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BUHARI HAS ABANDONED US –Benue Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari

In March 2015, about 373,961 out of the 683,264 eligible indigenes of Benue who voted, stood in the sun to cast their vote behind Gen (Rtd) Muhammedu Buhari to make him sweep the presidencial election of that year. Little did they know that they did not vote for peace and security as they had anticipated. Lamenting recently in Makurdi, a renown clergy, Pastor Abel Uloko who could no longer contain his feelings yelled out:

“THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA led by President Buhari have abandoned Governor Ortom and the Good People of Benue State in the Wake of the Massacre that Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists have brought upon us.
Victim of the January 2 Herdsmen Massacre

“The Good Governor in his wisdom and defence of the people he’s called to serve and protect recently Passed a Law prohibiting Open Grazing in Benue. This has infuriated the blood thirsty herders and they’re avowed to stop @ nothing until Benue is reduced to a mere rubble hence this new wave of evil upon us.
Pastor Abel Uloko

“The Governor has no Jurisdiction in the deployment of the Joint Military of the Army, the Navy and the Airforce even the Paramilitary Police Force. The President whose sole palm the power reside have gone Quite on us, so deaf to hear to Weeping and Hollering of a Pained and dying Benue People, so dumb to Speak to Still our Storm and Calm the waves.
“We have taken our Case to God and we’re Challenging the International Community and Bodies to come to our rescue in the face of an imminent Genocide.”
Victim of the January 2 Herdsmen Massacre

This cry came at the heel of a brutal attack meted out to the people of Benue on 2nd January, 2018 by suspected Fulani by herdsmen on where about 20 people including a pregnant woman were feared dead and others severely wounded.

IDH Media
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GRAZING ROUTE: Ortom Threatens Legal Action Against Buhari’s Presidency

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The Benue State governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom has threatened legal action against the Presidency if it decides to go ahead with the Grazing Reserve Policy.

In an interview with journalists in Makurdi on Sunday, Ortom insisted that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria superceded the Northern Nigeria Law that provided for grazing reserves.

Governor Samuel Ortom

The governor insists that Benue will not concede any land for the grazing policy, especially as such lands do not even exist.

“The truth is that if the entire country had accepted ranching, then why is Mr. President insisting on open grazing when there is no land for such.

“In the 50s when this policy was initiated what was the population of Nigeria, it was less that 40 million but today we are more than 200 million. The 923 square kilometer is not even enough to cater for the population. The reason Mr. President is insisting to some of us, I think there is a hidden agenda.

“Mr. President has aides, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and other lawyers around him should advise him. For God sake it is laughable and it appears we do not know what we are doing.

“Under my watch, this state will not accept open grazing . I have already briefed my lawyers should Mr. President insist on going ahead with the Policy,” Ortom stated.

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INSECURITY: “No One Is Safe Anymore” -Senator laments after bandits attack his convoy twice in 12 hours

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Senator Clifford Ordia of Edo State has also become a victim of Nigeria’s insecurity situation as gunmen on Monday attacked the senator who represents Edo Central in the upper legislative chamber. The attack came twice along Okene-Lokoja and Lokoja-Abuja roads within 12 hours of his journey from Edo State to Lokoja.

Ordia told newsmen in Abuja that the gunmen opened fire on his convoy while returning to Abuja from his hometown in Edo State.

According to the senator, the first attack happened along Okene-Lokoja road in Kogi, while the second in Abaji, Abuja all on Monday.

He said the security officers attached to him engaged the criminals in crossfire.

Ordia escaped the attack unhurt though his personal vehicle was riddled with bullets. Tthree of the security officers sustained gunshot injuries. One of the wounded policemen is in a critical condition, but responding to treatment in a hospital in Abuja, he added.

He said: “We were coming from Edo State, somewhere between Okene and Lokoja, when we met these suspected bandits. They opened fire on my convoy. The gallant policemen had to immediately return fire.

“The other security vehicle behind had to immediately join them and they were able to repel the suspected bandits. During the exchange, three of the policemen sustained gun wounds. One of them was critically injured. We had to immediately rush them to a Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, Kogi State.

“They did their best and was able to stabilise them. I’d to immediately put a call across the Federal Medical Centre in Abuja to be on standby. One of the policemen had a bullet lodged close to his liver.

“We met another setback around Abaji. There was traffic because of the incidence and because we had to save the lives of the wounded policemen, we decided to make a move. They opened fire on us. Some vigilantes had to join the policemen and they were chased into the bush.

“That was how I survived that attack. If you see all my vehicles, you’ll see how the bullets damaged them. But I’m glad that we all survived. I must salute the gallantry of our policemen. If given the right equipment, they can do a lot and protect Nigerians.”

He called on the Federal Government to immediately initiate moves to restructure the security architecture of the country, warning that no one was safe anymore.

Ordia is the chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. He represents Edo Central in the upper legislative chamber.

Oche Onu writes

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GOV. ORTOM @60: The Journey of Grace

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Governor Samuel Ioraer Ortom of Benue State clocks 60 years of age today. As the philantropist but often-embattled leader of the people of Benue basin marks this day, Inside Beneu takes a look at his biography of God’s grace.

Ortom was born on the 23rd of April, 1961 in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. At the age of nine, he started his primary education at St. John’s Primary School, Gboko in 1970. He later switched to St. Catherine Primary School Makurdi in 1974. It was here he completed his primary education in 1976.

Upon completion of his primary education, the young Samuel was enrolled at the Idah Secondary Commercial College, Idah, Kogi State for his secondary education. But the journey was short lived as he was forced to drop out of school due to financial condition after his father retired from job.

Young Samuel Ortom as a Scout

Back home at Gboko, he engaged himself at the motor park as a tout until found him and recommended him to drive a prominent Gbokk-based Christian leader and politician, Late Pa Samu Ihugh.

Not giving up his dream to be educated, Samuel Ortom later enrolled in the National School of Salesmanship through an advert he saw on a newspaper he found while on duty at Pa Ihugh’s residence. Thus, he began his journey of acquiring education and certificate via correspondence.

He later in this manner, obtained the General Certificate of Education as well as the Diploma in Salesmanship. He further enrolled at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, obtaining both the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Certificate, in 1995 and Diploma in Journalism in 1998. He proceeded to the Benue State University for an Advanced Diploma in Personnel Management in 2001 as well as Master of Public Administration in 2004.

Samuel Ortom also obtained a Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D, from the Commonwealth University, Belize, through distant learning.
Career and Politics
Samuel Ortom’s working experience spans private, public as well as political spheres. He worked with the Gyado Foods Co. Limited, where he rose from the position of Salesman to Sales Manager.

He was proprietor and chairman, Oracle Business Limited the firm that owns Goshen Water which produces bottled and sachet water; Oracle Printing Press, Oracle Oil Mills as well as Oracle Farms Limited. He was also the chairman of Capital Prints Limited and Achive Engineering Limited.

Chief Dr. Ortom has served as the National President of the Independent Print-Media Publishers Association of Nigeria, IPPAN, and at the moment is the patron of the association.

He was appointed chairman of the governing council of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, where he served with commitment and dedication.

Political Journeys
Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom served as the Executive Chairman of Guma Local Government Area from 1991 to 1993 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.

He has also handled several top political positions, both in Benue State and beyond. Some of them include; State Publicity Secretary of the National Centre Party of Nigeria(NCPN); State Treasurer of the All Peoples Party (APP); State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as PDP National Auditor.

He also served as the Director of Operations of the PDP gubernatorial campaign in Benue State in 2007 and Director of Administration and Logistics of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organization in 2011.

He got appointed as Minister of State Trade and Investments in July 2011, during Goodluck Jonathan tenure as president.

He contested and won the seat the Governor of Benue State in April 2015 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In July 2018, Ortom announced his departure from All Progressives Congress as a result of an internal party crisis.

He was reelected as governor in the 2019 elections, having polled 434,473 votes while the runner up Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressive Congress polled 345,155 votes. Jime legally challenged Ortom’s victory and filed a petition on the grounds of substantial noncompliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended. The Supreme Court of 21st January 2020, affirmed Samuel Ortom’s election as the governor of Benue State.


Philantropy
Dr. Samuel Ortom is a philanthropist who believes in giving back to the society. He, through the establishment of Oracle Business Limited Foundation, set aside funds in St. Theresa’s Hospital, Makurdi and Rahama Hospital, Gboko Road, Makurdi, for treatment of hernia and snakebites free of charge to the patients.
Oracle Business Limited Foundation also focuses on alleviating hardship for prison inmates, while also offering them various forms of skills acquisition for better reintegration into the society.


Awards and Recognition
Samuel Ortom’s good governance and philantropic activities have earned him numerous awards recognitions, including:
• Selfless Service Award from the National Union of Benue State Students (UniCal Chapter) (2014)
• Best Performing Local Government Chairman (1992)
• Merit Award by Tiv Youths Organization
• Merit Award by Boy Scouts of Nigeria, Benue State Chapter
• Merit Award by International Affairs Leadership Parliament of Five American Christian Universities in the United States of America and Trinity College of Ministerial Arts, Aba
• Merit award by St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, High Level, Makurdi
• He has also received a special recognition from the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers at the national level.
• Merit Award by Nigeria Union of Teachers, Benue State Wing
• Merit Award by Genesis Youth Club, Makurdi.
• Merit Award by Leo Club of Makurdi (2002)
• Merit Award by Rotaract Club of Nigeria University of Agriculture, Makurdi
• Promoter of Nigeria’s Nascent Democracy, by Benue State Government (2006)
• Merit Award by School of Remedial Students Union, Makurdi (1996)
• Best Sales Manager Award by Pepsi-Cola International, African Region (1987)
• Merit Award by Benue State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, 1, 11 and 111
• Patron Merit Award by Association of Journalism Students, Ahmadu Bello University (1997)
• National Fellowship/Merit Award by National Union of Road Transport Workers’ Union of Nigeria Nyamikyume in Nzorov
• Traditional Honorific Chieftaincy Title conferred by both the Nzorov District and Guma Local Government Area Traditional Councils Vande u Nongov

Oche Onu writes

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