Sunday, 25 December 2016


My dear people of Benue State, on behalf of my family and the state government, I felicitate with you all as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Christmas is not only a time for celebration but also for sober reflection on our lives as individuals and the state as a whole. I therefore enjoin you to pray for our state and the country at large to overcome the current economic challenges.

Our Lord Jesus Christ taught the world to love; let's celebrate him by sharing love, and shunning those things that would not add value to our families, homes and the state. I believe it is appropriate for Christians in particular to reflect more deeply on the virtues and ideals which the Messiah stood for during his earthly mission.

As a government, our commitment is to continue to do the things that promote unity and development, prominent among which is the task of safeguarding lives and property in all parts of the state at all times. We will remain proactive and responsive in addressing the yearnings of the people as contained in our policy document, ‘Our Collective Vision for a New Benue’.

I am optimistic that the current economic challenges will not last forever. This however, calls for concerted efforts by all citizens to invest wisely in the present and the future so as to avoid a repeat of the current difficult circumstances. The efforts this administration is making are aimed at repositioning the economy and empowering the people to depend less on government.

A few days ago, I presented the 2017 budget to the State House of Assembly which is christened 'Budget of Rural Transformation'. Our plan as contained in the 2017 Appropriation Bill is to take development to every community of the state with massive construction of rural roads, health and school facilities, electrification, water supply and other critical infrastructure.

Let me also restate our unflinching commitment to transparency, accountability and the rule of law. As I have said on many occasions, there is no sacred cow in my administration and 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. This, we have been doing and so shall it be sustained.

The security of lives and property will remain a priority of our administration. As I have always emphasized, I will not surrender the state to criminals. We have intensified the war against hoodlums and I call on you the good people of the state to collaborate with us in this cause to ensure sustained peace in all parts of the state.

I urge you all to go about your normal businesses without molestation as security agencies have been mobilized to prevent any breach of peace during the Yuletide. I implore you to assist security personnel with timely and useful information to enable them apprehend criminals.

May this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ rekindle, strengthen and reaffirm our faith in our dear state. I wish you all joyful, eventful and hitch-free Christmas celebrations.

Samuel Ortom Governor of Benue State.

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