Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, interacted with the people of the state on a Radio Benue live programme for two hours on Wednesday, 1st February, 2017. The first one hour was devoted to the process and content of the recent Agatu, Fulani peace accord. This first of a two part series is a transcription of the discussion on the issue.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has pledged to collaborate with the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education, to eradicate illiteracy in the state.

The people of Agatu local government area have commended Governor Samuel Ortom for his positive peace initiative towards ending the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the area.

They gave the commendation last Monday during a security meeting held at the Council Hall of the local government.

Addressing the meeting, Sole Administrator of the Council, Mr. Mike Inalegwu, explained that it was held as a follow up to the expanded security meeting earlier held in Makurdi by the Governors of Benue and Nasarawa States with their Security Council members with Agatu and Fulani stakeholders where far-reaching decisions were taken to ensure peaceful existence between the herdsmen and their Agatu host.

Mr. Inalegwu maintained that no part of Agatu land was ceded to the Fulani as alleged by some people and charged the people of the area to embrace the peace initiative with both hands.

Also speaking, Chairman of Agatu Youths, Aboje Otene, commended the two governors for their peace efforts, pointing out that what Agatu deserved now was absolute peace and tranquility.

On his part, the Army Commander in-charge of Agatu, Major Umar, called for synergy between the people and security operatives to achieve positive results.

He explained that the visit of the Sole Administrator alongside heads of security agencies in the area to Loko in Nasarawa State was a security strategy, which had yielded fruitful result.

In a remark, Ad’Agatu, Chief Godwin Onah, who thanked the Governors of Benue and Nasarawa States for their maturity in handling the crisis between the Fulani and farmers, expressed dismay that some people could peddle unfounded rumours about such a sensitive issue and urged on the people to disregard it.

A statement by the Agatu Local Government Information Officer, Edwin Etuka, stated that the meeting was attended by all members of the Agatu Traditional Council, leadership of Agatu Youths from the five zones, heads of security agencies in the area, and other stakeholders.


Radio Benue report

Governor Samuel Ortom today morning left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as head of an economic delegation to Cape Town, South Africa.
During the trip which is on the invitation of AidTrade Foundation Governor Ortom and the delegation will participate in bilateral discussions on agriculture, mining, aquaculture, education and other aspects of the economy. 
Those accompanying him include the Chairman, State Economic Team and Education Commissioner, Professor Dennis Ityavyar, Chairman, Benue State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr James Gbande, Commissioner for Finance, Mr David Olofu and Commissiner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr James Anbua among others.
The Governor and his delegation are expected back on 29th January, 2017.

Governor Samuel Ortom has announced that the state government would harness comprehensive sources of internally generated revenue to ensure funding and implementation of the 2017 budget.

He made the disclosure yesterday at the opening of a three day budget retreat organized for House of Assembly members at the Obudu Mountain Resort. 

The Governor explained that revenue sources that were not identified by Ministries, Departments and Agencies during the implementation of the previous budget have been identified and targets set to ensure funding sustainability.

He maintained that this year's budget estimate was prepared in line with the approved International Public Sector Accounting Standards accrual format which he said is a requirement for the state to access Federal Government funding. 

The Governor urged the assembly members to have fruitful deliberations during the retreat to prepare them for speedy consideration and passage of the budget. 

In his remarks, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, commended Governor Ortom for facilitating the retreat and for always supporting the training of the lawmakers to sharpen their legislative skills. 

He assured that the purpose of the retreat would be fully utilised and appealed to members not only to be realistic during the deliberations but to avoid using the exercise as an avenue for confrontation with the executive. 

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Tinker Business Services, organizers of the retreat, Mr. Hyacinth Nyakuma, said resource persons were carefully selected to deepen the knowledge of members on the budget process.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today announced that his administration has facilitated the graduation of 152 medical doctors from the College of Health Sciences of the Benue State University, since assumption of office.

He spoke when the fourth set of doctors from the institution visited him at the Benue Peoples House.

Governor Ortom stated that the first set comprised 40 doctors, the second 27, the third 44 with the fourth set that visited producing 41, bringing the total to 152.

He also announced the approval and release of N3.7 million for the registration of each of the fresh graduates with the Dental and Medical Council of Nigeria.

The Governor commended the staff, management and students of the Benue State University for what he described as the milestones recorded in spite of the current economic challenges adding that his passion for education has made him to place the institution top of his priority list.

He said the payment of accreditation requirements by his administration in the face of lean resources paved way for the graduation of the doctors who had stagnated at the school for up to 12 years.

Leader of the delegation, Dr. Ashimom Timothy Msughter, stated that the set had come to express appreciation to Governor Ortom for his role in their graduation.

“Upon assumption of office he took upon himself to ensure that the monster of stagnation was defeated, within five months in office, he provided all that was needed to secure the last accreditation without which graduation would have remained an empty dream,” he stated.

“Today, like one of the colleagues rightly described it, Benue State is ‘bleeding’ doctors; we have achieved the impossible. Within 14 months the College has graduated four sets of medical doctors, the last three coming within one year, a feat which no other medical school in this country has ever achieved.”

The Governors of Benue and Nasarawa states, Samuel Ortom and Tanko Al-Makura yesterday announced plans to visit Agatu local government area next week as part of peace building and reconciliation efforts.

They made the disclosure after a joint Security Council meeting of the two states at the New Banquet Hall of the Peoples House in Makurdi. 

The visit was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, January 18th and 19th, 2017.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday stated that security agents were tracking those who assassinated a lecturer with the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Professor Robert Okai.

He spoke when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased at North Bank in Makurdi. 

He described the deceased who he said was his secondary school classmate as a hardworking, quiet and God-fearing man and assured that his killers will be arrested and brought to book.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, administration, at UAM, Professor Richard Kimbi thanked the Governor for finding time to visit and commisserate with the family. 

Governor Ortom also visited the family of Justice Maurice Ikpambese who lost a son, 20 year old Ngutor last week. 

He urged the family to give thanks to God in all situations as enjoined by the scriptures.
Justice Ikpambese expressed appreciation for the visit.

Governor Samuel Ortom Tuesday inaugurated the Tor Tiv coronation committee with a charge on members to see their involvement as personal sacrifice.

Performing the ceremony at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue People's House, Makurdi, Governor Ortom urged them to work assiduously towards success of the coronation.

He charged members to settle down quickly and work out a programme of action that would make it possible for the event to take place either last week of February or first week of March.

Governor Ortom urged royal fathers to avoid acts capable of denigrading the institution and stressed that in due time, the Chieftaincy Law would be reviewed to conform to the realities of the times.

He promised that his administration would continue to support the traditional institution and advocated clear cut distinction of roles to avoid conflict between chiefs and politicians.

The Governor expressed happiness over the decision taken by Tor Tiv the fifth, Orchivirigh Professor James Ayatse, not to dabble into partisan politics and appealed to other traditional rulers to take a cue from him.

He said he met with the other aspirantsfor the stool who pledged not to go to court in the interest of the entire people.

In his remarks, chairman of the coronation committee, retired General Atom Kpera, promised to immediately put machinery in motion for success of the event.

General Kpera expressed gratitude to Governor Ortom for finding members worthy to serve on the committee and sued for the cooperation of all well meaning sons and daughters of Tiv land.


By Charles Iornumbe, Radio Benue