Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday said he would no longer keep the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, at arms’ length but continue to work together with him for the development of the state.
Besides, the governor implored his teeming supporters and those of Akume to look beyond their previous political animosity by putting the interest of the state above any other interest. Governor Ortom bared his mind when the former governor led some top members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to pay him a condolence visit at the Government House over the demise of his younger sister.
“As Minister (Akume) and I here as governor, will continue to work together. We have always complemented each other and thank God for making him minister and me governor; and thank God we have all accepted that we will use the privilege positions we have courtesy of Benue people to ensure we advance the good cause of the state.
“It is said that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers and the grass are the masses of Benue and so when elephants don’t fight, it means the people will enjoy, so this is what this relationship is talking about.” Ortom appreciated God for giving him the wisdom to bring aggrieved Benue people together irrespective of political differences.
The minister whose delegation was led by former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Steven Lawani, described the loss of the governor’s younger sister, Doose Ortom, as painful and unfortunate.
He expressed Akume’s sympathies to the entire Ortom Adorogo family and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest. Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday added his voice to the call for review of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free entry for membercountries in order to stop the influx of foreign herdsmen into the country.
He made the call in Zaki- Biam, Ukum Local Government Area of the state during the inauguration of the reconstructed Zaki-Biam Yam Market. Governor Ortom urged the Federal Government to stop armed herdsmen from freely entering Nigeria even as he also called for the arrest of leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, for making inciting statements and taking responsibility for killings in Benue State.
“As one of the ways to halt these attacks, we call on the Federal Government to stop the continued free entry of armed herdsmen from other countries into Nigeria. We believe the time has come for the Federal Government to revisit the protocol on free movement of people among ECOWAS member countries.”