Kukah’s Christmas Message: Ortom Asks FG Not To Muzzle Nigerians

Photo combination of Bishop Matthew Kukah and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom asked the Federal Government not to muzzle patriotic Nigerians who raise genuine concerns over the worsening security situation in the country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom described as unfair and repressive the Federal Government’s reaction to the message of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah.

Reacting to the government’s accusation that the cleric was stirring hatred against President Muhammadu Buhari and calling for a coup, Ortom asked the Federal Government to “address the worrisome security situation and other problems confronting the country.”

For the Benue governor, “Bishop Kukah is a selfless Nigerian who only seeks to unite the nation and speaks his mind frankly on national issues calling on the government to serve the people.”

“The renowned Bishop is not the first to call on the leadership of the country to strengthen security agencies and be proactive in combating the wave of violence and killings in parts of the country.

“Many other Nigerians have been making the same call on a daily basis. He was not the first to suggest that the President should be the father of all and not of only a section of the country or a particular ethnic group.”

READ ALSO: Armed Men Abduct Farm Owner In Ibadan

The governor advised that instead of politicizing the views of Bishop Kukah and castigating him, the Federal Government should take a second look at the things he raised in the Christmas Day message to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Governor Ortom noted that Nigeria is practicing democracy which guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens and not a military regime that suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.

“The Bishop’s statement is a true reflection of the current situation in Nigeria and urges President Muhammadu Buhari not to listen to sycophants who may tell him that everything is well with the country. All is not well,” he added.

Ortom’s response comes five days after Bishop Kukah said President Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

Recession: Ortom Reads Riot Act To LG Chairmen Over Financial Impropriety

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has charged the 23 elected local government chairmen on transparent utilization of funds in order to improve on their Internally Generated Revenue to cope with the challenges brought by the economic recession.

Governor Ortom gave the charge on at a two-day management training on technical and administrative competence in the state.

He urged them to live above board, noting that a single act of financial indiscretion could lead to difficult times for the people whose safety and welfare is top priority.

Read Also: Again, Nigeria’s Economy Slips Into Recession

The governor also advised the administrators of the third tier of government to look inward in the face of the recession as looking up to the state and federal government, which have their own challenges, would amount to a waste of time, if they do not add value themselves.

Despite Invitation By APC Leaders, Ortom Will Stay In PDP – Aide

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has no plans to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and return to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Terver Akase, made the position of his principal known in a statement on Thursday.

Akase issued the statement in reaction to claims that the governor planned to return to the APC which he left in 2018.

“We have read some mischievous statements by members of the opposition in Benue State insinuating that Governor Samuel Ortom plans to rejoin the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Those involved in the impish allegation are clearly doing so to soothe their stuck-up apprehensions. Why will Governor Ortom return to APC? To do what?” the governor’s aide questioned.

He added, “It is true that the governor was contacted by some notable persons to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but he declined the invitation.”

Akase noted that following his exit from the APC, Governor Ortom became the leader of PDP in the north-central region of the country.

According to him, he is enjoying a robust relationship with other leaders of the party in Benue and the entire region.

Governor Ortom’s aide stressed that it was ridiculous for anyone to insinuate that the governor has the intention to leave the PDP.

“We advise young men who have been peddling the hang-about rumour to take advantage of the numerous entrepreneurial opportunities the Ortom administration has created through its collaboration with the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, and other financial institutions to engage in rewarding ventures and shun falsehood,” he said.

 

This comes against the backdrop of the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC.

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, stated that his Ebonyi State counterpart was one of the governors he said the APC was expecting to welcome into its fold.

He insisted that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and eight other PDP governors would also move to the APC.

Eid-El-Maulud: Ortom, Abiodun, Ayade Preach Peace And Unity

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; Ogun State governor Dapo Abiodun and Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade has felicitated with Muslims as they celebrate Eid-El-Maulud to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

Governor Ortom in his message urged the Muslim faithful to use the occasion to pray for peace and unity of Nigeria.

He said what Nigeria needs at this time is justice, fairness, equity, and an end to impunity, beginning from leaders to those led.

Governor Abiodun in his goodwill message urged all citizens to rededicate themselves to the teachings and exemplary life of the Holy Prophet.

The governor reminded the public that the Holy Prophet stood for peace and unity during his lifetime, hence, he urged Nigerian youths to remain law-abiding and resist the temptation to be used as tools of wanton destruction.

Governor Ayade, however, said there is a need for every Nigerian citizen to pray and forgive one another, irrespective of religious, ethnic, or political belief at this trying time in the country.

He urged Muslim Ummah to use the period of the celebration for sober reflection and pray for peace, stability, and togetherness in the country, saying that a prosperous Nigeria hinges on peaceful co-existence irrespective of the grievances.

Sustain Faith In Nigeria’s Unity, Governor Ortorm Charges Nigerians

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged Nigerians to sustain faith in the unity and capacity of the country to overcome it challenges.

The Governor, who gave this charge in his Independence Day address on Thursday said what the nation needs at this time are men and women of honour and integrity who can stand for the rule of law and promote the values, the dream of the nation’s founding fathers.

He urged Nigerians to uphold the virtues of sincerity, justice, and fairness but reject the impunity to enable the country to realize its full potential as a prosperous nation and the true giant of Africa.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Future Depends On Our Commitment To A Common Destiny – Atiku

The Governor reaffirms the commitment of the Benue State Government to addressing the development challenges of the state by developing the agriculture value chain to engage young people in productive ventures.

He appreciated Benue people for the support given to his administration in the last five years and pledged to return the goodwill.

Governor Ortom said further that his administration will sustain the tempo of providing development projects in all parts of the state.

He pointed out the domestication of the Pensions Law last year and the recent signing of the Health Insurance Scheme which gave rise to the establishment of the State Health Insurance Agency as some of the policies put in place by his administration to positively impact on the lives of the people.

Ortom Condemns Boko Haram Attack On Zulum’s Convoy

A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has condemned the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, in which about 15 persons were feared dead and others injured.

The governor, according to a statement issued on Saturday by his spokesman, Terver Akase, sympathised with his Borno State counterpart.

Ortom described the attack as unfortunate and shocking, adding that security operatives will work hard to restore peace.

SEE FULL STATEMENT

GOV ORTOM CONDEMNS ATTACK ON BORNO GOV

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom condemns the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, in which about 15 persons were feared dead and others injured.

READ ALSO: At Least Five Security Officials Killed As Boko Haram Attacks Borno Govt’s Convoy

Governor Ortom sympathizes with his Borno State counterpart and describes the attack as shocking and unfortunate.

He expresses optimism that Governor Zulum will not be deterred by the reprehensible ambush as he continues to work with security agencies to restore peace to all parts of his state.

Governor Ortom condoles with families of those who lost their lives in the attack and prays God to grant their souls eternal rest.

Terver Akase

Chief Press Secretary

September 26, 2020.

Governor Ortom Mourns Adviser, PA

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has expressed deep sadness over the deaths of his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Jerome Torshimbe, and his Personal Assistant on Special Duties, Mr. Famous Adejo.

Governor Ortom who spoke with journalists today at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi, stated that he knew the late Torshimbe three decades ago, they were council chairmen from 1990 to 1993 and had worked closely since then.

The Governor described the deceased Special Adviser as an experienced and competent administrator who had added immense value to the government.

He noted that the late Torshimbe was very supportive to many including widows and orphans alike, stressing that he was a generous politician who loved to share with the needy.

READ ALSO: Ortom Loses Two Aides Within One Week

On his late personal assistant, Famous Adejo the Governor said the young man was a hardworking individual who defied all odds to acquire higher education up masters level and was studying for his doctorate degree when death snatched him away.

He announced his decision to train Adejo’s only son who just completed secondary education up to the University level.

The Governor described the two deaths as very painful and prayed God to grant the bereaved families the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses and the deceased aides eternal rest.

Governor Ortom who paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Jerome Torshimbe had earlier received the Chairman and members of the Benue State Local Government Service Commission who came to console him on the unfortunate loss.

Declare Herdsmen As Terrorists, Ortom Tells Buhari

Re-Election: Ortom Picks Mark, Suswam As Campaign Council Members
A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare herdsmen killing innocent people in communities in the state as terrorists.

Ortom made this call on Saturday, according to a statement issued by his spokesman, Terver Akase.

While condemning the invasion and killings in several parts of the state, Governor Ortom described the situation as unacceptable.

He said the state has a law that prohibits open grazing of livestock, adding that “only a terrorist group would deliberately choose to violate the legislation as Fulani herdsmen have done since the law was emanated in 2017.”

According to the Benue leader, declaring the armed herders operating in the “state as terrorists will end the wave of impunity and guarantee the rule of law.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Obasanjo Shuts Out Associates At Wife’s Mother Funeral

Governor Ortom, therefore, called on people of the state, particularly those living in the affected areas to report any suspicious persons to security agencies.

He, however, commended officers and men of Operation Whirl Stroke for their prompt responses to distress calls, particularly that of yesterday when the people of Tse-Chembe came under herdsmen’s attacks.

Ortom also reassured the people that his administration will not surrender the state to criminal elements, be they herdsmen or any other group, saying that no amount of threats and attacks will stop the enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the State.

COVID-19: Ortom Mourns Benue Varsity Deputy Vice-Chancellor

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has mourned the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of the state university, Professor Godwin Achinge.

In a statement issued on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor described Achinge’s death as devastating.

According to him, the state has lost one of its best hands in the medical profession whose expertise and selfless services also benefited many other Nigerians.

Governor Ortom said the don’s demise “is not only shocking and painful but has also left a vacuum quite difficult to fill.”

READ ALSO: Benue Varsity Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dies From COVID-19

While noting that Achinge was a multi-talented man who performed his duties as a team player, Ortom recalled that “as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice Chairman State Action Committee on COVID-19, Professor Achinge was always the first to attend meetings and often made valuable contributions especially in helping the State Government to fight the menace of Coronavirus.”

The governor regretted the late academician will be deeply missed by his administration and people of the state at large.

He therefore that God may grant the deceased eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Professor Achinge who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus died on Sunday at an undisclosed hospital in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Ortom Reveals Identity Of Second COVID-19 Patient In Benue

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, giving an update on the COVID-19 outbreak at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital.

 

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has revealed the identity of the second case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The governor who addressed reporters on Tuesday at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, identified the patient as one Edward Manger.

According to him, the patient is an official of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) deployed in Kano State but fled to Benue in April.

Governor Ortom, therefore, called on anyone who might have had contact with him since he returned to Benue, including his family members and other associates to immediately isolate themselves in the interest of public safety.

He explained that the idea of revealing the identities of COVID-19 cases was for the interest of public health.

The governor added that the idea was also to help the people understand the need to be cautious by obeying all safety measures such as social distancing, regular washing of hands, use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, and avoiding large gatherings.

He, however, advised indigenes of the state resident in other parts of the country to remain where they are.

Ayade, Ortom, Uzodinma, Ganduje Mourn Abba Kyari

Ben Ayade                        Samuel Ortom                      Hope Uzodinma                  Abdullahi Ganduje

 

 

Four more governors have mourned the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who died from complications caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

In separate statements on Saturday, the governors of Cross River, Benue, Imo, and Kano States condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his aide.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River said he was utterly depressed by the sad news of Kyari’s death, saying his departure was a great loss to the nation.

“We have lost a great statesman, a consummate professional, and an exceptionally brilliant mind. Our nation has lost one of its best,” the governor said in a statement.

[READ ALSO] He Never Sought ‘Cheap Gratification Of The Crowd’: Buhari Reacts To Abba Kyari’s Death

According to him, Kyari was a patriotic statesman who was diligent and meticulous, uncommonly accommodating, and a great listener who was ever receptive to anyone who came across him.

“My heart and prayers are with the family at this very difficult moment. I pray for the repose of Mallam Kyari’s soul,” Governor Ayade added.

On his part, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, sent condolences to the President on behalf of the government and people of the state.

He said the demise of a loved one such as a trusted aide can be devastating, noting that death was an inevitable end for which mankind must prepare at all times.

Abba Kyari Testifies At President Election Tribunal
Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, attends the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House in Abuja on July 25, 2018. The Presidency said Kyari died on April 17, 2020.

 

 

Governor Ortom also extended his sympathies to the Kyari family and prayed that God would grant the late Chief of Staff eternal rest.

For the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, Kyari was a pan-Nigerian who devoted his energy and time to the service of his country.

He condoled with President Buhari, Nigerians as well as the government and people of Borno State on the unfortunate loss.

Governor Uzodinma prayed God for the peaceful repose of the soul of the late Chief of Staff and grant the President, the family of Kyari, and his numerous friends and associates the fortitude to bear the loss.

Joining his colleagues, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State prayed for Allah’s forgiveness and blessing for Kyari whom he described as highly reserved and loyal Chief of Staff to the President.

“On behalf of the government and good people of Kano State, I am commiserating with the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government, his families, and the entire Nigerians over the death of Malam Abba Kyari,” he said.

The governor added, “May Allah see him through in the hereafter. May he meet his Lord, with all cleanliness and may Allah give him everlasting peace.”

Ortom Sets Up Committee On Coronavirus In Benue  

Governor Samuel Ortom

 

Governor Samuel Ortom has inaugurated an Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus in Benue State

The 17-man committee is headed by the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Sunday Ongbabor with Dr Samuel Ngise as Secretary.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Loses Another Literary Icon, Professor Harry Garuba

In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase, the committee has the Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Ngunan Addingi; Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Dondo Ahire and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Timothy Ijir as members.

Other members of the taskforce include Mr. Apir Ityu, Dr. Terna Kur, Mr. Agwaza Iorkpiligh, Mr. Matthew Uyina, Mr. Moses Leva,  Dr. Edward Amali, Mr. Claude Bitaronga.

Also not left out are Dr. Peteru Inunduh, Professor Terrumun Swende, Dr. Alli Cornelius, Dr. Patrick Echekwube and Mr. Micheal Adejo.

The governor charged members of the panel to proactively monitor, supervise and coordinate the state government’s response to the dreaded disease.