Showing posts with label BENUE NEWS. Show all posts


…As PDP Rally Witnesses Low Turnout 

By Vincent Atondu

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State have expressed their disappointment in the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar for failing to condemn the attacks on their communities which have forced them into different camps for more than five years. 

The IDPs were reacting to what they called “Atiku’s lame statement” when he addressed the PDP presidential rally yesterday at Aper Aku stadium in Makurdi. Atiku, while speaking on the occasion, said if elected, he will ensure that peace returns between herdsmen and farmers in Benue state and also promised to provide security. But he failed to condemn the attacks by his Fulani kinsmen on the state. This has angered those who are in IDP camps and some of them vehemently spoke out and vowed to reject the PDP presidential candidate during the coming elections. Remember that INEC has made arrangements to give IDPs the opportunity to also vote. 

One of the IDPs Tersur Ayaga who spoke in Tiv language at the Abagena camp said “what is more disturbing to us is the fact that Atiku makes campaign promises to ensure security, but is not being sincere. His silence over the killing of our people shows that he will be worse than Buhari. We were waiting yesterday to hear him condemn the attacks on us and warn his Fulani people who have occupied our communities to leave, but he didn’t do anything like that. We don’t trust him”.

Another member of the camp, Mrs Bridget Shember said Atiku’s refusal to visit the camp and sympathize with them when he knows that he needs their votes is proof that he is only pretending about what he said that he will provide security. 

“Since his brothers started killing us, he has been in Benue state but not bothered to know how we are surviving. Atiku has never sent even a bag of garri to us. Is it when he has power that he will remember us? I don’t believe him ooo” 

A young man named Jonathan Mnenga who lost both parents during the 2018 twin attacks on Guma and Logo and has been living with his younger siblings in the Daudu IDP camp, broke down in tears while reacting to what he described as Atiku’s mockery of the victims.

“Who will vote for Atiku if all Benue people are killed before the elections? He has shown hatred towards the people of the state. For him, the lives of cows are more important than the lives of human beings. Does Atiku care to know how I and my younger ones feed? All he wants from us are our votes. I won’t vote for a man who does not believe that I exist”. 

The Benue IDPs pointed out that as the “Zege Mule u Tiv” Atiku has not visited the state even once to say ‘thank you’ to the people after they voted for him in 2019 when he defeated President Buhari in the state. Nearly two million Benue people have been displaced with over 6,000 deaths recorded as a result of herdsmen attacks on Benue state. 

As the 2023 general elections draw closer, the PDP Presidential candidate has an enormous burden to win the confidence of the Benue people. Unfortunately, observers say Atiku does not seem to realize this fact. They fear that he will be only for a section of the country and not for all Nigerians. That he will pamper and protect Fulani terrorists because of his ethnicity. These and more fundamental issues are starring Atiku in the face as we head to the 2023 polls.


Robert Tyough, Member of Parliament for Kwande/Ushongo Federal Constituency, started off the drilling of 120 motorised boreholes across his Constituency's twenty-six (26) council wards on Saturday.

Rep Tyough said he intends to deliver a total of 120 motorised boreholes across the federal constituency, with at least four boreholes in each of the fifteen council wards of Kwande and eleven in Ushongo Local Government Area, during the exercise's flag-off at Agba-Mbakyan Traditional Council Hall, Koti-Apera in Mbagba-Mbakyan Council Ward of Kwande Local Government Area.

He stated that the goal of the water project is to offer decent water to the residents of his area, hence reducing the health risks associated with unsanitary water, and that all 120 boreholes will be supplied within a year.

Rep. Tyough stated that he was working on bringing additional democratic dividends to the people, such as youth and women empowerment programs, and urged people to be patient.

Rep Tyough confessed to Nanev Development Association, shortly before the flag off, that he had temporarily put on hold his scholarship plan because he needed to save money for the purchase of a drilling rig to facilitate his ambition for the water project. He stated that now that he had the gear, he would see the exercise through to the end. As a result, he expressed gratitude to the pupils for their patience.

Many residents of the Koti Apera village came out to watch the flag-off exercise with bated breath.

More photos

 Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has vowed yet again not to cede any land to Fulanis in the state.

Ortom stated that he would rather die than give up his land to the Fulani, who have "made over a million people homeless in his state."

The governor addressed reporters in Markudi, the state capital.

He bemoaned the fact that herders had killed, raped, and driven some people from their homes in the state.

Ortom chastised the Nigerian government for putting on a show in the fight against insecurity.

Ortom insisted that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to apprehend killer herders despite having the capacity to do so.

“Our people are dying, our women and mothers are being raped, our children can't go to school, and they are suffering,” he said.

“These criminals, they show up on social media, claiming to be here with an agenda to drive our people away, take over their land, and kill them.

“And they are here thanks to the Federal Government, but if they come, I am willing to die rather than surrender my land to Fulani men. If God didn't protect me, I don't need anyone's help.”

The Benue state command of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has seized four tonnes of Cannabis and 2.3 grams of Cocaine across the state.

The state commander of the agency, Florence Ezeonye, while parading some suspects also lamented over the level of attacks on its personnel in the cause of trailing and intercepting the dealers.

She expressed concern over the increasing rate of cannabis cultivation in the state, noting that a total of 175 suspects were arrested during the course of the year.

The Commander, therefore, called on traditional rulers to help the campaign against hard drugs, stating that over 75 youths have so far been convicted for illicit drug trafficking.

By: Terver Akase
The Benue Community in Ebonyi State today staged a solidarity rally in support of Governor Samuel Ortom over the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law enacted by the State Government.
The Group which carried banners bearing various messages of solidarity with Governor Ortom, stormed Government House, Abakaliki where one of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum events was taking place.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi and other top government officials accompanied Governor Ortom to receive members of the Benue Community.
Spokesman for the group, Mr David Mtu said the Benue State Government's decision to make a law to end open grazing and encourage ranching has written the name of Governor Ortom in gold.
"Your Excellency, we are not physically at home but we have not stuttered in following developments at home, most recent being the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law which came into effect on Wednesday the 1st of November, 2017.
The law which most of us couldn't wait to see its implementation has no doubt generated a lot of reactions. But majority of the lovers of peace in Benue and beyond have been unanimous that the law couldn't have come at a better time", Mr Mtu stated.
The group commended Governor Ortom for the courage and tenacity his administration demonstrated in ensuring that the law came into being.
"We are full of joy by the birth of this legislation. We can't appreciate your administration enough for this wonderful gift to your people. We encourage you to avoid any distractions and push for the full implementation of the law to the latter. Posterity will never forget you", the group's leader emphasised.
Responding, Governor Ortom thanked the Benue Community in Ebonyi State for the show of solidarity and assured them that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law will be fully implemented.
He resatated the commitment of his administration to the development of all sectors of the state economy, saying that though the challenges are many, the state will overcome the current hurdles and maximize its full potentials.

Commercial activities in Makurdi, the Benue State capital were brought to a halt on Tuesday as people of the state staged a peaceful protest in support of the implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing law.

The law will take effect from Wednesday, November 1.

The walk started at the popular Wurukum Roundabouts amid tight security and the group, ‘Strict Movement Against Ravages in Tiv Land (SMART-LAND) are said to be behind the walk.

Addressing the protesters during the match, Coodinator of Benue Youth Forum, Kuanum Terrence, said they decided to come together under the forum to offer their perspective on the anti open grazing law recently passed by the Benue State House of Assembly.

Terrence said, “We are aware Of that Benue has been under seige for a while with the heardsmen rendering our people homeless,destroying their farm lands and making them refugees in the own land .

“With all avenue for peace exhausted we had no option than to go for the anti open grazing law with we expect all law abiding citizens to stand by it and obey it,with the law we expect everyone to ranch all livestock reared in Benue.This will bring peace and economic Benefit to all.

“Inspite of the law achieving the desired peace it is to bring to Benue people the Miyetti Allah is still threatening the peace of Benue vowing to invade Benue and cause more destruction and never to obey the law.

“This has become worrisome and that’s why we are here urging the inspector General of Police to arrest the leadership of the Miyetti Allah and persecute them and the let takes it’s cause,we equally call on the Senate president to urge the law enforcement agencies to come to our aid before before the Miyetti group erase us from our own land.

“We totally support the Anti Grazing law and stand with the Governor His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom to implement the law totally .

“We also appreciate Governor Ortom for standing with the people and making he sets up a law that we stand the test of time and bring lasting peace to the good people of Benue and Nigeria.”

By Linus Hagher

* Being the text of Commentary broadcast on Radio Benue today 25th October, 2017.

The 22 of May, this year was no doubt a watershed in the history of Benue state, especially as it relates to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

On that day, Governor Samuel Ortom assented to the Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment of Ranches Law to the admiration of the entire Benue people.

The signing of the Law was also significant because it saw majority of Benue people for the first time in recent times, speaking with one voice, irrespective of their tribal, political and religious leanings.

Before the coming of that piece of legislation, there was no guarantee that farmers could be at peace all season to produce food for both subsistence and commercial purposes.

The rural dwellers were also left in perpetual fear of losing their lives and property in unexpected and most times, unprovoked attacks, leading to internal displacement of the people.

There were times when several communities would come under simultaneous attacks by suspected herdsmen who killed and destroyed farm produce at will.

Sadly, several efforts made to find a permanent solution to the herders-farmers crisis never yielded the desired results hence the need for a law to put an end to the ugly trend which occasionally took the coloration of genocide.

That is why the passage of the anti-open grazing bill by the Benue State House of Assembly was greeted by wild jubilation by the people who could not wait to see its implementation.

As the implementation of the legislation commences on November 1, there is the need for the people to unite for its success.                

The unprecedented support the bill enjoyed from initiation to public hearing and passage to the assent by the Governor should be reflected in the implementation.

The Law simply prohibits open-grazing of livestock generally and prescribes punishment for cattle rustling and general theft of livestock as well as other acts that could spark violence.

Governor Samuel Ortom had at various fora said that the Law is for the good of all law abiding residents of the State and not aimed at chasing a particular group out of Benue as mischievously misconstrued in some quarters.

Even on the heels of threats of attack by groups that claimed to be speaking on behalf of cattle herders, Governor Ortom has remained calm and resolute, insisting that the law has come to stay.

The Governor, in his peace-loving disposition, has also condemned the alleged call by some youth on herdsmen to outrightly vacate Benue State, describing it as uncalled for.

According to him, only cattle farmers not disposed to ranching are advised to consider relocating to areas where open-grazing is still acceptable.

Those saddled with the enforcement of the legislation should shun any temptation to compromise, so as to save lives that will be lost in clashes that may ensue if things are not done rightly.
Those few individuals who see cattle rustling as a veritable business must look for genuine means of livelihood or expect the wrath of the law.

Community, political, and religious leaders are expected to constantly sensitize farmers and herdsmen through the Mass Media and other channels of communication on the benefits of the Law and the dangers of violating it.

It is also instructive for the umbrella body of cattle herders and owners to jettison their avowed plans to resist the Law to prevent possible conflicts.
Traditional rulers and communities too must desist from accommodating herdsmen who refuse to embrace the legislation.

The Government, through its relevant agencies and enforcers of the anti-open grazing law, should be decisive in punishing erring groups or individuals who aid and abate violators.

Security agencies too should be alive to their responsibility of protecting all citizens by avoiding any act capable of affecting the people's confidence in their professionalism and neutrality.

The Federal Government has been occasionally blamed for being slow in taming the farmers-herders clashes in parts of the country and it has a duty to prove those crying foul wrong.

With the right mechanism in place and unity of purpose, the Law, which is for the benefit of all without discrimination, shall succeed because in the words of Governor Samuel Ortom, "there is no going back”.

Two boys were reportedly found inside a tanker truck which departed from Zaki-Biam, Benue State on Thursday morning. As shared by a lady, Joy Iorhuna...

"Good pm Family and friends, information reaching me from my village Mbakunde, Mbakaange Vandeikya LGA has it that, a Truck left Zaki-Biam this morning and was caught around Adonai Polytechnic Ankar carrying two little boys. 
According to eyeswitness, "The boys are living with their mother's manfriend at Zaki Biam. While the kids mother got married to another man in Taraba State.

The kids left the house due to the maltreatment they are receiving and join the truck from Zaki Biam, hoping it will stop at Kala, but unfortunately it didn't stop until it got to Vandeikya around Adonai Poly were there's a police check point and the truck was arrested! 
They are presently at the Nigerian Police station in Vandeikya! 

The name of the eldest boy is Teryima Jerome, he said that they are from Konshisha but have never been there! Hopefully the police will be able to trace their father.

The Tiv Social Cultural Organisation (Mdzough u Tiv), said it will hold a Tiv songs and dance competition in the first quarter of this year.
A statement signed by the Chairman, publicity committee, Mr Asunda Mpasega on Saturday in Makurdi, said the event will hold on March 23rd and 25th, at the J.S Tarka stadium, Gboko.
According to the statement, the competition was to promote tourism activities and the Tiv culture.
The statement said the event also aimed at celebrating historical events, raise morale of the TIV people and promote brotherhood, unity and peace.
“Men, women, boys and girls of all ages will participate in the competition which is to enhance our culture.
“Winners will go home with various rewards, as we intend to partner various stakeholders and support participants with empowerment programmes, such as skills acquisition tools, farm produce, farm machinery and cash prices,” the statement said.
The statement added that the festival will promote the Tiv Traditional Council and the Tor Tiv stool and would sell the Tiv Agenda.
“It will promote Tiv values with regards to education, agriculture, trade and Entrepreneurship.
It will also promote the use of the Tiv language,” it added.
The competition, the statement said will also promote viable governance.

By Ahokegh Collins Terkimbi.

The Hon Commisioner for Information and Orientation chief Ode Ageh has said that Benue Television will take off in a matter of months ahead.

The commissioner disclosed this to newsmen after he led the Acting Secretary to the State government (SSG) Dr Ben Meladu and a team of engineers round the facility to ascertain what needs to be done for the station to effectively take off. He commended Governor Samuel Ortom for fostering the activities of the Media in the state and called for support from all relevant bodies to support the move to ensure that Benue Television hits the air immediately.

Earlier, the ECALPEMOS TECHNOLOGIES (a company that specializes in installation and maintenance of Radio and Television) team who came from Kaduna for the assessment were led by the Director General of the corporation Mr Desmond Gondo round makurdi environs to test run the signal strength of the station.

In their submission, the lead Engrs James Olatunji and Lawrence Oguche maintained that the Benue Television mast which is about 120fts as against the needed 250fts was not high enough to serve the purpose for which it was built. As such, its signals will not be effective enough to reach the nooks and crannies of the state. They therefore submitted thus:

1 The construction of a new Benue Television mast of 250fits or
2 The hoisting of the Benue Television Antenna on the Radio Benue mast.
They said any of the above options can be used depending on the financial capacity of the state government.

In his remarks, the SSG expressed confidence in the Ecalpemos Technologies highlighting their track record in the field and tasked them to work out the cost implication of the two options available for onward adoption.

Dr Ben Meladu reiterated on the stance of the Hon Commissioner for Information and orientation saying Benue Television will begin full transmission in the first quarter of 2017. He said His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom will be exceedingly happy to see the station take off as the project is one of the many others that has received positive attention since the inception of the current administration.

Also, the station's Director General Mr Desmond Gondo said he was honoured to receive the team of Engrs from a renowned engineering company who were in Benue to assess the station with the aim of fixing it up for immediate take off.

Mr Desmond Gondo explained that the station was first test run in 2010 but could not take off due to damaged transmitters that are installed at Igbor. He explained further that the test running yesterday showed that the high point areas got reasonable signals while the valley areas could not which means that the mast was not high enough.

The DG of the station further stated that the station has enough manpower predominantly graduates that all they needed to do was to send his staff for a mandatory three months training to refresh their skills for effective take off. He noted that it was necessary for government to alert them in time for them to organize the training as according to NBC guidelines, they must test run the station for at least three months before going professional which means that they must undergo the requisite training to keep them in shape.

In their concluding remarks, the team of Engrs expressed satisfaction with the commitment shown by the Hon Commissioner for information and orientation as well as the DG and state government and promised to on their part do all that is necessary for the station to hit the ground running.

Note that Ecalpemos Technologies Limited is a digital broadcasting engineering firm run by dynamic Nigerian professionals with relative experience in both the information technology and the broadcast fields. Some of their jobs include: Supply and installation of 10kw FM Transmitter Radio Benue Makurdi, 10 KW FM Transmitter , Kapital FM Abuja, FRCN Network studio Abuja, City Fm Lagos Studio Lagos, High Power FM transmission system, Aso Radio Abuja, Radio Star FM Lagos, MCR NTA Parliament Channel just but few.

The outspoken DG of the station Mr Desmond Gondo gave his parting words saying he was optimistic that Governor Samuel Ortom will not leave any stone on turn to ensure that the station comes to fruition soon. He appreciated all especially Chief Ode Ageh, the SSG and the team of Engrs for their time and inputs and sued for speedy actions to see the dream of Benue Television become a reality.

*Photo used for illustrative purpose*
This is  the complete list of the new 6 first class chiefs in Tiv, Benue State.

TOR GWER- Chief Julius Aondona
TOR LOBI - Chief Moses Anagende
TOR KWANDE - Chief Ambrose Iyortyer
TOR SANKERA - Chief Abur King Shuluwa
TOR JEMGBAR - Chief Afatyo Ajoko

By Charles Iornumbe
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says 60% of the loans the State Government has secured to boost agriculture and other commercial activities are to be allocated to female entrepreneurs.
Governor Ortom announced this today in Makurdi, while declaring open the First Benue Women Economic Summit organised by the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, a pet project of his wife, Dr.Eunice.
He stated for instance, that the disbursement of the Bank of Industry loans which the State Government has obtained through partnership with the bank, will be disbursed with the understanding that women are better managers of resources.
Governor Ortom therefore urged Benue women to take advantage of the enabling environment and other opportunities created by his administration such as the loan facilities offered by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture in order to add value to themselves and the state economy.
He reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to the development of women, saying that any society which empowers its women reaps immense benefits from such investment.
The Governor praised his wife Dr. Eunice for the enormous contributions she had made over the years and for standing by him during difficult times.
Governor Ortom added that he is proud of his wife for complementing the efforts of his government in many laudable ways and promised to support her initiatives.
Earlier, Dr. Eunice Ortom who also commended her husband for being a great leader and family man, said she had received tremendous inispiration from the Governor.
Mrs. Ortom said the First Benue Women Economic Summit had become necessary to help women of the state to identify areas of their strength in entrepreneurship. She added that her organization, the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, would not relent in its efforts at giving bearing to the less privileged.

By Charles Iornumbe.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has restated his commitment to lead with the fear of God.
Governor Ortom spoke today at the 40th Anniversary of Full Gospel Revival Crusade holding in Gboko with the theme 'To be like Christ'.
He explained that partnership between his government and the Church is necessary for the realization of the resolve to be fair and transparent in all policies, programmes and actions of government.
The Governor said he is a product of divine grace and would do everything within his powers not to disappoint God in handling affairs of the state.
Governor Ortom who acknowledged that similar divine grace was upon many Ministers of God including Reverend Gbile Akani and Tom Igyah as could be seen in their messages and other manifestations.
Also speaking, the Senator representing Benue North East, Chief Barnabas Gemade who was represented by the Sole Administrator of Konshisha Local Government Area, Mr. John Ayaku, commended Reverend Tom Igyah for being steadfast in his evangelical work and urged him to continue in the spirit.
In an exaltation with the theme 'Our Foundation in Christ', Bro Gbile Akani stressed the need for Christians to always hold onto Jesus as the anchor in all that they do, reminding them of the biblical injunction that no foundation without Christ will stand.
The General Superintendent of Full Gospel Revival Church, Reverend Tom Igyah, thanked all those who graced the event and prayed God to reward them abundantly.
The event featured intercessory prayers for Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration, while Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on diaspora matters, Reverend Peter Ichull donated a bus to the Full Gospel Revival Church for the spread of the gospel.

By James Ornguga

A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Simon Itodo today dismissed the suit instituted by former Permanent Secretary in the Benue State Civil Service, Mr. Andy Uwouku challenging his indictment by the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Commission of Inquiry.
Uwouku is among the 52 persons indicted by the Commission for looting the state to the tune of N107 Billion and had approached the court praying to be set free from all the charges against him.
However, his efforts to be exonerated hit a brick wall today as his case was accordingly dismissed for lack of merit leaving him with many rivers to cross.
Police in September this year, arrested Andy Uwouku over illegal withdrawal of millions of naira from Keystone Bank Plc, Makurdi branch - an account he opened for the Pensions Board to which he was sole signatory.
A former Accountant of the Pensions Board, Paul Chile is also being investigated for allegedly conspiring with Uwouku to convert pensioners' money to their personal use.
In a reaction, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa, described the judgment as victory for the rule of law, justice and accountability. He expressed the commitment of the present administration to recovering the looted funds.
Barrister Gusa urged the people of the state to continue to support the Samuel Ortom administration in its efforts to reposition the state for greater development.

By Peter Duru.

The name Terwase Agwaza is a household name in Benue state. The renown militant leader came into prominence few years ago in the Sankera axis, precisely Gbishe and Tor Donga areas of Katsina/Ala local government area of the state. At the time, rumors had it that his words were law in that part of the country. He was feared by the locals and politicians alike because of his reach and his large follower-ship.

In fact the locals at Gbishe regarded him as a lord whose words must be obeyed. Words had it that he that he, alongside his retinue of gang members, was responsible for many crimes in the state. The gang was accused of masterminding the series of high profile kidnappings, killings and cow rustlings that almost became a daily occurrence in that area.

Bothered by the level of crimes in the state, Governor Samuel Ortom, on assumption of office last September, declared an amnesty for all criminals in the state.

The programme created opportunities for those in possession of illegal weapons to submit same for specified token while those involved in violent crimes were encouraged to turn a new leaf while the state government on its part set mechanism in motion to rehabilitate them.

Hundreds of illegal weapons were voluntarily handed over to the government by their owners and among those who took advantage of the novel programme were the dreaded ‘Gana’ and his gang.

Gana alongside his loyalists, in an elaborate ceremony at the Benue State Government House, surrendered several weapons to the state government and in return were rewarded handsomely with a contract to collect Produce Taxes in the Sankera area of the state, an axis renown for the massive production of food crops.

The decision of the government to rehabilitate Mr. Agwaza was seen by many as a welcome development that would ensure security of lives and property in the volatile Sankera axis.

However, the relationship between the government and Mr. Agwaza went sore following last May’s cold blooded murder of Mr. Denen Igbana, the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the Governor on Special Security who at the time oversaw the amnesty programme of the government.

Igbana, a retired Police officer, was killed by a gang who waylaid him in front of his house along Naka road, in the outskirt of Makurdi town. The manner he was killed was narrated by an eyewitness to Governor Samuel Ortom who paid a sympathy visit to the family of the deceased.

The eyewitness and Tax Collector in the area said the assailants struck at about 1:32am He explained that the SSA had come home only to run into the assailants who were armed with sophisticated weapons, “they opened fire on his vehicle (a Toyota Hilux) perforating the car on all sides.” “Igbana ran out of the car, shouting and heading towards my own house but they shot him on his leg he fell down, at that point his killer came closer to him and he started shouting, ‘Gana so you can kill me, you want to kill me, what did I do to you?.”

At that point he was shot severally again and the people fled.” Governor Ortom who could not hold back tears as he listened to the narrative said the deceased was one of his trusted aides who played a vital role in ensuring the success of the administration’s amnesty programme.

The Governor then charged security operatives to apprehend the masterminds of the killing, saying, “they have killed part of me but I’m still alive and I will ensure that anyone responsible for this dastardly killing even if it is Gana as being alleged, would be made to face justice.”

Shortly after the death of Mr. Igbana, the Police apprehended an aide of the Governor, a Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr. Joe Kyagba for his alleged complicity in the matter and was subsequently arraigned for murder before a Makurdi High Court.

The Police also moved to arrest Mr. Agwaza who in a television interview had maintained his innocence in the matter, explaining that he was not at the scene of the killing and had no hand in the spate of crimes in parts of the state.

However, in an account of his interaction with Mr. Agwaza after the murder of his aide, Governor Ortom stated that he had insisted and prevailed on the ‘Gana’ to submit himself to the law to prove his innocence which he turned down.

According to Ortom, “after the killing of Denen Igbana, Gana found his way, as usual and saw me in Government House, and denied that he knew anything about the killing. “I then advised him to submit himself to the police since I heard from the tax collector, the son of Igbana and several other people that the late Igbana accused you while he was dying of being responsible for his death. And since you are coming from the criminal world, if you are not responsible you may know some people who might have masterminded the killing.

“I asked him to try and identify those people and then he would be vindicated. But where he is unable to do it, the Police will definitely come into the matter, and once they invite him he should respond by going to the police.

“I cautioned that he shouldn’t attempt to run away because if he does that the assumption will be that he was responsible; because the Bible says the thief runs when no man purseth.

“I told him that if you have not committed any crime you have no reason to be afraid of the Police, that my government believes in rule of law and due process. If they invite you, go there and exonerate yourself. The worst that will happen is that the police will arraign you in court and you will have the opportunity of having lawyers to defend you.

“Unfortunately, when the Police invited him he called me again to inform me that the Police invited him and I said look, that is what I told you earlier, report to the Police. There wont be extrajudicial killing in my government. I believe in the rule of law and due process and the Commissioner of Police knows this. I will not allow anyone do anything harmful to you, that I can assure you.”

Ortom recounted. However, despite the assurances, Agwaza withdrew into his shell refusing to submit himself to law enforcement agencies which sparked suspicion compelling the state government to declare him a wanted man. In fact, in furtherance of that declaration, Governor Samuel Ortom also vowed that he was going to personally lead the manhunt for Agwaza in order to get him arrested and ensure that charges were preferred against him.

Few days after, the state was woken up by the news of a special joint military and Police operation in Gbishe to apprehend Agawaza. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai who confirmed the operation said that the army besieged Gbishe in a manhunt for Agwaza for his alleged involvement in series of crimes and the murder of Mr. Igbana.

General Buratai spoke when he attended the pulling out ceremony of five retired Generals of the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers at the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineers, NASME in Makurdi. Represented at the event by Major General Lincoln Ogunewe, the Chief of Policy and Planning, General Buratai stated that the joint operation was intended to restore normalcy in the area.

He said, “It will be a crime if we keep quiet in the face of the heinous crimes going on there, so we will ensure that all the masterminds of the crimes were arrested and brought to justice.”

Corroborating the development, the state government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Dr. Bem Melladu, accused Agwaza and his loyalists of masterminding the surge in kidnapping and robberies in parts of the state.

Melladu said the action of the government followed the refusal of Mr Agwaza to report to the police to answer charges of murder, kidnappings, and armed robbery levelled against him. Part of the statement read, “the operation was approved by the State Security Council.

Security reports have linked Mr. Agwaza with the assassination of Mr Denen Igbana, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Security, five Civilian Joint Task Force members in Ukum local government area and several killings as well as the kidnap of the Dangote Cement Company Indian workers.

He said the wanted man escaped during the operation but reiterated the state government’s determination to have him arrested and brought to justice.

It was also learnt that among those killed in that operation was an alleged second in command to Mr. Agwaza who was popularly known as ‘Jugas’.

Determined to track ‘Gana’ down, Just few days ago, the Benue state Security Council slammed a N5million price tag on him. Governor Samuel Ortom made this known while inaugurating the state, local government, district and ward security committees entrusted with the responsibilities of ensuring peaceful coexistence between herdsmen and farmers across the state.


By: Ben Dzwa

The Benue State School of Nursing has commenced sale of admission forms into her certificate programme in nursing sciences. The process which commenced on Monday 14th November, 2016 is expected to last for a period of two weeks..
Officials at the Benue State Ministry of Health said that the urgency in the process has become necessary because the school is starting behind schedule. They explained that the normal session starts by October but with the present development, they will be starting December which is already 2 months behind schedule.
Candidates wish to apply for admission are expected to purchase the forms at the Ministry of Health, State Secretariat at the cost of 5,000 Naira only.
The basic entry requirements are the usual credit passes in English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Candidates with NATEB may not be screened as the Nursing Council has previously refused to index some students who were admitted using results from that examination body.
Meanwhile, the entrance examination is scheduled for November 30th, 2016. Candidates who have applied or are intending to apply needs to sit up as the admission is going to be highly competitive because of the limited chances of 40 students.
In a similar vein, the School of Nursing, Mkar has also commence sale of admission forms at the cost of 5,000 Naira.

By:  Azembe Daniel
The Benue Women In Prayer (BEWIP), an initiative of the wife of the executive Governor of Benue state, Dr Mrs Eunice Ortom yesterday organized a women empowerment program at the JS Tarka Foundation, Makurdi.
Speaking at the event, the wife of Benue State Governor Dr.Mrs Eunice Ortom stated that such programs have become eminent in consideration of the present economic situation of the nation. She emphasized that God gave her a mandate to show the women how to fish, which will be more beneficial as compared to stipends, and that this was bore out of her desire to see the Benue woman financially stable and self reliant.
The empowerment seminar was organized in conjunction with Lifther International, a UK based NGO.
Women who attended the program where given lectures and lessons on the fundamentals and sustainability of businesses, and thought how to make detergents, soaps, hand and body creams, and clothe beading.


I have read on several media platforms about the Swem especially when the Executive Governor of Benue StateSamuel Ortom said that the next Tor-Tiv will take his Oath of Office with the Holy Bible and not the Swem Karagbe.
I would not want to write about the history of the Swem Karagbe because much has been said already. More so that, all that I know about the Swem is what I heard from my ancestors who were also told, so I see no need authoring a book about Swem Karagbe when it reign has already faded.
Going by the history of the coronation of the past four Tor-Tiv we have had so far, the Swem and the Holy Bible are synonymous the the exercise, they neither new nor strange. While Tor-Tiv(III) took his staff of office by taking an Oath with the Holy Bible, the remaining three took theirs with the Swem. The significance of that has high spiritual implications of the Tiv nation.
Today as I write, almost every Tiv man both young and old professes Christ or simply put, are Christians. It only right to say that the since the majority of the subjects are now Christians, they should not be placed in the hands of a different god other than the one they now believe.
The last time I checked on the profile of many who are lamentating over the Governor's statement, I observed some strange things that did not only got me confused but also made me doubt their sincerity over the matter.
You have children who are more than 10 years yet they don't know the road to their village, some are even grown up and in the university but only know their from a certain local government in Benue State.
You don't want them to go to the village in fear of witches and wizards, even you are afraid of your kinsmen that they may be kill you so you don't allow them to visit your house or spend a night there.
You are that type go from one Revd Father, Pastor, Prophet in search of protection from spiritual forces. There bottles of olive oil littered all over your house, cans of holy water and other special ointments from funky men of God in your house.
You pray overnight for 15 minutes for God to kill all you enemies
You brought several nannies to your house and always return them to the village that they are possessed by demons simply because they are always sleeping during devotion but forgot how you overload them with house activities beyond their strength.
If I have succeeded in describing an aspect of your life, do you really think you have moral justification to call for promotion of Swem Karagbe? Are you just playing politics on the matter or you really need the Swem Karagbe, are you sincere at all?
As far as I am concerned, Swem Karagbe has been killed by the present generation. The Swem Karagbe in it reign abhors the several practices that has engulfed my generation.
*Swem detest Iyuhe (jealousy) but it is now a common practice
*Few Tiv sons and daughters marry as virgins but are a rear specie at the point marriage
*Respect for elders and authority is lacking.
Let me pause before I become a promoter of Swem Karagbe. The God of Bible also detest these act of indecency, corruption, pervasion, rascality and others but is ready to forgive those who repent but Swem Karagbe has nothing like forgiveness. This explains why calamity has befallen us in Tiv land.
Let me say again that for you to be qualified to promote Swem Karagbe, you must also not be guilty of the acts abhors by Swem Karagbe. Are you really qualified to talk about
I encourage those who are ranting at the decision of Governor Samuel Ortom embrace the Bible and save Tiv nation. Have we not suffered enough in the hands of Swem Karagbe by afflicting the land with wars from within and all our neighbours?
As for me and my family, we go with the Holy Bible and we stand with Governor Samuel Ortom!

The International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, said, yesterday, that Benue State small holder farmers, under its Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, will harvest over 10,000 metric tonnes of high quality rice this month. 

Benue State Project Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP, Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum, who made this known in his 2016 progress report in Makurdi, said the feat was achieved through Good Agronomy Practice, GAP.

Igbaukum said: ‘’In the course of the farming year, we constructed 34.5km of rural roads and developed over 2,300 hectares of farmland in the five pilot local government areas of Benue State, with each hectare expected to yield between four and five metric tonnes of rice.

Igbaukum added that cassava production in the state has already gained momentum.



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