrollers-General (ACG), Prisons, North Central, John Mrabure, has been tasked with the responsibility of jailing offenders.

Since 2011, armed Fulani herdsmen have been attacking local communities in Benue state to kill farmers and occupy their ancestral homes, which is the case with Tombo and Mbalagh, where 13 persons were killed in 2016, only for them to record more deaths this year.

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.

PDP Holds Ad-hoc Delegate Election In Edo

Anambra PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has conducted its ward ad-hoc delegate election across the 18 local government areas of Edo State.

Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, led a delegation from the national body of the party to monitor the conduct of the election in some wards in Benin City, the capital of the State.

He stated that the process was part of the PDP’s readiness to take over power from the All Progressives Congress in the State.

The Edo State Governorship primary election of the PDP will be held on the 20th of June, 2016.

Ortom Inspects Rural Roads, Pledges To Complete Abandoned Projects

Gov. OrtomThe Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has pledged to complete all projects initiated by the past government to enable his people derive full benefits from the huge investments in infrastructure across the state.

Mr Ortom made the commitment while inspecting the 47 kilometer Daudu/Gbajimba rural road down to the rivers Katsina-Ala and Benue confluence at Gbajimba.

The 83 million Naira rural road which was awarded by the previous administration but abandoned after the contractor was mobilized to site, also include a standard bridge across the river Mu, where many lives had been lost.

Mr Ortom expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of work on some projects, but the contractor gave an assurance of increased work rate to deliver on schedule.

The Daudu/Gbajimba road project is one of the ten rural and urban roads being funded from the 10 billion Naira infrastructural loan recently accessed by the state government.

Insecurity Threatens States’ Economic Recovery – Ortom

BenueThe Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, says the high rate of insecurity in North Central Nigeria, poses a threat to economic recovery of states like Benue.

Mr Ortom made the observation while flagging off a two-day Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons disarmament retreat for North Central states in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State.

Benue State is one of the States severely affected by the reduction in allocation from the federal account, occasioned by the drop in the price of crude oil which is Nigeria’s major source of revenue.

The Governor advised the participating states to ensure the mop-up of small arms and light weapons to encourage investments in key sectors of Agriculture and solid minerals, as a way out of the reduced allocation from the national purse.

Earlier, the Coordinator of the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons Mr, Eineje Onobu, commended the Governor on the success of his Amnesty Programme and recommended the Benue State Amnesty Programme as a model for the sub-region.

APC Vows To Resist Rigging In Benue South Election Re-run

APCThe National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, and the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, have said that the APC will not allow the will of the people of Benue South to be subverted in the February re-run election.

The APC leaders disclosed this in Otukpo while receiving into its fold, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Benue State and two former ministers in the last administration, during the official flag-off of it candidate, Daniel Onjeh’s campaign.

Governor Ortom, who warned against any attempt to subvert the will of Benue South voters in the re-run election, added that the defection of Stephen Lawani and Sam Odeh would earn Daniel Onjeh victory against his opponent and former Senate President, David Mark.

The candidate of APC in the Benue South re-run elections, urged the people to vote for change and transformation of the Idoma land.

Governor Ortom Warns Appointees Against Misappropriation Of Funds

BenueThe Governor of Benue State has warned political appointees in the state against misappropriation of public funds.

Governor Samuel Ortom gave the warning while swearing-in Caretaker Committee Chairmen for the 22 out of the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state at the Government House in Makurdi.

According to him, this was to evade being hounded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies.

While pledging to conduct the LGA election in the second quarter of 2016, Governor Ortom advised the appointees to serve the people in their respective areas, rather than share public funds with interest groups who recommended them.

Speaking on behalf of the appointees, the Caretaker Chairman for Guma LGA, Sam Agah, pledged support for the Ortom-led administration and promised to work with available resources.

Suswam To Appear Before Abuja Court For Money Laundering

Gabriel Suswan former Benue GovernorThe former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam, is expected to be arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday over allegations bordering on money laundering to the tune of three billion Naira.

The anti-graft agency on Tuesday said it was set to arraign Mr Suswam before an Abuja Court on Wednesday, November 4.

A nine-count charge had been filed against the former Governor last month at a Federal High Court in Abuja

In a statement by the anti-graft spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC alleged that Mr Suswam and his former Finance Commissioner, Omodachi Okolobia, diverted proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State government and Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.

The agency said the offence levelled against the former Benue Governor was punishable under section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011 as amended in 2012.

 Tribunal Upholds Samuel Ortom As Benue State Governor

benueThe Benue State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the state capital, has upheld the election of Mr Samuel Ortom as Governor of Benue State, following the petition filed by Mr Terhemen Tarzor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr. Tarzor had approached the tribunal in April 2015, challenging the election of Mr. Ortom as Governor, over his eligibility and membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Elizabeth Kelatu, in her judgment, held that the petitioner failed to provide the register of the PDP in Nzoruv ward, in Guma LGA, where it claimed that Ortom had been a member of the party all along, to prove that he remained a PDP member.

While the petitioner, Mr Terhemen Tarzor, through his Counsel, Donald Ketyo, said that he would be contesting the tribunal’s judgment at the Court of Appeal, Governor Ortom’s lawyer maintained that the Governor’s legal team was prepared to defend the victory of Governor Ortom.

Sam Ode Declares For Benue Governorship

Sam OdeFormer Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs and a governorship aspirant in Benue State, Dr. Sam Ode, has promised to fix the basic education sector challenges if elected Governor of Benue State.

While declaring his ambition to be governor come may 2015, Dr Sam Ode listed education, agriculture, cottage industries, health care and local government reforms as key sectors he would use to transform the state.

The governorship aspiration of Dr Sam Ode on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is considered favourable and capable of fixing the infrastructural and social needs of the state among the 18 aspirants seeking to replace Governor Gabriel Suswam.

This was evident as the former minister arrived the IBB Square for his formal declaration amidst rousing ovation from his supporters.

Leaders from the three senatorial zones of Benue State, Salem Astehe, Ioryue Yajir and Sunday Onehi, also brought endorsement messages from their people.

Political watchers say Dr Sam Ode is considered a bridge between the two most dominant tribes in Benue State, the Tiv and Idoma, hence the dominant support he seems to be enjoying.

Prominent Personalities Pay Tribute To Late Politician

Politicians and leaders alike have been asked to emulate the ideals which the late first civilian governor of the old Plateau state, Solomon Lar, stood for during his lifetime.

Some prominent personalities who were at the late politician’s home in Jos to commiserate with the family, praised his people-oriented policy while he was governor of the state.

Born in Pongaa, Langtang local government area of the state in April 1933, Solomon Lar studied at the Sudan United Mission Primary School in Langtang, and then at the Gindiri Teachers College where he qualified to teach at the Primary School, Langtang.

He was elected as a Councilor of the Langtang Natives Authority in January 1959 and to the Federal Parliament on 12 December 1959 on the platform of United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC).

He was re-elected in 1964, and from then until 15 January 1966, when General Yakubu Gowon took power in a coup, Lar was Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

He was also a Junior Minister in the Federal Ministry of Establishments.

Lar was a co-founder of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) in the 2nd Republic. He was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in 1978, and later won the governorship election in Plateau state as the first Executive Governor on 1 October 1979.

A military tribunal set up by General Muhammed Buhari to try all former governors, sentenced Lar to 88 years in prison.

His case was reviewed and was released by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

He was also appointed Minister of Police Affairs by the government of General Sani Abacha, but later resigned when he realized Abacha was not serious about restoring democracy.

He became first National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998, a position he held until 2002, when he handed over to Chief Barnabas Gemade.

In February 2004, he resigned as Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), handing over to Chief Tony Anenih at a caucus meeting in Abuja.

Lar supported former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, after he fell out with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and later supported Atiku’s bid for the Presidency in 2007.

In April 2006, Lar also welcomed the decision of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida to compete for President in the 2007 elections.

Chief Lar died at the age of eighty in a Maryland hospital, where he has been receiving treatment, the remains of the late politicians will arrive from the United States for his final interment.

Suswam Blames Northern Politicians For Boko Haram

The Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, has blamed the present crop of politicians from the northern part of the country for capitalising on religious and ethnic differences to create hatred and crisis in the region.

Blaming the widespread poverty in the area on the politicians, the governor regretted that “instead of political leaders to use their positions to fight poverty and conquer infrastructural deficiencies in the country, they are using it to fight themselves and fan embers of disunity among the people.”

Governor Suswam maintained that, “If the northern leaders recognise that the energy used by the Boko Haram terrorists in killing innocent people and destroying public places could be invested in farming and other meaningful ventures, it will go a long way in reducing poverty and unemployment in the country.”

The governor made this known while delivering a paper on the theme: “Our Diversity, Our Strength” at a one-day town hall meeting organised by a coalition of civil society organisations in Kaduna on Thursday.

Mr. Suswam urged Nigerians to learn how to live peacefully, despite the religious and cultural differences of the country, adding that for the North and the country to remain as an indivisible entity, political leaders must recognise the religious and cultural diversities and the peculiar conditions under which the country exists.

According to him, the diversity in religion, language and ethnicity of the country should be seen as a source of strength and unity rather than being used as a tool for disintegration by some desperate politicians.

Also speaking at the event, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore, who chaired the event said that Nigeria had the potential to be a great nation but lamented that those in authority had deviated from the original dreams of the founding fathers which centred on unity and peace.

He said that majority of the Boko Haram members that terrorising the country today were foreigners trained in neighbouring African countries and brought in to destabilise the country.

Against the backdrop of the security challenges in the country, the organisers of the meeting said the essence was to identify issues germane to the development of the nation. And to identify such issues, it was important that the issue of diversity and strength which remained a major challenge for peaceful co-existence must be discussed.

It was the belief of the governor and others at the event that waving aside ethnic and religious sentiments by politicians would strengthen a just and egalitarian society where every Nigerian would have equal opportunities irrespective of the person’s background.