Major stakeholders from across Benue State last Monday scored their Governor, Samuel Ortom, high on his performance from his inauguration to date.
They spoke at the Benue Peoples House at their third meeting with him.
Below are excerpts of what some of them said:
“We have gone carefully through your speech and we want to appreciate the progress you have made so far in spite of the dwindling economic resources.” – Rev. Akpen Leva, Benue State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria.
“I’m very happy that you have created a forum to patronize indigenous businesses, to create development and cause wealth to come outside the bureaucracy, outside the civil service. As you trail the blaze on your rice farm, many more of us shall follow because that is the only way this state can develop, that is the only way we can take poverty out of our midst…Our Governor has seen a vision which is attacked, and all good visions are attacked… It is a wise decision for His Excellency to go ahead with the Cargo Airport today because Benue must be developed into the Singapore of Nigeria. That single airport, that single project covers a lot of beautiful areas and it is what can transform Benue State to a first world economy even though we are a state within Nigeria. So I thank the Governor for the vision he has seen and I thank him for the ingenious engineering created at financing that project and I call on all of you to support him whole heartedly.” –Peter Chieshe, industrialist
“We also want to thank you for setting up an institutional culture that is strictly and your own brand, you have made several new innovative thinking out of the box decisions.” –Professor Ambassador Iyorwuese Hagher
“I am really overwhelmed by what I’ve seen here today. I want to thank His Excellency for the opportunity to have a stakeholders meeting across political, ethnic or whatever groups for all of us to express ourselves.” –Justice James Ogebe, retired Supreme Court Judge.
“What baffles the minds of retired generals is your security architecture. We have traveled through the length and breadth of Benue State and even in the night, one is secured. We want to give you kudos for that. We are also grateful that you have the patience and time to carry through your developmental programmes which most people have not been doing and this is bringing government closer to the people, to know their aspirations and the welfare programmes you have for them. For this, we say thank you. I want to say again that the peace that you have brought to Benue State through all the programmes, is really commendable, especially your efforts in making sure peace returns to Agatu. We appreciate your efforts and those of your government. We know how much you are spending because security comes with a lot of money and now that there is paucity of funds, it is not really sustainable from any government.”
–General Ehoda, retired.
“We are very satisfied with what you have done so far. I believe very strongly that you are very much on course.”
–Raph Igbago, former Deputy Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly.
“Mr. Governor, I decided to start part of my speech by saying well done my son. It’s a great thing when your son is doing well and he invites you to come.” –Wantaregh Paul Unongo
“We are quite surprised at what we have seen in the brochure. You are doing so much.”
–Dr. John Dyegh, member, House of Representatives.
“I stand here on behalf of the teeming youth of Benue State to first and foremost, commend your leadership very much for taking this leadership to where we are today.” – Kapu I Kapu, youth leader.
“I’m happy you have taken only five point agenda, instead of taking too many. If you dwell on too many things that you think you can finish, you may end up doing nothing. So if you dwell on a few points and you’re able to complete those few points as you are doing now, you’ll find out that by the time you leave here, you will leave a lasting legacy that everybody will remember you. So my grading for you for this year is B plus.”
– General Lawrence Onoja, retired, former Governor of Plateau and Katsina States.
“And we take pride in the fact that Governor Ortom is very keen about the academic community. I want to thank all of you for giving us the support, for paying our salaries and all our benefits in spite of the difficult times. I want to join the rest of us here to thank His Excellency for the job he has done so far.” – Professor Ode Ojowu, former Pro Chancellor, Benue State University.
“We thank you very much for all the efforts you have being making. We are here as traditional rulers, as your fathers and we ask you to continue. Don’t be deterred but we also advise that you don’t listen to rumor mongering, hearsay among others.” – Och’Idoma, HRM Dr. Elias Ikoyi Obekpa