George Kajo, Makurdi
Stakeholders from Obi and Oju local government areas from Benue South senatorial district have distanced themselves from the militant agitations for governorship by the Benue Rebirth Movement (BRM), in the forthcoming general elections.
The people of Igede extraction who call themselves G-2 have also demanded that the Benue South Senatorial seat currently occupied by only Idoma people be conceded to them in the spirit of fairness and equity.
The political leaders who were led by Mr. Samson Okwu, House of Representatives Member for Obi/Oju Federal Constituency, made their feelings known when they paid a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi and pledged their unconditional loyalty to his leadership.
On the agitations by the Benue Rebirth Movement led by Air Vice Marshall Monday Morgan retired, the Igede leaders said they have observed recent political developments in the State and were satisfied with Governor Ortom’s fatherly and well intended advice to BRM and other similar pressure groups of Benue South to dialogue with their Tiv brothers and major parties to zone the gubernatorial positions to zone C.
“We are not a party to the militant approach of the leaders of the Benue Rebirth Movement for the actualisation of an Idoma governor and will continue to stand with Governor Ortom to find a democratic solution to the governorship seat for PDP in the next elections.”
In his presentation, Chief Ibe further noted, “We are appealing to our Idoma brothers in Zone C to concede the position of Senate to Igede land in the 2023 general election for equity and fairness.”
He appreciated Governor Ortom for the recognition he has given to the Igede nation in his administration, pointing out such areas as the creation of first class Chiefdom, appointments of Igede sons as Head of Service and Auditor General of the State as well as the restoration of peace in the Bonta and Ukpute-Ainu Ette border crisis.
While calling on the Governor to sustain the security patrol of the area and demarcation of the borders, the stakeholders pleaded with the Governor to re-mobilize contractors back to the site for completion of the rehabilitation work on Awajir-Oju road as well as the construction of the Aliade-Mbakine- Obarike-Ito roads.
In his response, governor Ortom thanked the stakeholders for the visit which he noted was an encouragement to sustain efforts at turning around the fortunes of the area.
The Governor commended the resilience of the Igede people despite the prevailing challenges, stressing that he was happy for the support they gave him toward resolving the Bonta-Okpute crises.
He encouraged the Igede stakeholders and people of the State generally to remain united, cautioning that actions and utterances to disunite the people along ethnic lines will not be in the best interest of the State’s progress and development.
The governor reiterated his commitment to ensuring that all parts of the State are given equal opportunities to participate in leading the State irrespective of ethnic background.
Others who spoke during the solidarity visit including Chief Ode Age, Hon Egbiri Idaa as well as the Zonal PDP Chairman, Hon David Owulo, all described governor Ortom as man of peace who want things done in the right way.