Friday, 24 June 2016


Stakeholders from Agatu, Apa, Ohimini and Otukpo yesterday passed a vote of confidence on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, for his ability to manage affairs of the state in the face of the current financial situation.

Representatives from the four local government areas spoke during the town hall meeting with Governor Ortom in Otukpo.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Nelson Alapa said the idea of town hall meetings initiated by the Governor was unprecedented.
He thanked the Governor for fulfilling his promise to provide water for the people of the area soon after assuming office.

Chief Alapa said his people would continue to stand by the Governor in resisting grazing reserves and opting for ranches and also commended Governor Ortom on his administration's policy on agriculture.

"Your position on agriculture is also laudable. Otukpo has three major dams which are currently underutilized. These dams can help boost the dry season farming initiative of your administration. The security situation is also of concern to us", he added.

Also speaking, retired General Lawrence Onoja thanked Governor Ortom for his pledge to reactivate the Idekpa booster station of Radio Benue to enable the people of Zone C monitor activities of government and appealed to the Governor to address the poor condition of roads in Ohimini.

General Onoja said the idea of town hall meetings was quite innovative as it had afforded the people the opportunity to interact with the Governor which will help him fashion ways of addressing the issues raised.

"Our Governor, I give you B plus in performance and I see you getting an A grade soon. We are solidly behind you. If you take a decision, do not waver", he stated.

In his comments, elder Baba Odangla lauded the Governor's efforts in tackling the challenges confronting the state despite limited available resources and requested for the establishment of a tertiary institution in Apa.
On his part, Solomon Agidani, a former National Assembly member appreciated Governor Ortom for making himself accessible to the people.

He appealed to the Governor to address decayed infrastructure in Agatu and its environs and described as commendable, the Ortom administration's commitment to developing the education sector.

"We are happy that our schools are among the 700 marked for renovation. Agatu people are behind you".
Speaking for the youths, Mike Inalegwu said youths of the four local government areas will continue to support Governor Ortom to do more for the state

"We know that the economy of the country is bad. These town hall meetings have helped to clarify the issues. We youths will help you to spread the message about the tough reality of our time. We are also happy with the choice of Engr Ben Abounu as your Deputy".

Methodist Bishop of Otukpo, Bishop Oliver Abah commended the Governor for dedicating Benue to God and assured the Governor that the Church will continue to pray for his success.

"God will always go before you so fear not. If you tackle the issue of salaries, you will be the best. Please also do more in the area of security. It is sad that kidnappers have taken their trade to the church", the Bishop added.

The Odejo Ka’Apa Chief John Antenyi who spoke for traditional rulers in the area, said the meeting was not a mere town hall meeting.

"This stands you out as Governor. You have won our hearts. Your transparency is commendable. I will not fail to call on the local government chairmen to endeavour to be resident in their local govt headquarters to address the challenges facing their people".

Responding, Governor Ortom assured that he will not disappoint the people of the state. He said transparency and accountability will continue to be the watchwords of his administration.

He listed his achievements in various sectors including security, education, health, revenue generation and infrastructure.

By Terver Akase

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