Sunday, 24 December 2017


My dear people of Benue State, on behalf of my family and the Government, I join you in celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The yearly commemoration of the birth of our Lord Jesus presents us with the opportunity, as individuals and as a state, to reexamine and redirect our paths aright.

We can do these by avoiding the things that do not add value to our families, homes, state and the country in general.

Let us therefore resolve at this Christmas, to embrace peace, harmony, tolerance and show love to one another as Christ taught His followers.

As a government, we will continue to demonstrate commitment to the overall development of the state. Our determination is anchored on the conviction that our people deserve nothing less than the best of service delivery that any responsible government can give to its people.

You are aware of the recent steps we took in the area of security which culminated in the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment of Ranches Law among other bold steps to end impunity and wanton destruction of lives and property in the state.

Our administration values the life of every Benue person and will at all times guarantee the safety of the people. Let me reassure you that we have provided adequate support to security agencies to ensure that all parts of the state remain crime-free during the Christmas and New Year season. I therefore urge you to go about your normal activities without the fear of molestation.

The efforts we have made through the Committee headed by my Deputy, Engineer Benson Abounu, to reduce the bloated wage bill of the state from N7.8 billion to a manageable level are yielding results. I am optimistic that as we enter year 2018, we will resume the payment of workers' salaries as and when due. As I have said repeatedly, the worker deserves his wages.

A few days ago, I presented the 2018 Budget to the State House of Assembly which is christened 'Budget of Rural Transformation Consolidation'. Our plan as contained in the 2018 Appropriation Bill is to ensure that the development efforts we are making in various communities of the state with the construction of rural roads, health and school facilities, electrification, water supply and other critical infrastructure are sustained.

Our commitment to transparency, accountability and the rule of law remains unflinching. As I have said on many occasions, there is no sacred cow in our administration. We will continue to run an open-door and people-oriented government; a government that often tells its people the true position of resources of the state.

We do not claim to have monopoly of knowledge, so we will at all times be available to receive advice on issues of governance from Benue people home and in the diaspora. That's the only way we can deepen democracy in our dear state.

May this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ strengthen our faith in the affairs of the state and country. Things will certainly get better.

Merry Christmas.

Samuel Ortom
Governor of Benue State
December 24, 2017.

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