Benue Insecurity: Ortom Reads Riot Act To Traditional, Political Leaders Shielding Criminals

Governor Samuel Ortom


Political and traditional leaders in Benue State have been warned to wash their hands off the operation of criminal and militia groups.

They have also been warned to stay clear from security operations aimed at flushing out those already identified as perpetrators of the violence, lest they face the wrath of the law.

These warnings form the highlights of decisions taken at the stakeholders security meeting held at the Benue State government house on Monday, following the killing of a militia gang leader popularly known as Orjunde by troops of Operation Whirl Stroke at the weekend.

READ ALSO: Presidency Assures Of Action Against Bandits In Katsina

Addressing journalists after the meeting, Governor Samuel Ortom warned that, no matter how highly placed in society a person is, anyone caught aiding or interfering in security operations going forward, will be treated as accomplice to the criminals.

In a related development, Governor Ortom also inaugurated the Benue state community policing advisory council headed by the commissioner of police with a charge to end hostilities in the state.

He noted that the latest steps taken have been long overdue and will aid the current strategy for checking violent crimes within Benue State.

Sowore, Dasuki: Ortom Lauds Nigerians

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has commended Nigerians whose dogged clamour led to the release of human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, as well as former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

The Governor equally commended President Muhammadu Buhari for directing the release of Sowore and Col Dasuki in accordance with the rule of law.

He states that Nigeria which prides itself as the giant of Africa and beacon of democracy must, at all times, be seen as a champion of the rule of law and respecter of human rights.

The Governor stresses that countries that practice true democracy across the world obey court orders and respect the fundamental rights of their citizens.

Wants a review of free entry for Africans policy

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has urged the Federal Government to review its decision to give all African travelers visas on arrival in the country with effect from January next year – meaning that Africans wishing to travel to Nigeria can freely do so whenever they desire.

The Benue State Governor says as popular as the policy may sound, it portends danger ahead as Nigeria will soon turn to a safe haven for persons with a questionable character such as terrorists and other criminals who would come into the country without hindrance.

He appeals to President Buhari to reconsider the decision in the overall interest of the nation.

Attack On Jonathan’s Home Is A National Shame – Ortom

Jonathan Addresses U.S. Congress Sub-Committee On Religious Intolerance
Former President Goodluck Jonathan (File)


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says the attack on the country residence of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Otuoke, Bayelsa State by gunmen yesterday is a national shame.

The Governor condemned the attack and wonders why armed men would want to harm a peace-loving man and former President of the country.

He posed that if Dr. Jonathan could be attacked in such a manner, what becomes of vulnerable Nigerians?

The Governor described the attack as unfortunate and urges security operatives to bring the culprits to justice.

He also called on security agencies to intensify surveillance in all parts of the country to guarantee the safety of lives and property.

Governor Ortom joined other Nigerians in praising God for sparing the life of former President Jonathan when the attackers invaded his residence.

Ortom Orders LG Chairmen To Fully Immunize Children In Benue

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom


The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the twenty-three local government chairmen to immediately flag off the full and comprehensive immunization plus coverage for children across the state.

Governor Ortom gave this directive on Friday while flagging of the immunization plus day in Okpowu local government, following the release of a N100 million naira counterpart funding to the basic healthcare provision programme.

Children under the age of one, along with their parents defied the heavy rain fall on Friday to show up for the last immunization plus day for 2019.

The team led by the primary health care development agency and the senator representing Benue south, Senator Abba Moro, commends government efforts at ensuring basic health coverage in the state.

After immunising the children in a symbolic ceremony, the governor mandate all council chairman to ensure comprehensive coverage to avoid outbreak of child killer disease.

The governor visits Aukpe, a Catholic pilgrim’s site to inspect ongoing school and water projects which contract were awarded by his administration with a pledge to rehabilitate all dilapidated structures.

Mister Ortom also visits the family house of Late Miss Ochanya Ogbanje at Ogene Amejo who died in 2018 due to rape complications, with a promise to rehabilitate the public school and immortalize her by renaming the school after Ochanya.

Two Killed In Benue Election Violence


Two persons have been confirmed killed by gunmen in election-related violence in Gbajimba, Guma local council, following an attempt to burn electoral materials last night.

The gunmen had attempted an attack on the election materials at the council but the residents stood their grounds against the attempt.

However, two persons were killed by the gunmen in the process.

READ ALSO: Vote Buying: EFCC Confirms Interception Of ‘Huge Cash’ Allegedly Belonging To Emmanuel Jimeh

The killing comes on the heels of another attack by gunmen in the Gwer East Local Government Area of the state where a primary school was set ablaze, leading to the utter destruction of electoral materials that were kept within the school facilities.

The suspected thugs reportedly stormed the school premises shooting in the air to scare residents away before setting the school ablaze.

Mr. Nentawe Yilwatda, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Benue State, confirmed the incident to our correspondent.

Nentawe said besides the Mbalom case, a number of hitches have been reported within the state.

He noted that he would address the media as soon as details of from security agencies get to his office.

Vote Buying: EFCC Confirms Interception Of ‘Huge Cash’ Allegedly Belonging To Emmanuel Jimeh



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has intercepted bags full of cash believed to be meant for vote-buying at North Bank Area, Makurdi, Benue State.

According to a social media post by the EFCC, the anti-graft agency said it caught a man with large bags containing lots of money.

The EFCC added that information gathered by the agency confirmed that the money “allegedly belongs” to Mr. Emmanuel Jimeh, the governorship candidate of the APC in Benue.

It further stated that while trying to arrest the suspected vote-buying agent, officers of the Commission were attacked and their vehicles vandalized.

The EFCC twitted, “At the North Bank Area, Makurdi, a man was caught with large bags containing lots of money. While trying to arrest him, officers of the Commission were attacked and vehicles vandalised. Information gathered confirms that the money “allegedly belongs” to Emmanuel Jimeh, the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Benue state”.


Ortom, Akume Disagree Over Attack On PDP Billboards In Benue

Samuel Ortom and George Akume


The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and Senator George Akume have disagreed over the attack on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) billboard in Benue State.

Governor Ortom had accused Senator Akume of propelling the youths to embark on the destruction of PDP campaign materials after he lost his senatorial seat.

But the Senator has responded to the allegations saying he did not authorise the tearing down of posters and billboards belonging to any politician in the state.

He said was out to celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari’s grand victory in a motorcade, during which an overwhelming number of his fans queued behind him in the celebration galore.

READ ALSOAlleged APC Supporters Damage PDP Campaign Materials In Benue

He strongly condemns the alleged destruction of posters and billboards by zealous unidentified persons describing such actions as primitive, barbaric and unnecessary in modern-day democracy.

Senator Akume called for peace and orderliness amongst party supporters urging his fans in particular not to be deterred by the injustice meted out to the party in the just concluded election.

He assured that the liberation of Benue is an all-important project and all hands must be on deck to achieving it.

Ortom Orders Removal Of Illegal Tax Collection Points In Benue

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the State Board of Internal Revenue Service to remove all illegal tax collection points.

Governor Ortom noted that the development will help to reduce multiple taxations on business and traders in the state.

His directive follows an appeal made by the Igbo community in the state when they visited the governor to raise pertinent issues affecting ease of doing business from the Zaki Biam yam market, with 18 tax collection points from the market to Enugu state boundary.

READ ALSO: Ortom Donates N30m To Benue Market Fire Victims

The group also raised issues relating to internal security, access to credit finance and social benefits, including declaring support for governor Ortom’s re-election for openly defending their interests.

Recently, there has been a growing concern among traders who are predominantly of the Igbo ethnic group, about the increasing multiple tax system where 18 tax collection points exist between the market and Enugu state.

Ortom Condemns FG’s Move On CJN, Decries Attack On Judiciary

2019 Elections: Ortom Picks PDP Nomination Form
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom (file)


The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has condemned the Federal Government’s move to try the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, as an attack on the judiciary.

Governor Ortom disclosed this in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Sunday.

He said, “It is now clear that after unsuccessful attempts to intimidate the National Assembly, the same undemocratic forces have turned their attacks on the Judiciary.

He criticised the leaked charges to the press over the weekend as suspicious which lacked regards for due process.

“We urge all Nigerians to resist this unwarranted assault on the country’s Judiciary and save our democracy.
“This is a clarion call on men and women of goodwill to condemn the move aimed at suppressing the judicial arm of government.

“Due process and the rule of law must be seen to be in operation in the country”.

Ortom noted that if Justice Walter Onnoghen was guilty of the charges filed against him, it is the duty of the courts to determine not the Federal Government or its agents.

He said, “The Federal Government has apparently chosen to ignore the provisions of extant laws and judicial process which hold that either the National Judicial Council or the National Assembly must play a role in the removal of the CJN.

“The President is expected to act on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

“The decision of the All Progressives Congress, APC administration to flout this well-established procedure further reveals their agenda to weaken Nigeria’s democratic institutions ahead of this year’s general election”.

The Benue State governor called on President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the principle of separation of powers and pave way for the rule of law, so as not to throw the country into constitutional crisis.

Suspected Herdsmen Burn Ortom’s Rice Farm In Benue


Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State may have lost over N100 million in rice produce following the invasion of his farm by suspected herdsmen.

The rice farms in Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area of the state were burnt when suspected herders came to the farm with a herd of cattle during the day and set the farm on fire at three different points, according to the Farm Manager, Mr Kena Iordzua.

He stated that security agents were mobilised to go after the herdsmen, who shot sporadically in the air as they retreated towards the Nasarawa border.

The burnt portion of the rice farm is said to be 250 hectares.

Reacting to the development, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr. Abrahams Kwaghngu, described the act as barbaric and a threat to food security.

He, however, maintained that the law prohibiting open grazing of cattle was still in force and should be obeyed.

Fire Destroys Goods Worth Millions In Benue Market

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, visiting the scene of the incident in Wadata Market, Makurdi LGA on January 2, 2019.


Goods worth millions of Naira have been destroyed in a fire accident that occurred in a market in Benue State.

The incident occurred in Wadata market located in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state, around 1:00 am on Wednesday.

When Channels Television visited the scene, officers from the Nigerian Air force had successfully contained the fire.

Read Also: Corpses Burnt Beyond Recognition As Fire Guts Mortuary In Anambra

However, property and goods had been destroyed and traders were seen lamenting over their loss.

The State Governor, Samuel Ortom, later on, visited the scene of the incident to assess the situation.

Thereafter, he donated the sum of N30 million to victims, while calling for a detailed investigation to determine the cause of the fire, as well as the level of damage done.

Ortom, David Mark Condole With PDP, Families Of Accident Victims


The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and former Senate President, David Mark have condoled with the families of the victims who died in a road accident in Benue State.

Eight supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) were confirmed dead in an auto crash on Friday at Ugbokpo, Apa Local Government Area of the state.

The victims were travelling to Agatu for the flag-off of the PDP Zone C Senatorial campaigns when the incident occurred involving three vehicles.

Some of the victims who were certified dead at St. Charles Catholic Hospital Adoka have been deposited at the morgue of General Hospital in Otukpo, while the survivors were still been treated in Adoka at the time of this report.

Governor Samuel Ortom, who visited the hospital in Adoka in company of former Senate President, Senator David Mark and the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu, announced indefinite postponement of the PDP senatorial campaigns flag-off in Zone C.

The Governor described the incident as painful and unfortunate, saying it is a huge loss to the entire PDP family in the state.

He also directed the immediate evacuation of the survivors to Benue State University Teaching Hospital Makurdi for further treatment, stressing that cases that required further referrals outside the state would be handled accordingly.

Governor Ortom while describing the development as unfortunate, condoled the bereaved families and PDP on the loss of their loved ones.

Former Senate President, Senator David Mark who also consoled the affected families, lamented that most of the victims were very promising youths within his senatorial district and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest.

On his part, the member representing Obi/Oju Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon Samson Okwu, described the incident as painful, saying he met with some of the victims yesterday but never knew they were meeting for the last time.