Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday promised to lift the Nyiev community in Guma local government area with the provision of critical infrastructure and involvement in the running of his administration.

By Godwin Akor

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, pledged to boost the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, in the state through provision of loans and facelift for motor partks.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today announced the restoration of subvention at the College of Health Sciences of the State University so as to sustain the accreditation of the institution.

He made the announcement when the management of the College led the third set of graduates of the College on a courtesy call on him at the Benue Peoples House.

Governor Ortom assured that in-spite of the financial challenges of the state he would bend backwards to pay the subvention so that the College could continue to produce medical doctors. 

He also agreed to pay for the licence of the 28 doctors of the third set and to also attend their oath taking ceremony.

The Governor acknowledged the contributions of his predecessors in the successes recorded at the College stressing that he was happy that his dream of becoming a medical doctor was being realized indirectly through the youths of the state.

According to him, his administration has placed the state University on first line charge and ensured that its staff are being paid up to date inspite of the financial challenges of the state.

Provost of the College, Professor Simeon Adebisi, commended the Governor for breaking the jinx of lack of accreditation to facilitate the graduation of medical doctors at the institution but said issues of subvention, lack of carrying capacity, study aids and staffing still persisted.

President of the set, Dr Tarlumun Surma, expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for ensuring that they graduated after spending 10 and half years in medical school.
He solicited financial assistance to his classmates to enable them to obtain practising licenses.

Dr. Surma announced that his set would offer free medical services to people in the Governor's village as a gesture of appreciation for his role in their graduation.

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has approved the appointment of Dr Bem Melladu, as the Acting Secretary to the State Government until further notice. 

Dr Melladu has been Special Adviser on Economic Investment. 

The letter conveying the appointment was signed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Honourable Terwase Orbunde.

It said the appointment followed the ill health of the substantive Secretary to State Government, Mr. Targema Takema. 

The Chief of Staff also conveyed Governor Ortom’s directive deploying Dr Benjamin Teryima Ashaver, Special Adviser on Revenue and Taxation to cover his colleague at Special Duties office.

Signed:

Tahav Agerzua,
Special Adviser, Media and ICT.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today canvassed the setting up of a commission to investigate and document the magnitude of the destruction of communities by herdsmen across the state.

He stated that he would liaise with the Federal Government to set up such a commission.

The Governor made the disclosure when he received a delegation from Apa and Agatu local government areas of the state which paid him a courtesy call at ...the Benue Peoples House.

He lamented the magnitude of the destruction in Agatu, Makurdi, Guma, Tarka, Buruku, Gwer and Gwer West, Katsina-Ala, Kwande, Logo and other local government areas pointing out that it exceeded that caused by Boko Haram in the North East.

According to him the state was compiling statistics on the matter which he said would be forwarded to the Federal Government because the it lacked the capacity to rehabilitate the affected areas.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and Odejo Ka’Apa, Chief John Antenyi had commended the Governor for appointing prominent indigenes of the area into the state executive council.

He also listed his intervention to bring peace to Agatu, provision of relief materials to the displaced, and resumption of work on roads in the area as some of the things that have gladdened the hearts of people of the area.
Chief Antenyi solicited the rehabilitation of destroyed communities, establishment of a military base in the area to forestall further invasion, provision of a tertiary institution and other basic infrastructure.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today directed the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa, to take legal action against those who published a forged letter alleging that it emanated from the Secretary to the State Government demanding N200 million from the Finance Commissioner for the celebration of 2016 Democracy Day.

We read a publication by the Nigerian Concord with the title “Governor Ortom lavishes N200 million on Democracy Day Celebration” which has also been circulated widely on the social media.
The report is false, mischievous as well as a concoction which has no bearing on the 2016 Democracy Day in Benue State.
The publication also displayed a letter which it claimed emanated from the Secretary to the State Government who sent it to the Commissioner of Finance demanding the release of N200 million for the said celebration.
That so-called letter is a fake document based on ignorance of the procedure for the disbursement of funds in the Benue State public service.
Those conversant with the system know that requests for release of government funds have to be approved by the Governor after which they are conveyed to the Finance Commissioner by the Permanent Secretary, Government House Administration.
A letter purportedly written directly by the Secretary to the State Government to the Finance Commissioner demanding release of funds is not tenable in the government of Benue State.
With regards to the issue at hand, the Ortom administration did not hold celebrations for the 2016 Democracy Day.
What took place were Jumat prayers and an interdenominational church service.
The memorandum requesting funds for the two events was raised by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Terwase Orbunde, and money was released through his office.
The breakdown of the expenditure was as follows: Jumat prayers, N500, 000; and interdenominational church service, N1, 500, 000.00.
When Mr. Abiodun Oluwarotimi of the Nigerian Concord sent text that he wanted me to react to a matter before he published it, I demanded to know what it was and he said I should ask the Governor to call him because it was personal.
When I told him that I had authority to speak on the Governor’s behalf he said I should give him his number.
I requested to know the issue so that I could decide whether it was beyond my scope.
When he mentioned Democracy Day expenditure I told him that the memo was raised by the Chief of Staff and connected them to speak.
Moments after, he published his false and mischievous report and it was quickly copied and pasted on the wall of Mr. Bemgba Iortyom, the State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party at whose instruction the report must have been written.
We urge media practitioners and members of the public to dig into the expenditure for Democracy Celebrations of the immediate past administration and compare with our frugal handling of a similar event.
Since assumption of office, the Ortom administration has prudently managed the meager resources available in the best interest of the people.
In spite of the economic and social challenges it has recorded milestones including the graduation of 40 medical doctors from the Benue State University, resumption of contractors on 12 abandoned roads across the state as well as on-going work on two new ones.
The Schools of Nursing and Midwifery with the College of Health Technology at Agasha are being reconstructed for reaccreditation which it lost during the immediate past administration.
There are so many on-going projects such as the completion of the Cancer Screening Centre in Makurdi, renovation of the Old House of Assembly building and completion of the New Complex, as well as the Deputy Governor’s office, to mention a few.
There is a lot to show but the media tour was shifted as a result of the prayer and fasting program which culminated in the dedication of Benue State to God.
We urge members of the public to dismiss and disregard the publication as the handiwork of mischief makers out to discredit the Ortom administration.
It is instructive that Mr. Iortyom who was quick to paste the report on his Facebook page is standing trial for libel and may be looking for company.

Signed:
Tahav Agerzua,
Special Adviser, Media and ICT.

As Muslims begin the Ramadan fast today, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged them to pray for sustained peace and speedy economic recovery of the state.

Governor Ortom says at a time when the state is facing security challenges occasioned by the invasion of herdsmen and financial shortfall, intercessory prayers by religious organizations are most imperative.

He also calls for prayers on the leadership of the country in general and the state in particular to enable them continue to deliver on their promises to the people.

The Governor wishes the Muslim faithful successful fasting, giving assurance that his administration will continue to support security agencies to carry out their duties diligently for the protection of lives and property.

Governor Ortom says the present State Government will not relent in its commitment to providing good governance for the benefit of all.

Special Adviser to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Special Duties, Mr Joseph Ikyaagba, was today remanded by a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court for alleged murder of his colleague who was the Senior Special Assistant on Special Security, the late Denen Igbana.

According to the prosecuting police officer, Sergeant David Swende, the chairman of vigilante group in Tionsha village where the deceased resided had on the 20th of May 2016, reported at Police 'D' Division that the victim was trailed by unknown gunmen to his house while returning from an official assignment.

The complainant stated that the gunmen opened fire on the late Igbana's white Toyota Hilux with registration number SEL 230 AA as he jumped down from his vehicle in an attempt to escape.

According to him the gunmen rained bullet at him until he fell down at a neighbour's compound making a dying declaration that "Ghana is killing me, if I die it is Ghana, it is Joseph Ikyaagba and his group that killed me".

The complainant stated that the victim was immediately rushed to Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi where he died.

During police investigation, the 57-year old Mr Ikyaagba was arrested for allegedly committing the offence and was charged for culpable homicide punishable by death.
When the case came up today, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction.

However, the prosecuting officer, Sergeant. David Swende told the court that investigation into the matter was still in progress and asked for another date.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Theresa Wergba, ordered that the accused be remanded at the Federal Prison Makurdi pending the completion of investigation and adjourned the case to August third for further mention.

Governor Ortom while reacting on the matter through his Special Adviser on Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, restated his resolve not to interfere in the case but allow the law to take its course.

The Governor charged security agencies to expand their dragnet to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the search for killers of Mr. Igbana and bring them to justice.

The governor stated that he will not provide cover for any individual or group connected with the murder, assuring that he will continue to guarantee the security of lives and property of citizens in the state.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has pledged to sustain the amnesty program initiated by his administration in spite of the assassination of his Senior Special Assistant on Special Security, the late Denen Igbana.
He made the pledge at the funeral of the deceased in Mbadede, Vandeikya local government area today.
Governor Ortom disclosed that the killers of his aide were the enemies of his administration who sought to truncate the success of the amnesty program by eliminating the late Igbana who was its major pillar.
He said the development has gingered him to redouble efforts to sustain the program as doing otherwise would imply surrender of the state to criminals which he said could not be contemplated.
According to him, another one month has been given to those who possess arms illegally to turn them over adding that at the end of June, 2016, there will be massive crackdown on those who fail to comply.
He announced that the police have so far arrested nine people including someone he described as a member of his cabinet for questioning and vowed not to shield anyone from investigation by security agencies.
Governor Ortom granted the requests of Pastor of NKST Lobi where the deceased was a member, Reverend J T Abawua, to take over payment of school fees of the children of the late Igbana, offer employment to his wife and first son as well as relocate the family from the house he was slain.
He promised to construct the road linking Mbawuar community with Mbaakon in honor of the deceased even as he said God would help security agencies to track his killers.
The Governor also directed the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to re-engage 40 Vandeikya local government staff employed in 2006 but later sacked who won the case against their disengagement in 2014.
In his funeral service, NKST Secretary General, Reverend P G Adzuana enjoined the living to reflect on their plight and make peace with God rather than mourning for the dead.