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Ortom mourns 2nd republic education minister, Ivase



Gov. Samuel Ortom on Thursday said the death of  Chief Mrs Elizabeth Ivase, a second Republic Education Minister.

This is contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase in Makurdi.

NAN reports that late Chief Ivase, a traditional Tiv title holder “Penda’tyo u Tiv” and OON, before her death, served in the Shehu Shagari government as the minister of education.

Ortom said her death was a huge loss to Benue State and the country, adding that she was a caring mother and a woman of distinction, who had an illustrious career in public service at all levels of governance.

“Chief Ivase was an epitome of womanhood, a foremost politician, eminent person, experienced administrator and community leader, she was kind-hearted, humble and dedicated her life to the service of God and humanity.

“As a trailblazer, Ivase set records with her outstanding performance while serving in various capacities including being a two-time Commissioner in Benue State and a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The governor said Ivase before her death mentored the younger generation while championing girl-child education and women’s rights in general.

“The death of Ivase has created a vacuum which will be difficult to fill.”

He urged the bereaved family to take solace in the fact that their mother had lived a fulfilled life with numerous contributions to the development of her fatherland.

Ortom prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and the entire Orvihi-Ivase family as well as Mbayion community in Gboko Local Government Area the fortitude to bear the loss.




Benue Assembly grants Ortom’s request to obtain N2.5bn loan for healthcare



Benue House of Assembly has approved Gov. Samuel Ortom’s request to obtain a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan facility of N2.5 billion for healthcare delivery upgrade in the state.

The approval followed a correspondence sent to the house by the governor and read during plenary on Thursday.

In the letter, Ortom informed the house that the CBN had introduced a health sector intervention fund to finance the building and expansion of healthcare facilities and acquisition of medical equipment across all states of Nigeria.

He pointed out that the global healthcare system had been overstretched by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic with the developed countries struggling to cope with the magnitude of the crisis.

The governor stated that the healthcare system in the state needed to be repositioned for a post COVID-19 delivery system that could effectively handle cases of infectious diseases across the state.

He informed the house that Access Bank PLC, as a participating money deposit bank, had submitted an offer for a facility of N2.5 billion at five per cent interest rate.

The governor further said the loan was with a 12 months moratorium and thereafter at nine per cent interest rate and 0.5 per cent management fee.

“The facility is offered at concessionary rate with a maximum tenure of 10 years,” Ortom added.

He urged the house to grant his request to access the N2.5 billion loan, saying that the CBN intervention fund was in the public interest.

The governor said its purpose was consistent with his administration’s vision for a healthcare delivery system that completely met the needs of Benue people.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Gov. Ortom reassures on Tor Tiv palace



Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has assured that the construction work on the Tor Tiv Palace in Gboko would be completed before the end of 2020.
Ortom gave the assurance on Tuesday in Gboko, headquarters of Gboko Local Government Area (LGA) of the State after inspecting work at the palace.
“This palace is long over due to be occupied by the Tor Tiv.
“The Tor Tiv
has been operating from a temporary palace for the past three years.
“We have made adequate arrangement to ensure that funding will not be a problem to give room for earlier completion.
“Before the end of the year work at the palace will be completed so that the Tor Tiv will move in,” he said.
The governor added that he had directed the contractor handling the project to hasten work on it.
“I have directed the contractor to complete work on the landscaping and the administrative block so that the offices will be put to use without delay,” he said.
Ortom commended both the contractor handling the palace project and that of Isaac Shaahu road for the quality of work they done so far.
So far, I am satisfied with the quality of work they have done,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Gov. Ortom pledges to revive Ameladu Water Works



Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has promised to liaise with the relevant bodies to resuscitate the Ameladu Water Works.

Ortom made the promise on Tuesday at Ameladu in Gboko Local Government Area of the state after inspecting the facility.

“I will liaise with the Federal Government, Development Partners and Senate Committee on Water so as to find ways of bringing the project back to life.

“This huge project is a federal government project. It was initiated and completed by President Ibrahim Babangida administration in 1993.

“It is a federal government project but it was handed over to the State Government.

“It was meant to serve Gboko local government area and its environs. It has a capacity of 9,000 cubic metres,” he said.

He further said that the decision to revive the project was borne out of the need to tackle the water needs of the people.

“I cannot abandon the project. I must put it back to use,” the governor said.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Benue LG polls: Gov. Ortom votes, urges voters to leave after voting



Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has advised people who turned out to vote in the state Local Government Council elections on Saturday to leave the polling units as soon as they voted to guard against the spread of Covid-19.

Ortom gave the advice on Saturday in Gbajimba, headquarters of Guma Local Government Area of the state after casting his vote at the LGEA Primary School polling unit, Gbajimba.

“Vote and leave in order to give room for other electorate to also exercise their franchise.

The Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) has directed that in order to guard against the spread of Covid-19 only 30 electorate will be allowed at the polling units at a time.

“So, if you vote, you have to leave to allow others too to come and vote.

“I have the confidence that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will win overwhelmingly because in most of the local government areas, the candidates are unopposed.

Meanwhile, correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria who monitored the polls in Makurdi, Kwande, parts of Gboko and Gwer Local Government Councils report that the polls were marred by voter apathy.

NAN reports that the polls had not commenced in any of the polling units within Makurdi metropolis as at 12 noon.

At Kanshio Primary School polling unit, located in the suburb of Makurdi,electoral officials were seen conducting the polls.

An electoral officer, Ms Priscilla Ikyer, in charge of the unit, lamented the absence of voting materials especially, ink pad, ballot boxes and stamp.

An aide to Gov. Ortom, Mr Orngu Anngu, who also voted at the unit, commended the officials for ” the peaceful and professional manner the election is being conducted”.

He also commended security officials for securing the polling unit and assured that his party would win overwhelmingly.

Orngu, however, regretted that polling unit officials were not properly kitted against Covid-19.

” They are not wearing face masks and other protective kits,” he said.

At Ikpayongo market, an accredited PDP agent in Mbasombo ward, Mr Terfa Uleve, who was cited wearing the party’s tag while displaying his wares at the market, alleged that  “since there is no election, I returned to the market to sell my wares.

Reacting to the non availability of electoral materials, the Public Relations Officer of the Benue Independent Electoral Commission (BISEC), Ms Mavis Toryem, said the commission would address its shortcomings.


Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Gov Ortom rescinds order allowing religious activities, markets in Benue



Gov. Samuel Ortom has rescinded the order allowing Churches and Mosques in Benue to reopen for religious activities.

Ortom announced the cancellation of the order on Saturday in Makurdi during the weekly news briefing on activities of the Covid -19 Quick Response Team.

He explained that the decision to revert to status quo was based on the apprehension expressed bythe Federal Government over decisions by some state governments to reopen religious activities.

According to him, as a state that is a component of the federal government, we cannot take decisions that go against the expressed standing of the federal government.

He said the federal government, as the custodian of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had all the needed information on the viral infection and how to contain its spread.

He, therefore, sued for understanding from the Benue people over the decision to rescind the order allowing religious activities.

” You need to be alive before you can worship,”he said.

He said he had already made consultations with relevant stakeholders including leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria and Jamatu Nasiru Islam on the matter.

Ortom also announced that Mrs Elizabeth Apedzan, a former federal lawmaker, who tested positive for Covid-19 had been discharged.

He, therefore, appealed to those with symptoms similar to that of Covid-19 to avail themselves of testing.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Insecurity: Ortom, Sule lauds FG over Air Force deployment in North-Central



The governors of Nasarawa and Benue States have lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for deploying  the Air Force to tackle insecurity in the North-Central region of the country.

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom gave the commendation during a joint peace and security meeting on Wednesday  in Yelwata, a border community in  Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.


Ortom, in his submission at the meeting initiated by Governor Sule, promised to sustain the already existing smooth relationship between him and his Nasarawa State counterpart.

He assured that the two  governors would continue to work together for the overall good of their respective states.

He further pledged to work closely with Sule to ensure that the boundary between their states were demarcated for peace to reign.

“The Deputy Governors of Benue and Nasarawa who are Chairmen of boundary committees should ensure that the boundaries are demarcated without much delay.

“I and Governor Sule will give you adequate support to enable you carry out the assignment in a record time,” he said.

He also commended Sule for initiating the peace meeting, emphasing that he was a peace builder.

Earlier, Sule lamented over heightened security concerns in Nasarawa state which prompted his visit to the President to seek help.

Sule said the President graciously granted his request by deploying the Airforce  to the zone covering Nasarawa, Benue and Kogi states.

“I am also worried about where the Benue boundary begins and where that of Nasarawa starts.

“If you ask, you will get different answers depending on who you ask. So, there is a need to demarcate the boundaries and establish physical features there,” he said.

He advised herdsmen not to graze close to the disputed boundary to avoid problems.

“Benue State Government has a law in place which prohibits open grazing but we do not have it in Nasarawa.

“In Nasawara your cattle can graze freely but do not allow them to go close to the disputed boundary for peace to reign,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nasawara State, Alhaji Mohamed Husaaini appealed to the two states to form a Joint Peace Monitoring Team to assist in curbing criminality in the border communities.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Gov. Ortom’s aide denies arrest by EFCC



Special Adviser to Benue Gov. Samuel Ortom, on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Jerome Torshimbe, has debunked reports that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Torshimbe was reacting to reports circulating on social media that he was arrested by operatives of the EFCC on account of fraud.

The aide told journalists during an interaction with them on Tuesday in Makurdi, blamed the wide circulation of such news on owners of social media handles.

He described “such lies” against him as the handiwork of social media propagandists.

The Adviser said he had never been invited to the EFCC for fraud, let alone spend the night in their custody.

“No such thing ever happened. I have never been interrogated by EFCC at all; and I have not even been delayed there.

“I superintend over 23 local government areas; so I must be called upon to clarify any issues or petitions against any of them or their staff.

“The invitation of the councils or their staff to EFCC must pass through my office.

“The person that put up the post on the social media ought to have called the EFCC to get facts. The post did not have any iota of truth in it. It lacks facts and cannot be substantiated.

“It was purely borne out of mischief.

“The conventional media should find a way of doing away with the social media. It is polluting the sector, Torshimbe concluded.

Edited By: Philip Dzeremo/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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COVID-19: Gov. Ortom stops movement of corpses to Benue



Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, has directed that no corpse should be brought into the state from anywhere as a way of preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Ortom gave this directive at a meeting held with two warring communities, Mbagwaza in Ushongo and Tsambe in Vandeikya Local Government Areas of the state.

He said that the directive should be followed strictly, stressing that violators would be sanctioned accordingly.

“In a situation where a family feels strongly that the corpse of their loved one should be brought into the state, they must obtain express permission from the State Action Committee on Covid-19.

“Such a family must produce a medical report of the dead person before moving it to the state.

“We will impound any corpse that will be brought into the state without any medical report. We will impound and bury it wherever we want.

“Bury the corpse of your loved ones where they died particularly in this trying period of Covid-19.

“The steps that we have taken against Covid-19 are not aimed at punishing anyone but to protect Benue people,” he said.

The governor urged the security personnel to arrest anyone, who disobeyed the law.

He lauded the security agencies for their active support they had given the state.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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Otukpo General Hospital to turn teaching hospital soon – Ortom



Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue said the General Hospital in Otukpo, Benue,  would soon be  upgraded to a teaching hospital  for the  Federal University of Health Sciences located in the town.


Ortom said this on Tuesday in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state while inspecting works on the Isolation Centre located within the hospital premises.


The governor said that the Federal Government had requested that the facility be released to it, in order to turn it into a teaching hospital for Federal University of Health Sciences.


“We have granted the request and had communicated our willingness to hand over the facility to the Federal Government,” he said.


He also  said that while the state government awaits the take over of the facility by the Federal Government, it would fix all the decayed  infrastructure there .


Ortom also  directed the Medical Officer in-charge of the hospital, Dr Ada Ogwu, to list all the decayed infrastructure  there so that the state government could fix them without delay.


“We want to address the decayed  infrastructure before the Federal Government comes to take over,” he said.


The governor also encouraged the contractor to hasten work on the isolation centre.


He, however, admonished the people against stigmatisation, stressing that people who were having signs of COVID-19  pandemic  should come out, so that their samples could be collected and sent to Nigeria Centere for Disease Control (NCDC) for testing.


Earlier, Dr Ogwu told the governor that the hospital was experiencing a shortage of staff, particularly nurses.


He also listed the challenges of the hospital to include: water-tanker, completion of the laboratory, completion of wards four and five,  and the theatre complex.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Peter Dada (NAN)

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