Governor Samuel Ortom took a second oath of office on May 29, 2019, with a clear vision and determination to serve his people better than he did in the first four years.
The governor, Samuel Ortom Of Bunue State, thanked the people of the state for overwhelmingly re-electing him for a second term with a firm promise to sustain the quality of leadership he was proving them.
The result of the 2019 Benue guber polls was a clear manifestation of the fact that during his first term of office, the Governor performed satisfactorily in the people’s estimation and they deemed it necessary to reward him with a second mandate. This sterling performance, Governor Ortom has continued to exhibit in the second term.
It must be said that the emergence of Governor Samuel Ortom in 2015 was divine considering his last minute movement from the PDP into the APC where he was able to pick the ticket of the party effortlessly and went on to win the general election to the surprise of many of his detractors.
Even in the 2019 election, despite the stiff opposition from some power brokers within and outside the State, he won the election convincingly and in grand style in a different and better party PDP thus proving again that God was involved.
Today, many people in the State, who thought his vision was unachievable are beginning to hide their faces in shame as the Governor has proved them wrong and performed beyond expectation.
It is worthy of note that the Ortom administration, being committed to accountability and transparency, has opened itself for public assessment and scrutiny by individuals and institutions and almost everyone has scored the administration well.
A critical reflection on the state of affairs in Benue shows that when the Governor assumed office in May 2015, he left no one in doubt about his mission to transform Benue as encapsulated in his policy document “Our collective Vision for a New Benue”.
His vision and determination to transform the State accounts for the many projects the administration has been able to execute in the 23 local government areas of Benue.
In the area of security, Governor Ortom introduced amnesty programme in the state to address security challenges and has provided vehicles to security agencies. His administration, apart from the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017, has also enacted a law prohibiting Kidnapping, Cultism and other related crimes. He has effectively supported security agencies and held peace meetings with his Taraba and Nasarawa states counterparts.
Those efforts are today yielding results.
The Governor has approved the recruitment of 2,300 personnel of Community Policing and 460 Community Volunteer Guards, also known as Vigilante, to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.
In the education sector, Benue State Government under Governor Ortom raised N7.6 billion in partnership with Universal Basic Education, UBEC, for the execution of 740 primary school projects in the twenty-three local government areas of the state. Over 1,000 of the school projects have been completed.
Other projects completed in the education sector include, Renovation of Government College Makurdi, Renovation of Government Girls College, Makurdi, Renovation of Government Girls Model Sec. School. Aliade, Renovation of Special school for exceptional children, Aliade.
Also, the administration has procured more seats and tables for primary schools across the state, merged Special Science Senior Secondary School Makurdi with BSU Technical College into Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) Makurdi, Conversion of Alfred Akawe Torkula College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi, and Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev into Polytechnics and the employment of more lecturing staff employed at Benue State University, Makurdi.
Benue State Executive Council, EXCO, last year approved the design and development of an e-learning and virtual education software and hardware for Benue State E-Learning Centre.
The programme, which is in partnership with Standtall Africa Initiative, includes donation of books and other instructional materials as well as training of teachers.
In the health sector, the measures Governor Ortom took on assumption of office included the attention given to the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery Makurdi, as well as College of Technology Agasha which were reconstructed and regained the accreditation they lost several years ago.
The institutions are now carrying out full academic programmes. The School of Nursing has been affiliated to the Benue State University College of Health Sciences for award of degrees in Nursing.
Still in the health sector, the Ortom administration swung into action and met all the accreditation requirements paving way for the graduation of six sets of over two hundred medical doctors so far at the Benue State University College of Health Sciences.
In collaboration with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, a two hundred bed Mother and Child Centre will soon be completed in Makurdi.
Governor Ortom last year signed the law for Benue State Health Insurance Scheme which is to cover both formal and non-formal sectors.
In the primary health sector, the Ortom administration provided counterpart funds with Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and forty-two fully equipped health centres have been established in different communities of the state.
The State Government has also established the Primary Health Care Board which is making significant impact on the people of the state.
The State Government has also supplied ambulances and other equipment to Agatu, Gboko, Ohimini, Oju, Ushongo and Tarka LGAs.
In infrastructure, the Ortom administration mobilized contractors to site on eleven roads, most of which have been completed, and there is ongoing work on several other roads in parts of the state.
Some major roads including Imande-Akpu-Gbajimba in Guma, Zaki-Biam-Gbeji in Ukum, Taraku-Naka in Gwer and Gwer West, Amadu Bello Way, Captain Dawnes road and Tor Tiv roundabout in Gboko, Commercial Way, Amstrong Avenue, Och’Idoma road in Otukpo and Customary Court road now named Gabriel Torwua Suswam road.
Other ongoing roads construction such as Mobile Police Barracks-Adeke-Welfare Quarters, Yaikyo-Apir junction will soon be completed. Most of these projects were commissioned last year to the admiration of Benue people.
The Ortom administration also provided traffic lights to control accidents and ensure orderly vehicular movement in the state capital.
The Benue State Government has also executed over fifty rural access roads and over sixty electricity projects while many others are ongoing.
Similarly, the Ortom administration has constructed gigantic Skills Acquisition centers in Gbajimba, Guma local government area, Apa- Agila in Ado and Makurdi.
At Governor Ortom’s initiative, the state sponsored the training of youths in the acquisition of several skills by the Industrial Training Fund and acquired starter kits for five hundred of them.
In Partnership with International Development agencies, the State Government in providing potable water to the people has provided over 1,000 motorized and hand-pump water schemes in various Benue communities, much also that the reticulation of water from the Greater Makurdi Water Works has commenced and some parts of the city such as High Level, Judges Quarters and Wadata are already enjoying water supply.
In agriculture, the present administration has resuscitated the Fertilizer Blending Plant and fertilizer produced from the plant will be supplied to farmers in large quantities during the last cropping season. This is in addition to about 40% subsidy on fertilizer in the last five years and the acquisition of 50 tractors which were distributed to farmers in May last year (2020).
In the same zeal, the Benue State Government has established Garri Processing plants in Agatu and Ohimini Local Government Areas and has constructed Sesame Seed Cleaning and Packaging plant in Oju and Daudu.
The Ortom administration has similarly provided a Soyabean Cleaning and Packaging Plant in Wannune as well as Orange Packaging factories in Ushongo and Yandev.
Relatedly, Governor Ortom has also approved that massive land clearing and preparation should commence in nine major sites covering about 1,700 hectares of land. This policy is designed to boost agriculture in parts of the state.
I need not mention the Thursdays and Fridays given to Benue civil servants as off days to enable them work on their farms. The policy has had immense positive effect on agriculture in the last three years in Benue State.
It is worthy of note that Governor Ortom recorded these achievements in the face of limited resources and has kept his promise of ensuring monthly payment of workers’ salaries from January 2018 to date while sourcing funds to clear the arrears.
In Information and Communication, Governor Ortom has established Benue State Television which is now a digital television and is set to compete favorably with others in the country and elsewhere.
The television station which will provide employment opportunities to Benue youths is already positively projecting the image of the state and telling the Benue story.
Under environmental sanitation, the Governor revived refuse clearing vehicles at Benue State Environmental Sanitation Authority, BENSESA and the agency is now living up to expectations. He revived 14 waste clearing vehicles to enable the BENSESA serve the state better.
Under the commerce and industry, the government gone into partnership with Bank of Industry and CBN to give loans at only 5% to Benue farmers and other industrialists.
Governor Ortom has repositioned the traditional institution by amending the Chieftaincy Law/appointment of Traditional Rulers across Benue State including the Tor Tiv and have conducted free and fair local government elections in 2017 and 2020.
in tackling salary/pension challenges, Ortom’s administration has only been regular in payment of salaries from January 2018 till date with some of arrears also paid but has also domesticated the pension law with its full implementation.
In his transparency and accountability drive, Governor Ortom last year Signed into law Fiscal Responsibility, Public Procurement and Debt Management Office, and a law to amend the Internal Revenue Administration Law of 2015.
In his effort towards tackling COVID-19 global pandemic in the state, the Governor constituted the State Action Committee on COVID-19 headed by his Deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu which he vested with the responsibility of keeping the state as free as possible of the virus.
The Committee has so far utilised the funding made available to it and done a commendable job working round the state to curb the spread of the pandemic, the result being that Benue today ranks among some of the states with the lowest case rates in the country.
Governor Ortom’s landslide victory at the 2019 General Election and the large turnout of Benue people from all walks of life to witness his inauguration for a second term on May 29, 2019 attested to his popularity.
The Governor’s promise to provide greater service to Benue State to reciprocate the support given to him by the people is reassuring.
Governor Ortom also declared that he will remain the Governor of all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and political affiliation.
These are some of the pillars upon which a new Benue is being built under Governor Samuel Ortom’s pragmatic leadership.
When Benue people came under heavy attacks from armed herdsmen militia at the beginning of 2018, Governor Samuel Ortom demonstrated rare qualities of a leader who truly loves and cares for his people.
He made repeated calls on the Federal Government to act more decisively to end the killings and gave security agencies all the needed support to stop the bloodshed and restore peace.
Through the efforts of Governor Samuel Ortom, insistence the Exercise Ayem Akpatuma was upgraded to Operation Whirl Stroke which yielded positive results in chasing most of the murderous invaders away.
The Governor Samuel Ortom administration has also effectively managed the humanitarian crisis arising from the attacks by caring for over 200,000 displaced persons living in internally displaced persons camps and 500,000 others staying with their relations.
Source: By Benjamin Ngutsav, Makurdi.
Ize-Iyamu restates commitment to Appeal suit, debunks report linking him to NDDC
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the last Edo guber election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has restated his focus on the appeal filed in court to defend the legitimacy of his candidacy in the election, while also dismissing reports linking him to the NDDC Chairmanship.
In a brief statement released by his media team on Friday, Pastor Ize-Iyamu maintained that the Edo State Chapter of the APC is united and in sync with the national leadership of the party in its efforts to grow membership and strengthen the party’s bond with Nigerians across the country.
He says his exclusive focus remains on obtaining justice and establishing the truth in court, laying to rest insinuations made in certain source-less reports making unfounded speculations that a supposed contest for the NDDC chairmanship may be causing a rift in the party.
Other well-sourced reports have corroborated Ize-Iyamu’s assertion as members and leaders of the APC in Edo State have expressed satisfaction and overwhelming confidence in the party’s direction under the leadership of Col. David Imuse [Rtd].
Engineer Sule commissions remodeled Nasarawa Governor’s lodge in Asokoro
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has commissioned the remodeled Nasarawa Governor’s Lodge, in Asokoro, Abuja.
Commissioning the massive edifice during a brief ceremony, Engineer Sule, emphasized that the structure is not just for the use of the Governor of the state, but the entire people of Nasarawa State, urging stakeholders to utilize the facility to showcase the state.
“This place is actually not a Governor’s Lodge but for the people of Nasarawa State. Any time you have the opportunity to invite investors, partners coming to see Nasarawa State, please feel to come here and have your first meeting with them.
“This will show them that we are serious in the state,” the Governor said.
Engineer Sule commended the immediate past administration of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, for upgrading both the Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, as well as converting the Nasarawa State Liaison Office in to a hotel.
According to the Governor, on his assumption of office, his administration leased out the hotel built by the former governor to an investors at the rate of N100m per annum.
“Instead of using, we leased out the hotel at the rate of N100m annually to an investors. We took the money for two years and invested the N200m to remodel the Governor’s Lodge,” he explained.
On his part, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Liaison Office, Hon. Yusuf Maianguwa, said the state government lodge before the coming of the present administration was an eyesore.
While commending the administration of Engineer Sule for remodelling the lodge, the SSA however appealed for government to conduct meetings and other official engagements at the newly commissioned lodge.
Prominent sons and daughters of the state, including the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Barrister Muhammad Abdullahi Hassan, member Federal House of Representative, Hon. Abdulmumini Ari, Director General A. A Sule Campaign Organization, Senator John Damboyi, two former deputy governors namely Senator Solomon Ewuga and Chief Micheal Abdul.
Others are, Alhaji Bala Tafida, former SSG, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Tijani and former zonal APC vice chairman, North Central, Alhaji Suleiman Wambai, among others.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s NDDC Chairmanship Ambition Causing Disunity In Edo APC Family
The embattled 2020 Edo APC Guber candidate, Pastor Osagie ize Iyamu is facing another fresh challenges that may set the party in the state on fire over his quest to get the chairmanship of the NDDC board.
In a move considered by many in the APC as wicked and greedy, the embattled Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is supporting and sponsoring one of the internally displaced Politicians in Edo State, Barr. Washington Osifo to sue the Attorney Seneral, the Senate, the minister of the Niger delta, the NDDC and the Sole Administrator.
In the originating summons, filed at the Federal High Court Benin Division , Barr Washington Osifo is asking the court to sack the nddc management board as presently constituted, to pave the way for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is pushing to be announced as the chairman of the board.
Globaltimesnigeria.com investigations revealed, that as a plan B, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has also pencilled down Mr Lucky Imasuen in the event that he fails to emerge.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu told some of his supporters that he wants the chairmanship of the board to be able to run and finance the state Chapter of the APC that is in tatters. Some of his supporters are of the view that nothing will come out of his legal tussles with the PDP and Gov Obaseki hence his quest to pursue the NDDC Chairmanship.
A section of the APC party Faithfuls are warming up for war with the Guber candidate, they are of the opinion that pastor Osagie ize Iyamu brought political misfortune upon the party and that he has lost his political capital because he even lost his local government, senatorial district and the state to the PDP.
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