From George Kajo, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has again advocated for the devolution of powers from the Federal Government, particularly in control of security architecture to enable states to tackle security challenges.
Governor Ortom bared his mind Tuesday, at St. Athanasius Catholic Parish, Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area of Benue state during a Thanksgiving Mass in honour of his Principal Special Assistant on Special Duties, Abrahams Kwaghngu.
Governor Ortom insisted that it was high time the Federal Government allowed State Governments to operate State Police to handle the rising insecurity challenges confronting the nation.
He maintained that the situation where only the Federal Government was controlling the commanding structures of security agencies was not good enough for the effective protection of the lives and property in the country.
Governor Ortom then recommended that states should be allowed to set up State Police to complement the existing security agencies to secure the lives of people and handle peculiar security challenges across the states of the federation.
While extolling the dedication of Kwaghngu who has worked closely with him for many years, the Governor described him as a dedicated, committed and faithful servant who has always represented him well in all assignments given him without coming back with excuses but results.
He enjoined other government appointees to always be open and accessible to the public as the celebrant has been doing by facilitating access to the office of the Governor whenever the need arises.
The Governor also used the occasion to reiterate his call on people of the state to be peaceful in their conduct ahead of next year’s general election and charged them to obtain their Permanent Voters Card to enable them to elect leaders of their choice who will turn around the fortunes of the state and country.
He particularly emphasised that the people must interrogate antecedents and track records of those seeking elective offices and vote for those with the passion to lead the country in the right direction.
The chairman of the occasion who is also the Executive Secretary of Benue State Teaching Service Board, Dr Frank Kyungun, extolled Kwaghngu for being a worthy appointee of Governor Ortom.
He stressed that the Governor also deserved to be commended for the appointment of the celebrant whom he noted has been serving as a connecting link between the Governor and the citizenry.
While thanking God for his protection upon him and his family, Kwaghngu particularly acknowledged the Governor and his wife, Dr Eunice Ortom for giving him the privilege to work closely with them, stating that it was an opportunity he would never take for granted.
He said the thanksgiving was to appreciate God for the numerous blessings his family has received and to raise funds for the building of a chapel of adoration for St. Athanasius Church, Gbajimba where he said he began his Catholic faith.
Also speaking, Sir Daniel Kanan on behalf of the Kwaghngu Atebawa family expressed profound appreciation to Governor Ortom for allowing their son to work with him as one of his close aides, saying their son has also made the family proud through his exemplary conduct and humane disposition.
In his remarks, the Parish Priest, St. Athanasius Parish, Gbajimba Reverend Fr. Benjamin Adaga expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom and the celebrant for their unflinching support for the growth and development of the Church Praying God to continue to bless their families and endeavours.
Earlier in a homily, Reverend Fr. Solomon Ukeyima emphasised the importance of thanksgiving and commended the celebrant and his family for returning to God in thanksgiving, particularly to raise funds for the building of the chapel of adoration and urged the guests to support him.
The Governor later laid the foundation for the building of the Adoration Chapel.