Benue revenue service seals off federal agriculture varsity over N2.3b debt

Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) has sealed off the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, over non-remittance of Personal Income Tax running into N2.3 billion.

The Chairman of the board, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi, who led the enforcement agent to the university, sealed off the offices of the vice chancellor, registrar and the bursar.

She said the BIRS had to make the move after the university failed to respond to several letters written to it to pay up the outstanding Personal Income Tax from 2007 to 2011.

The acting Chairman of ASUU, Mr. Bemgba Anjembe, insisted that PAYE was deducted monthly from members of staff salaries and alleged that there was suspected connivance between BIRS and the university authorities not to remit taxes already deducted from members of staff, thus denying them access to tax clearance certificates.

Meanwhile, the students of the university have besieged the BIRS office located on Gboko Road, Makurdi, to protest the closure of their institution and called for dialogue between the BIRS and the university authorities.

The university’s management, through its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Joseph Fanafa, said it was maintaining a dignified silence on the matter until the outcome of a meeting with BIRS scheduled for tomorrow.

Herdsmen invade Prison Farm Centre in Benue, kills inmate.

The Benue Prisons Service on Monday confirmed that herdsmen invaded its Jato-Aka Farm Centre and killed an inmate, one Tersoo Agidi.

Stephen Nwanchor, the Public Relations Officer of Benue Prisons Service, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi that the incident took place on Saturday at the farm centre.

Mr. Nwanchor said the invasion was not a failed jail break attempt.

“This is a new farm centre established in January, 2017. The herdsmen invaded the place, destroyed property, shot and killed one Tersoo Agidi, an inmate.

“We have evacuated all the remaining inmates from the farm centre to Gboko, pending the outcome of the investigation.

“We are not taking anything for granted. My Controller of Prison is on top of the issue, and all relevant security operatives in the state have been notified,” Mr. Nwanchor said.

The PRO said the service was investigating the invasion to ascertain the remote cause, noting that no arrest had been made so far.

Mr. Nwanchor said the service had tightened security in and around all its facilities in the state, assuring that there was no cause for alarm.


Source: NAN

Court remands 3 farmers in prison over death of Fulani herdsman in Benue

A Makurdi Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday remanded three farmers in prison custody over the alleged death of a Fulani herdsman.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the farmers were arraigned in court for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.

When the case came up for a mention, the pleas of the farmers were not taken. The accused persons are Eric Tsambe, Agover Ioreren and Adua Terhile, all from Mbahimin Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue.

The Police Prosecutor, Insp. Abraham Akule, told the court that the case was reported at the Aliade Divisional Police Headquarters by one Oralu Saawuan of LGEA Primary School Mbahimin on Feb. 28, 2017.The complainant stated that he came back from the Airport Market in Makurdi and saw some cattle wandering around the bush behind his compound.

He said that when he made inquiries, he was informed that some youths had a problem with herdsmen for allowing their cattle to eat up some crops.

He stated further that the chairman of the vigilance group in the area later informed him that there was a case of a missing Fulani man for which a search was conducted and a corpse was found in the bush.

It was later discovered that the corpse was one 35-year-old Mohammed Adamu, a Fulani herdsman. During a police investigation, the accused farmers were arrested for committing the crime.

The prosecutor said that investigation into the matter was in progress. He said that the offence contravened Sections 97 and 222 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue State, 2004.

The Magistrate, Mrs Franca Yuwa , adjourned the case to till May 9 for a mention.


Source: The Guardian

Governor Ortom Orders Adequate Medical Treatment For Zaki Biam Victims

Governor Samuel Ortom has ordered for adequate medical treatment to survivors of the Zaki Biam yam market attack.

The governor also promised to increase the presence of joint security in Zaki Biam to prevent further break down of law and order.

The governor gave the directive when he led the State Security Council to commiserate with victims of the attack, promising to pay their medical bills.

Seventeen persons were reportedly killed at Zaki Biam in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.

The Special Adviser to the State Governor on ICT and Media told Channels Television that the killings took place on Monday after an attack on traders in a yam market in the town.

He said Governor Samuel Ortom was scheduled to visit the scene on Tuesday.

While, the spokesman for the State Police Command, Moses Yamu, who also confirmed the attack, said the casualty figure was uncertain.


Source: Channels TV

IGP deploys special tactical force to Zaki Biam in Benue

Inspector-general of police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed a special tactical force to restore order in Zaki Biam, Benue state.

Scores of people were reportedly killed by unidentified gunmen and many were also injured on Monday.

Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, in a statement on Tuesday said that the special tactical force comprised police mobile force (PMF), counter-terrorism units, conventional policemen and special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

The others, according to Moshood, are special investigation bureau (SIB), a detachment of explosive ordnance department (EOD), police K9 (sniffer dogs section), police air wing (aerial surveillance helicopters) and other undercover operatives.

He said that the force would have its headquarters in Zaki Biam, Ukum local government area of the state.

“The Police Special Tactical Force is led by the Commissioner of Police in charge of PMF, Force Headquarters, Abuja under the supervision of Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Operations.

“To achieve success in these operations, the Police Special Tactical Force will be proactive, work on actionable intelligence already at the disposal of the Nigeria Police Force, and carry out 24 hours surveillance and patrol,” Moshood said.

He added that the force would also carry out continuous raids on identified and other suspected hideouts of the assailants so as to arrest attackers and their sponsors and prevent further loss of lives and other criminal activities in the area.

Moshood said that the special force will cover all the communities, towns, villages, vulnerable points, government and private infrastructure and facilities in the area.

He said that helicopters would embark on guided missions and aerial surveillance of the entire area, “especially difficult terrains”, and will operate in synergy with other police formations on the ground.

According to him, the joint investigation team attached to the police special tactical force is made up personnel of force criminal intelligence and investigation department, FSARS, SIP and intelligence response team.

Others include technical intelligence unit and special tactical squad, he said, adding that the team would be headed by an experienced commissioner of police.

He said that the investigation team, which is under the supervision of a deputy-inspector general of police (FCIID), was already in Zaki Biam and was making progress in the investigation into the killings.

Moshood quoted the IGP as urging stakeholders in the area to prevail on their subjects to exercise restraint and support security agencies to bring the killers to justice.


Source: The Cable

BREAKING: Governor Ortom orders herdsmen out of Benue town.

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has given Fulani herdsmen in Tombo-Mbalagh, Buruku Local Government Area of the state, a two-day ultimatum to leave the area.

Mr. Ortom gave the order on Monday in Tombo-Mbalagh during a visit to ascertain the damage inflicted on the community by herdsmen.

The visit followed attacks carried out by the herdsmen over the weekend, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Eight bodies were recovered, while three persons were missing, according to the sole administrator for the council area, Justina Sorkaa,

The state police commissioner, Bashir Makama, however said six persons died in the attack.

Mr. Ortom said he had directed security agencies as a matter of urgency to lead herdsmen out of the area for peace to reign.

He said the herdsmen must leave since they were not welcomed by the unarmed inhabitants of the area.

Most people in Benue state were disarmed through the amnesty programme executed by the Ortom administration in 2015.

Mr. Ortom encouraged the people to remain law abiding by reporting for appropriate action, any breach of peace by the herdsmen.

“Some of the displaced persons have moved in with their relations in Buruku town and those who do not have anywhere to go are with us in an improvised IDP camp here at St Peter’s Anglican Primary School, Imenger,” the Sole Administrator, Mrs. Sorkaa said.


Source: NAN

Paramount ruler decries absence of Tiv in Federal Executive Council

Paramount ruler of Tiv nation, His Majesty Prof. James Ortese Ayatse, yesterday, complained to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that the Tiv people, who are the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, were not represented at the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Ayatse, who spoke shortly after his coronation as the fifth paramount ruler of the Tiv kingdom, also demanded the inclusion of Tiv into Federal Government empowerment programmes, as well as, provision of agricultural inputs to boost food security of the nation.

‘’As you take stock and make your next series of appointments, kindly be reminded that the Tiv Nation is not represented in FEC and has not benefitted from any appointment at the federal level.

The Tor Tiv further appealed to the acting President to approve the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state in general and the dualisation of Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina/Ala-Zaki Biam road to ease the movement of the agricultural produce.

Lamenting that he was ascending the throne at a very turbulent time in the history of the Tiv nation, the monarch regretted the ‘’historical injustices that still subsist against Tiv interests in contemporary Nigeria.”

His words: ‘‘Our people in contemporary Nigeria have suffered untold discrimination, deprivation and relegation and have become vulnerable to simultaneous attacks from hostile neighbours, official victimisation and offensive invasion from bandits and herdsmen.

‘’These attacks sometimes take the dimension of criminality and ethnic haunt organised against the Tiv people. The Zaki Biam massacre without any compensation, when compared to what was done to the Odi community in Bayelsa that suffered similar fate, is still painfully fresh in our minds.’’

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who represented the acting President, pledged to convey the cries of the Tiv nation to the Presidency.


Source: The Guardian

Suspected Herdsmen Invade Benue Community, Kill Four.

Suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly stormed Gbemacha council ward in Gwer Local Government Area of Benue state, killing an elderly man and three others in a midnight raid on the community.

Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness that the herdsmen had in the last few weeks moved into the community with herds of cows which destroyed several cassava farms in the area.

“They development did not go down well with youths of the area who tried to resist them but were equally countered by the armed herdsmen who besieged the community in their numbers and sacked the locals from their homes.”

Speaking on the issue at Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) accountability briefing in Makurdi, the Special Adviser to the State Governor, Bureau for Lands and Survey, Prof. Jonathan Uever, who hails from the area, said the attack was unprovoked.

“They were not provoked in any way, from what I gathered from my people who have been giving me update on the crisis in the last three days, the herdsmen stormed Gbemacha council ward and everybody ran for their lives,” Mr. Uever said. “They took over our community and broke into people’s houses, destroyed food barns and whatever food the they saw were burnt.

“After that they went and hid near a popular well in the community laying wait for the people, the first person they saw was an elderly man, they shot and slaughtered him including three others.”


Source: Sahara Reporters

Rivers Re-run: Govs of Bauchi, Benue, Kanu, Plateau Donated N1b Each For Rigging– Wike

Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the Governors of Bauchi, Benue, Kano and Plateau states of donating one billion naira (N1b) each to the All Progressive Congress, APC, party candidates in the state for the rigging of the re-run election held on 10th December, 2016.

The election which saw the killing of over five persons including a police DSP was riddled with brazen rigging and violence.

Wike gave the allegation during a state broadcast after the election.

Read More:


JUST IN: Kidnapped Nigerian journalist regains freedom

The Benue Police Command on Tuesday confirmed the release of a radio journalist, Iyuadoo Tor-Agbidye, who was kidnapped four days ago in her house in Makurdi.


The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, confirmed the release to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.


Mr. Yamu said the kidnapped journalist was released in the early hours of Tuesday, adding that no ransom was paid.


He explained that police investigations revealed that the kidnappers might have had strong connection with the family.


He disclosed that some arrests were made in connection with the crime, stressing that investigations were ongoing to ensure full punishment of the culprits.


NAN reports that the kidnapped journalist is married to Achim Tor-Agbidye, the Zonal Manager of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Makurdi.

Civilian impersonates soldier, dupes police officer in Benue.

A Makurdi Magistrates’ Court on Thursday sentenced 31-year-old applicant, Gideon Chubu, to 12 months imprisonment for impersonating a soldier and duping a mobile police officer of N40,000.


Chubu was arraigned on a two-count, bordering on cheating and impersonation, punishable under Section 326 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.


The Magistrate, Mrs. Lillian Tsumba, sentenced Chubu to 12 months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the crime and begged the court for leniency.


Tsumba who noted that the convict had no record of previous convictions, said the sentence was to serve as deterrent to others.


The magistrate also ordered Chubu to pay back the sum of N40,000 he fraudulently collected from the mobile policeman.


The prosecutor, Insp. Gabriel Agbadu, had told the court that one Cpl. Elija Ikwe, attached to 13 Police Mobile Force, Makurdi, reported the matter at ‘C’ Division Police Station, Makurdi on Nov. 6.


Ikwe reported that he met Chubu at Wurukum roundabout, Makurdi, on Oct 26, and he introduced himself as a soldier serving with the Chief of Defence Staff in Abuja.


Ikwe further stated that the convict deceptively collected N40,000 from him with a promise to help enlist his younger brother into the Nigerian Army.


The victim stated that the convict was later discovered not to be a soldier and had converted the money to his personal use.


The prosecutor said that the convict was arrested during police investigation and he confessed to have committed the crime.

Benue Governor Ortom declare Fridays work-free for agriculture

Benue State Government has again declared every Friday beginning from November 11 work-free.

The government said this was to enable civil servants commence harvest of their farm produce.

Recall that the Imo State government proposed similar policy but it was rejected by organized labour.

Benue said it will now enforce the policy it announced earlier in the year.

Its explanation then was that workers should use the last working day of the week for farming in the face of dwindling economy which made it difficult for the administration to pay salaries.

The latest decision was reached during the state executive meeting which was presided over by Governor Samuel Ortom.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, said, “The state executive meeting approved that Friday every week be work-free days beginning from November 11, 2016 to end of January next year to enable civil servants harvest the produce in their farms.”

The statement added that the council, however, exempted some workers in education sector, maintaining that the school calendar should be allowed to run normally.

Guinness Nigeria to partner Benue on local content development.

Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, has expressed his company’s commitment to increase the local sourcing of the raw materials used in its operations and the intension to partner with farmers in Benue State towards realizing the initiative.

Ndegwa made the declaration during a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, at Government House, Makurdi.

He said as Nigeria’s only total alcohol beverage company, Guinness Nigeria is proud of the robust partnerships, which it has forged with governments over the years, and promised to continue to run its business in a responsible manner that creates wealth for all Nigerians.

Ndegwa was accompanied by the Corporate Relations Director, Sesan Sobowale, Internal Communications and Employee Engagement Manager, Toni Anne Uwaifo, OXFAM’s Head of Programme, Mr. Constant Tchona, along with other officials of the company and OXFAM, who were in the state to commission solar-powered water and sanitation facilities in Tyowanye community in Benue state. The facility was donated by Guinness Nigeria Plc in furtherance of the company’s commitment to providing safe and clean water to water-stressed communities in Nigeria.

Governor Ortom commended the company’s giant strides in the manufacturing sector and expressed his pleasure at the social investments of Guinness Nigeria Plc in the state while calling on other corporate bodies and individuals to emulate the brewing giant.

The high point of the visit was the induction of the Managing Director as honourary member of the Tiv nation by Dr. Ortom, who adorned him in Tiv regalia, an honour he said is usually reserved for friends of Benue State.

It would be recalled that in August 2016, Guinness Nigeria and WaterAid Nigeria partnered to construct two solar- powered water facilities in Gwam, Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

Why irate youth burnt our station – Nigeria Police

The Benue Police Command has confirmed that a police post at Awajir in Konshisha Local Government Area of the state was on Wednesday burnt down by irate youth.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Moses Yamu, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi that the station was burnt following altercations between officials of the State Produce Board and a motorist.

Mr. Yamu, an assistant superintendent of police, said the produce team had stopped a motorist for routine checks and an altercation had ensued, resulting in a crisis.

He explained that while the two aggrieved groups were engaged in altercation, a police patrol team sighted them and stopped to restore peace and order.

Mr. Yamu said one of the passengers grabbed a riffle from a policeman and shot a passerby, igniting the crisis in which the station was burnt.

He said no arrest had been made while normalcy had been restored in the area.

But some eye witnesses alleged that the commercial motorcyclist who was shot had refused to pay a bribe to the patrol team.

Police Brutality: Officer Kills Okada Rider In Benue Over N50

A police officer on duty along Aliade-Awajir road has shot and killed a motorcyclist, otherwise known as Okada rider.

The victim identified as Friday was killed for interfering while the officer was allegedly arguing with a fellow Okada rider over N50 bribe.

We gathered that the deceased, who came to the scene to maintain peace, got more than he bargained for as the officer reportedly got angry, pulled the trigger and shot him on the forehead. He died on the spot.

The development sparked violence in the area as youths of the community have threatened to set the police station where the officer is attached on fire.

However, Benue State Police PPRO, Moses Yamu said the command was yet to receive the report.

“We have not gotten the report. I will find out and get back to you,” he said.

NIS Scandal: We will invoke ‘Alekwu’ gods on Abba Moro’s Persecutors – Idoma Group

A group under the aegis of Okela Kach’Idoma has threatened to invoke the gods of the land, ‘Alekwu’ on anyone behind the prosecution of their son and former minister of Interior, Abba Moro.

Moro is currently facing trial alongside three others on an 11-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and money laundering over the failed 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise.
The group said the prosecution was politically motivated just to rubbish the image of the son, Moro.
Addressing newsmen Thursday in Otukpo, the national president of Okela Kach’Idoma, Gabriel Adejor Ogidi, said the people of the Idoma community were not happy with the way Moro was being rubbished in the media.

Accroding to Ogidi, Moro, who is happily married with children, would not set out to organize any exercise that would lead to the death of other people’s children.

The group also faulted the earlier claim by the Comptroller- General of Immigration and Principal Witness (PW1) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),Mr. David Paradang that he was not a member of the Steering Committee which conducted the ill-fated recruitment exercise.

“How is that possible? Paradang was in charge of Immigration during the recruitment exercise and as such he cannot deny knowledge of the entire process.
“Now the truth is out. It has been discovered that the former Immigration Boss was actually a Member of the Steering Committee which conducted the ill-fated recruitment exercise. Who is lying now?

“The truth is that he is being used to pull Moro down. The whole drama is staged just to tarnish the image of our son and we will not hesitate invoke the wrath of Alekwu K’Idoma on anyone trying to persecute Comrade Moro,” Ogidi said.

He called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow his good image and that of his administration, which he had built for years to be rubbished by some persons he tagged enemies of progress.

“We are calling on the peoples’ president, Muhammadu Buhari to intervene into the case in order not to allow his reputation and that of his government be dragged into the mud,” he added.

Benue Workers Threaten Strike Over Non-Payment of Salary

The organized labour in Benue state has issued a one week ultimatum to the state government to immediately pay workers the April, 2016 salary or risk industrial action.

In a communique issued at the end their joint meeting in Makurdi signed by the state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Godwin Anya, his Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ordue Tartenger, and the chairman Joint Negotiation Council, Philip Nongo, labour expressed dismay that the April salary was yet to be paid workers two weeks after the state joint account was read.

They wondered why some top government functionaries are out to frustrate Governor Samuel Ortom’s harmonious relationship with labour even when the governor issued a standing directive on an issue.

Sack Non-Performing Political Appointees – Apir Tells Ortom

A Social Critic and Finance Consultant, Nath Apir, has advised Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue to sack non-performing political appointees in his administration for efficient service delivery.

Apir gave the advice while speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Makurdi stating that if non-performing political appointees are allowed to stay, they will act as clog in the wheel of progress.

According to him, such cabinet shake-up will inject vibrancy in government, stimulate economic growth and enable political stability.

He expressed the regret that most sensitive political positions in the state were given to people with neither requisite knowledge nor experience in the portfolios assigned to them.

Apir said crucial economic decisions affecting the future of the state were left in the hands of inexperienced political office holders who conducted them without recourse to professional advice.

The consultant suggested a workable economic plan that would stimulate growth by encouraging the spread of cottage industries based on the availability of local raw materials.

Apir also suggested the establishment of an industry around the Makurdi axis that could encourage the commercial production of sesame seed in the area.

He said: “This state could also leverage on its huge endowments in citric fruits along Ushongo, Gboko and Kwande axis and large palm oil plantations in Idoma land to generate huge revenues.

“All that is needed is to identify these areas of comparative advantage to invest into and encourage processing of such raw materials to rake in revenue for the state.

“Benue has no business with poverty. In fact, there is no reason not to pay workers their salaries; none whatsoever.”

He said that paucity of ideas from such political aides was stifling the states’ economic growth.

Apir, therefore, advised Ortom to ensure excellence in his administration for the purpose of achieving optimal results.

He said the governor was not disclosing exact revenues generated internally by the state revenue board and the true wage bill of the state.

The consultant cited the report of a probe panel set up by the governor.

Apir said that under Governor Gabriel Suswam, the state wage bill was N2.6 billion and wondered the sudden escalation of the bill to about N4 billion; without additional staff recruitment.

Benue Lawmakers Refunding N317m Car Loan To EFCC – Ortom

Gov. Samuel Ortom has said that 22 state legislators have started refunding car loans they collected for personal vehicles to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) .

Ortom, who said this when he received youths of Turan in Kwande Local Government, said they were expected to refund N317million to the anti-graft agency in Abuja.

He said the refund was necessitated by the shoddy manner in which the loans were disbursed to the lawmakers.

The governor said that the process fell short of best practices required in such financial transactions.

Ortom explained that out of the number, 12 legislators were from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while 10 were from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He expressed regrets that due process was jettisoned, which led to the lodgments of cash into the accounts of the legislators for the purchase of the cars.

“After the Executive Council approved the contract for the procurement of Prado Jeeps for the assembly members, only eight were procured.”

He said the contractor blamed his inability to purchase the remaining 22 vehicles on the high cost of the dollar.

“Instead of the contractor to get back to the government, he decided to meet the members directly, who opted for cash.

“The EFCC after studying the contract document ordered the 22 members, who collected cash to refund the money to the commission as due process was not followed”.

The EFCC had over the past one month, played host to Benue legislators, including its leadership, in their role in the loan disbursement saga.

Ortom also assured that his former amnesty boss, Terwase Akwaza, who was fleeing from arrest over his alleged role in the killing of his security aide would be arrested and brought to book.

He said more than 60 of his gang members had been arrested for various crimes in the state.

Civil Servants Are Not Farmers – Onwubiko Emmanuel

It is strange to observe that some state governments are currently using their civil servants as guinea pigs for farming duties. Benue State governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, called this unknown practice a ‘novelty’, which he said could combat the downturn of the nation’s economy.


He was reported to have told civil servants in the state to embrace farming to augment their meager salaries, which may not come at the end of each month. The governor declared every Friday of the week, a public holiday to enable state workers till the land for agricultural produce. The Governor thereafter proceeded on two-week annual vacation, as he said, to enable him tend crops in his farm.


The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Odeh Ageh, who made the announcement, said the work- free day was approved by the the state executive council meeting chaired by Governor Ortom. Ageh explained that the idea would help workers to produce enough food to feed their families in the face of the current economic reality which has made the regular payment of salaries a major challenge.


According to him, the work-free day would commence from Friday, June 10 and would last till the end of July, 2016.


The Commissioner also announced that the governor would proceed on a two-week vacation as part of his annual leave to work on his farm while the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, would act in his absence.


It is safe to argue that in Benue State, the government opted for persuasion and has set out a timeline when this practice of conversion of civil servants to farmers would end. But Imo State governor took his version of the modern day slavery practice to a ridiculous heights.


Governor Okorocha, who is also of the All Progressives Congress, with the Benue State Governor decided to declare two days work-free days to enable Imo State workers go to farms, to use his words, “to produce food to assist the State’s economy.” The governor said the practice will be for one year in the first instance.


The Imo State governor also looked at the rule book adopted by the then old Rivers State’s governor, Chief Clifford Okilo, to term his new agricultural rule “Back to land for Agriculture” even as he stated through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, that the policy of not working Thursdays and Fridays is meant to enable the state civil servants invest inagriculturalactivities.Butunlike his colleague, Mr. Okorocha did not lead by example by showing journalists his farm. But, he cancelled all annual leaves which are statutory entitlements of the state workers.

One is of the conviction that it is wrong for any state governor to use the parlous state of the economy as a reason to compel civil servants to start farming as part of their job specification. This pol- icy should be abrogated without further wasteoftime. Thepolicyisalsoabreach of the labour law since workers working for their states have valid employment letters specifying the duties expected of them. I am afraid that the conversion of workers to farmers is not part of these terms of contracts signed by them. Government cannot abridge, amend or alter the original terms of employment without proper, adequate and transparent agreement of all the parties to the employment contract. Let us consult the eighth edition of “Black’s Law Dictionary” edited by Bryan A. Garner to get some insights on the meaning of contract so as to situate it within the context of the illegality by the Imo and Benue state governors to convert their State Civil Servants to farm slaves.


“The term, contract, has been used to refer to three different things: (1) the series of operative acts by the par- ties resulting in new legal relations; (2) the physical document executed by the parties as the lasting evidence of their having performed the necessary opera- tive acts and also as an operative fact in itself; (3) the legal relations resulting from the operative acts, consisting of a right or rights in personam and their corresponding duties, accompanied by certain powers, privileges, and immunities. The sum of these legal relations is called ‘obligation.’


Apart from the fact that state governments are obliged to respect the employment contract it entered into with her workforce without unduly introducing some strange conditionality, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) has also made copious provisions making it a legally binding obligation that government is not allowed to turn its workers into agricultural “guinea pigs”.


Section 17(3)(a)(b) and (c) provide as follows: “ all citizens without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing ade- quate means of livelihood as well as ad- equate opportunity to secure suitable employment.” “The State shall ensure that conditions of work are just, and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, reli- gious and cultural life” and “the health, safety and welfare of all person in em- ployment are safeguarded and not en- dangered or abused”.


Globally, the most salient aspects of employment laws state that workers must enjoy basic rights at work which must necessarily include getting a writ- ten statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work. Other basic rights of a worker are: The right to an itemized pay slip. This applies from the day the employee starts work; The right to be paid at least the national minimum wage. How did Governors Okorocha and Orthom arrive at the illegality of converting their workforce to farmers? If I may ask, particularly the Imo State governor, have you set up farm settlement centres and obtained good yielding lands for such an initiative?


Also, Benue state governor should tell Nigerians if his administration has succeeded in getting President Buhari to stop the rampaging armed Fulani herdsmen from destroying farmlands?


Currently, Benue, like most other farming communities across Nigeria is battling Fulani herdsmen.

Herdsmen Attacks Claim 1,269 Lives In Benue- Report

Attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the North-central Nigerian state of Benue has led to the killing of at least escalated 1, 269 persons.

Out of the 23 local government areas in the state, the rampaging herdsmen have invaded and occupied 14 and may invade the remaining nine unless urgent measures are taken to curb the menace, authorities said.

Our findings, confirmed by residents, security officials and the state governor, also showed that in the North-east Senatorial District of the state, the herdsmen have invaded Katsina-Ala, Kwande, Logo, Ukum; leaving out Vandeikya, Konshisha and Ushongo.

In Benue North-east Senatorial District, the killer herdsmen have attacked all the other local government councils except Gboko.

The council areas invaded and occupied by the killer herdsmen include Guma, Gwer-West, Gwer-East, Buruku, Tarka and Makurdi local government councils.

The invasion of Ogbadibo, Agatu and Apa local government areas in Benue South Senatorial District are however believed to be the most brutal.

On February 29, for instance, the herdsmen invaded several Agatu villages and farm settlements in broad daylight, gunning down children, women, men and the elderly.

At the time the gunshots subsided, over 500 villagers were reportedly massacred and over 7000 were displaced in 10 villages including Aila, Okokolo, Akwu, Adagbo, Odugbehon and Odejo.

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Two Retirees Slump During Pension Arrears Protest In Benue

Two pensioners of the Benue State Civil Service slumped on Wednesday during a protest staged by retirees under the umbrella of Concerned Benue Pensioners in Makurdi, the state capital.

The retirees staged the protest against the Benue State government over alleged unpaid entitlements and gratuity which spanned 11 months.

The protesting pensioners took to the streets of Makurdi carrying placards with various inscriptions demanding for the immediate payment of their pension arrears.

 It was during the protest that two of them allegedly slumped and became unconscious. All efforts to revive the affected retirees proved unsuccessful. They were taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.

Some of the inscriptions on the protesters’ placards read: ‘’Gov Ortom fulfill your campaign promises’’, ‘’Do not starve us to death,’’ ‘’Pay us our pension’’, ‘’We are more than 30,000 pensioners and we are dying like chickens everyday’’, “We are unable to buy our drugs’’, “Our children have stopped going to schools” and so on.

The protesters barricaded the popular CBN- Government House Roundabout causing gridlock for several hours while all efforts by security operatives to calm them down and allow free passage of vehicles failed until they finally decided to move themselves to the main Government House.

The protesters were received at the Government House by the Acting Secretary to the Benue State Government, Dr. Bem Meladu, commissioners of finance, education and the Head of Service.

Presenting their protest letter to the SSG for onward delivery to the governor who was said to be out of the state, the Chairman of the Concerned Benue Pensioners, Mr. Peter Ikyado, said the protest would not end if the state government failed to attend to their plight.

He added that his members were tired of “continued failed promises” by the state government on the payment of their pension arrears.

Credit: Punch

Gunmen Kill 10 In Benue

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herders have killed at least 10 people and injured many in Logo local government area of Benue state.
The attacks on Logo have  become regular in recent times despite a peace meeting held last week between stakeholders of the affected Tiv speaking people and Fulani herders.

A resident of the area and former government official, Chief Joseph Anawah said that yesterday’s attack on the community happened around 7:30 am while the farmers were heading to their various farms.
Anawah said that the persons killed hailed from Adayohov and Sontyo villages of Gaabe-Tiev in Logo LGA, and that more people were still missing.
But, the State Coordinator of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Garus Gololo, has denied any fresh clash between the farmers and herders.
“I have contacted my people there (Logo) and they said there was nothing like that,” Gololo said.
Conversely, the member representing Logo Constituency at the State House of Assembly, Kester Kyenge, said the casualty figures could be more because some bodies were still being recovered from the bush at the time of this report.
The state Police Command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu said that four persons were attacked by suspected herders at Tse-Adayol in Mbagbe ward of Logo and that one was killed, one missing while the other two were injured.
Credit: DailyTrust

Suspected Herdsmen Kill 26 Persons, Injure Many In Benue

In what seemed like a coordinated attacks, suspected Fulani herdsmen yesterday allegedly attacked four Benue communities killing over 26 persons, injuring many others and razing several houses and huts.

The attacks came on the heels of Saturday’s invasion of Dusa villages in Turan council ward of Logo local government, where a Village Head and five others were killed.

It was gathered that the villages affected in the latest attacks were Uzaar in Tombo, Anyii in Logo local government and Vase in Ukum local government. According to the source, the marauders launched an attack on Uzzar and Anyii Monday night killing about 8 persons and razing down parts of the affected communities.

According to him, “Vase was attacked at about 1am Tuesday where 12 persons including six relatives of a serving Permanent Secretary in the state were butchered in cold blood. The sequence of the attacks clearly showed that they were well coordinated and that is why the people could not put up any form of resistance.

“As we speak there is a huge influx of displaced persons of over 1,000 including women and children running away from their homes to Ugba, the headquaters of Logo same as Zaki Biam in Ukum, for safety. From the sustained attacks it is becoming clear that the herdsmen want to take over the affected communities close to River Benue because of the rich vegetation.” When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent, ASP, Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attacks, said however that “the Police have recovered four corpses from Vase, three from Anyii and one from Uzaar village. That is the number I can confirm to you.”

Credit: Vanguard

Gun Factory Uncovered In Benue

Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Benue State police command have uncovered a factory where locally made firearms, particularly short guns, are produced.

A man described by the police as a specialist and manufacturer of deadly arms, identified as Sunday Odoh, was arrested in a surprise raid launched by the police on the depot at about, Sunday.

Sources hinted that the raid on the factory located in a dingy area along Orokam in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of the state, followed intelligence reports.

Confirming the discovery, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, ASP Moses Yamu, said several items including a machine used for constructing guns, various sizes of pipes, gun accessories, and empty shells of cartridges were recovered from the scene.

“The suspect is in custody and investigation is in progress. It is a major breakthrough in our efforts at checkmating the proliferation of arms and ammunition within the society and Benue State in particular,” he remarked yesterday on telephone.

Credit: Sun

15 Feared Dead As Suspected Herdsmen Attack Another Village In Benue

The incursion of suspected herdsmen into parts of Benue State took a worrisome dimension yesterday afternoon when they stormed Tombo in Buruku Local Government Area of the state, killing no fewer than 15 persons in a bloody shootout.

It was learnt that the marauders, who razed parts of the community, took over the deserted villages. According to a source, who spoke on phone from the besieged community, “as I speak with you the people are shooting sporadically and the villagers are fleeing.

“The situation in Tombo at the moment is scary and we are helpless; it is as if we are in a war situation where the mission of the invaders is to occupy and take over our villages.

“It is a pathetic situation because corpses litter the community. Though one cannot give a specific number of casualties, it cannot be less than 15. I know it could be huge because many have been wounded as bullets continue to fly around.

“The people are also burning houses, farms and food stuff as they move into the villages in what looked like a well-coordinated attack.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu, who confirmed that seven persons had been killed, said the incident occurred at about 3p.m. Yamu disclosed that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Yakadi, had led a team to the crisis zone to ascertain the cause of the renewed clash.

Credit: Vanguard

Herdsmen Leaving Benue ‘In Their Numbers’– Police Commissioner

The Benue State Commissioner of Police, Paul Yakadi, on Tuesday said in Makurdi that the departure of herdsmen from the state marked an end to clashes between them and farmers.

Mr. Yakadi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the herdsmen had started leaving the state on their own volition to end the ongoing crisis with farmers.

He noted that the decision of the herdsmen to leave the state would give peace a chance.

“The herdsmen have started leaving the state for peace to reign. They are leaving in their numbers, but that does not mean the crisis has ended.

“We believe that in no distant time peace will return in the affected local governments and the people will return to their homes again.

“My men are trying their best to end this crisis. Our people too must learn to live with one another and manage disagreement amicably without violence,” he advised.

The commissioner said the Benue command was expecting two additional units of mobile police from Asaba and Abakaliki to quell the farmers/herdsmen crisis.

He said the new units would be deployed to the hinterlands to assist the other officers already on ground to fully end the crisis.

The commissioner appealed to both parties to show restraint and learn to live with one another in peace.

The local government areas engulfed by the clashes included Agatu, Buruku, Logo, Kwande and Makurdi, the state capital.

Credit: NAN

10 Killed And Hundreds Homeless As Herdsmen Attack Benue Villages

About 10 people were feared dead yesterday, in fresh attacks between Fulani herdsmen and farmers at Tom-Anyiin and Tom-Ataan communities, Mbaya, Tombu in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State. The Council Chairman, Godwin Iorsue, the Divisional Police Officer at Buruku, the Area Commander and some security operatives in the area, on assessment tour of the communities, were ambushed and attacked by the herdsmen who had seized the area after they chased off the indigenes.
The renewed crisis has created a huge refugee situation in the area with over 300 people displaced from the affected communities and scores injured in the bloody attack.

A source from one of the affected communities said that the Fulani invaders stormed the communities
late Saturday night, shooting sporadically and burning down houses, huts, food barn, farmland and economic trees.
The source said:

“As I speak with you, fighting is still raging in the affected communities. Although I cannot give you a precise figure of the dead, about 10 have been killed, many are missing and many others sustained injures.”

The Council Chairman, Mr. Godwin Iorsue said they were ambushed and attacked by the herdsmen as they went to assess the extent of damage that had been done by the Herdsmen.
He said: “It was only God that saved us. They were over 30 and well armed while we had only four armed police officers with us. Our cars were perforated with bullets.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu said:

“The people ran away from their communities in fear of a possible attack by Fulani herdsmen, but there were neither killing nor destruction of property in the area. “I can confirm that the DPO, the Area Commander, the Caretaker Council Chairman and selected stakeholders were attacked by suspected herdsmen when they visited to assess the situation in the area.


Ugbabe Adagboyi: Off Key Note From Benue South Senatorial District

I get the impression that the elite in Benue state and especially in zone C are more united for selfish purpose than for our general interest. I get the impression that the youth has major challenges in uniting for our general interest than for selfish purpose. In the end either way has a challenge. This has made a case for the infrastructural deficit in the zone.

These challenges, I wish it were not such a bother to complain but envy, low self esteem, pride, avarice, gluttony, lack of respect for institutions, and finally influence – for the manna that would fall from the elite’ tables on the one hand and for the relevance of the youths as thugs on the other hand have lead us thus far. Only a few had toiled in the manner that has moved everyone forward against all odds. Perhaps many others have not had the opportunity to contribute their quotas.

OFF KEY NOTE: At least no group of persons have claimed that they made the railway network to pass through Otukpo town yet. And no group of persons too have claimed the glory of Otukpo rice mill – the once upon a time acclaimed largest rice mill in West Africa. Yet these were the only infrastructures that employed the bulk of my people then and made Otukpo great. (I have not seen the history books yet, and my teacher didn’t mention it to me in school, at least I was a student of history in SS1). Do Idoma have history books that should be taught in Junior secondary schools? Obviously it is a question for another day.

However, if no one reminds us, we all know some persons were the reason we enjoy some of the major federal government infrastructures and even personal facilities (see for instance, the defunct NITEL, the two UNITY SCHOOLS, NOUN, OWETO BRIDGE – that may have taken too long to complete, the GOLF COURSE – that hosted the world renowned golf player, Tiger Woods, and a COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP Scheme – although many are yet to benefit from the scheme, it is adjudged higher in value than what the Benue state government was paying.

I made this deliberate effort to make this obvious for a simple reason. We must know that the expiration date on water bottles is for the bottle and not the water. The office may go but even the person should be commended no matter what.

In our quest to support our candidates, we must be appreciative, not be economical with the truth, avoid hate speeches and slanderous comments as this won’t make voters love our candidate more than the issues on ground. These people are politicians for Christ sake! (if you are in doubt ask the defunct Jonathan Campaign Organisation).

On another note, I woke up this morning with a wonderful proverb from Ethiopia, “if you break your cow’s horn others will poke it’s eyes.” The first thing that came to my mind was that infamous rhetoric: “the Tiv people don’t want me there…” Even as I am sceptical about the statement (not ignoring the obvious, that the official language in most public offices around the state capital has being Tiv) and if it the comment was actually made by whom it was ascribed to, I won’t find it difficult to believe it proves nothing. That the Tiv man hates us that we are privileged to be what we are/were shouldn’t make us believe that they are out to make things worse for us – only if they have a voting right in our zone and we must wait for the electoral act to be amended. We should be careful not to drag the name of the man in Wannune into our local politics as he is more focused on delivering more dividends to his constituents especially now that every one is demanding that performance should be key to election/re-election.

On this note, I urge the various campaign teams must showcase realistic achievements of their candidate to the electorates, they must shy away from the rhetoric of promises and sentiments (that has failed several times in recent time as people are better aware of developmental issues now than ever). There is, if not many achievements tagging these candidates in and outside Nigeria. Research them, tell the electorates about them, publish them, and finally tell them how your candidate intend to improve on them and let them decide with their PVC.

We must avoid politics of bigotry, sectionalism and hate at all cost. The growth and development of Idoma nation must come first as the various political parties campaign their way to victory.

Ugbabe Adagboyi Damian is a student of Atlas Leadership Academy. He is also an alumni of Imani Centre for Policy and Education, Ghana. You can connect with him via twitter @UgbabeD

 Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

“We Are Solidly Behind David Mark” – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) has described the former senate president David Mark as an asset to the Nigerian nation.

former Senate President, David Mark
A statement by the party’s national publicity secretary, Oliseh Metu said the PDP and the entire people of Benue state are “solidly” behind Mark in an election re-run for Benue South senatorial zone.

Metu said the former Senate president is expected to repeat his victory in a re-run ordered by the court of appeal.

He said the Benue people and supporters of the PDP since 1999 would remain steadfast in giving Mark another resounding victory at the rerun election.

He said the party is confident the senatorial seat will be retained even stronger now.

He said this is possible now that ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC) deceit has become obvious to Nigerians.

Metu said: “The inexplicable ruling of the Appeal Court, even when all evidence pointed to Mark’s victory as upheld by the lower tribunal, is yet another evidence of APC’s dangerous interference in the judiciary, which negative consequences the PDP has continued to alert the nation.”

He said contributions by the senator in the growth and stability of the nation’s democracy growing and stabilizing through his mature, responsible and patriotic leadership of the senate is still highly needed in the polity.

The party also urged its members in Benue South to resist any attempt of intimidation, especially in their determination to ensure effective and result-oriented representation in the senate as typified in senator Mark.

Mark’s elections as senator representing the Benue South zone was nullified by the Court of Appeal on Saturday.

The court also ordered a re-run of the election.

However, Mark has also said he is confident of winning the election many times.

‘I won the election clean and clear. If we go back to the polls 100 times , I will still win convincingly,” Mark said in a statement by his media assistant.

News Alert !!! Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam Arrested By EFCC

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Monday, arrested a former Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswan, over alleged corruption during his tenure as governor.

Mr. Suswam governed Benue state between 2007 and May 2015.

He was being quizzed at the EFCC office in Abuja over alleged graft in his state, at the time of this report.

“He was invited by the EFCC in connection with ongoing corruption investigation in Benue state,” Wilson Uwajuren, EFCC spokesperson, told PREMIUM TIMES.

More to come.

Source – Premium Times

Adagboyi Damian: Privatization Or Cronyism? The Case Of Benue State

The relevance of public infrastructure has been a debatable issue in Nigeria since independence, owing to the growing demand on governments to provide rapid social development and economic growth. As a result, both past and present governments have expended huge financial resources on these infrastructures through annual subventions to the public enterprise sector. Nevertheless, a worrisome trend has drawn more concern; they continue to witness huge losses due to presence of gross inefficiency, massive looting and unprofitability. All these have made most of the infrastructures a revolving-debt-asset.

Orokpo, & Ejeh (2014), noted that while the boom in the world market for oil and petroleum products lasted, no one complained about the wastes and inefficiencies of the public enterprise sector in Nigeria.

This same boom era recorded the highest number of public enterprises establishment in the country even when their commercial financial viability was questionable. However, the fall in the world market for oil, the early 1980s economic recessions and the quest for most developing countries to align themselves with the global trend has exposed the ailing condition of public enterprises in Nigeria.

It is against this backdrop that most economists argued that one prominent rationale for privatising public infrastructure is to make money available to governments. In order words, cash trapped in such infrastructure can be used to fix ailing infrastructure and perhaps build the much needed new infrastructure by creating an enabling environment, therefore shifting future financial risk from the public to a private sector.

A visit to Makurdi, the Benue State Capital of Nigeria would reveal how well the state has fared since it was created on 3rd February 1976. The Capital does not stand out among its equals in terms of infrastructural development. It prides itself as the food basket of the nation. Yet you will agree that a good deposit of resources must allow participation from the community through employment and thereby improving the economy of that community. This is what is assumed as development and growth.

The good deposit of resources in the state prompted the establishment of infrastructures like Taraku Mills, Otukpo Burnt Bricks, Benue Breweries, Kastina Ala Fruit Juice Company, Makurdi Sheraton Hotel, and the “privatised” Benue Cement Company (Now Dangote Cement Company) among other establishments.

Most of these establishments in the State were affected in the second round of privatization scheduled to commerce in 1999. Some of the establishments that were privatised are today, in various stages of liquidation, abandoned or shut down since they have failed to meet their economic and social objectives. As a result, the people are yet to feel the impact despite their eventual privatization. And cash recovered has not been used to build new infrastructures.

However, various excuses have been given for these shortcomings. First, the age of the plant and equipment, perhaps that was not properly assessed to enable preparation for turnaround maintenance. Second, harsh macro-economic environment and rough economic terrain characterized by erratic electricity power supply. Third, there exist an intermittent or acute shortage and high price of petroleum products. Fourth, there is also a low purchasing power due to infrequent payment of salaries, and by extension very weak economic activity.

However, as outlined by Orokpo & Ejeh (2014), most core investors declared as winners of the bids generated sporadic response by the people of Benue State accusing investors’ company of lack of managerial skills and technical capacity to handle the company. Legal proceedings were even instituted against the National Council on Privatization seeking to restrain it from selling the shares to most companies. Moreover, there were complaints of lack of transparency in the entire transactions which were shrouded in secrecy and that the majority of the investing public were ignorant of the sale of the shares.

Therefore, one can conclude that although privatisation is good having acknowledged that government business is not business. However, the process of privatisation must be properly followed in order to curb the perceived culture of cronyism that exists in the process.

Orokpo F.E & Ejeh A. W. (2014), An Assessment of the Privatization of Benue Cement Company Plc, Gboko, Benue State Nigeria: 1986- 2011 International Journal of Public Administration and Management Research (IJPAMR) 2(2):88-97

Ortom escapes losing seat as Benue Governor after Buhari’s intervention

The crisis rocking the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has finally come to an end owing to the timely intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.


The development has saved Governor Samuel Ortom from losing his seat.


Announcing the outcome of a Reconciliation Committee constituted at the instance of Buhari, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who read Buhari’s message yesterday, announced that Hon. Emmanuel Jime and Senator Joseph Waku had agreed to withdraw their suit, challenging the eligibility of Ortom as the duly nominated APC governorship candidate in the April 11, 2015 poll.



The peace committee, after a three-hour meeting behind closed-doors at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, stated that no sacrifice was too much to achieve the desired peace in Benue State.


Dogara said, “On behalf of Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, I wish to announce to you our leaders, gentlemen of the press and the whole world that Hon. Jime and Senator Waku have graciously agreed to withdraw or discontinue with the case in court.”


Other members of the committee, who attended the meeting include state Governors: Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa). Other stakeholders from Benue like Ortom, Jime, Waku, Senators George Akume and Barnabas Gemade were also in attendance.


Source : Daily Post

We Will Make Benue State Uncomfortable For Homosexuals – Governor Ortom

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has declared that the state government will not spare anyone caught in gay activities in the state.

Governor Ortom made the announcement yesterday at the old banquet hall of the Benue People’s house in Makurdi during a courtesy call on him by the Prelate of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh.

Governor Ortom said gay lifestyle which was being promoted in the Western world was alien to the customs, lifestyles, and the belief of Africans and the church.

He prayed that what he described as a revival would spring from the state and produce evangelists that would drive evangelization in Africa and the Western world, saying the personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus was the solution to the decadence sweeping across many nations.

He commended the Anglican Communion in Nigeria for its stand on gay marriage and pledged his support.

Governor Ortom reiterated that his administration, which was anchored on the fear of God would ensure due process and zero tolerance for corruption, even as it would entrench core values that would enhance the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people.

The Governor assured the Prelate of his readiness to personally participate in the scheduled programme of the Anglican Communion taking place in the state next year and wished them well in their current conference in Zaki-Biam.

The Prelate of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Okoh had appealed to the Governor to do everything possible to help the church fight against gay marriage in Nigeria.

He noted that Christians, animists, agnostics, and Muslims in the Country were united against such

Archbishop Okoh said they were in the Governor’s office to identify with him and invite him to their annual programme holding next year in the state and pledged that the Communion would continue to pray for the Governor to succeed in the task of governing the state.

Gov. Ortom Submits Names Of 13 Commissioner Nominees To Assembly

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has sent the names of 13 commissioner nominees to the House of Assembly for ratification.
The letter was read on the floor of the house by the Speaker, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, during plenary in Makurdi on Thursday.
Ikyange, while reading the letter, stated that the approval would enable the governor to appoint the commissioners that would support him to steer the affairs of the state creditably.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the letter was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Targema Takema.
It stated that the governor intended to bring on board only people of proven integrity.
According to the letter, the appointments are in line with Section 192 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After reading the letter, the speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Dr Torese Agena, to liaise with the commissioner nominees in order to get their credentials.
The speaker said that the nominees were to submit 31 copies of their resume each for perusal as a prerequisite for the screening

Benue To Borrow N10bn For Salaries, Projects

The Benue House of Assembly on Thursday approved the request of the state’s executive arm to borrow N10 billion. The House gave the approval in Makurdi during a plenary session.

The letter, seeking the approval of the House to borrow the amount, was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Targema Takema. The letter said that the governor of the state, Samuel Ortom, inherited an empty treasury.

Reading the letter, the Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, said that reliable information from the state Ministry of Finance indicated that the state treasury was empty. Mr. Ikyange said that the state workers were owed five months salaries.

He said that many state-owned agencies were on strike thereby grounding government activities as a result of non-payment of salaries.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Fulani Herdsmen Kill 96 In Benue

At least, 96 people were killed in Benue State when several villages were attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen, a state police spokesman and an army source said on Tuesday.

Hundreds are killed each year in clashes pitting the semi-nomadic, cattle-herding Fulani people against more settled communities that practice a mix of farming and cattle rearing. The clashes are always driven by disputes centred on land use.

A senior military officer said fighting around five villages lasted several days in the Logo Local Government Area of Benue. Police spokesman, Austine Ezeani, said a mobile police unit was deployed in the area.


Court Freezes Plateau, Benue Accounts Over Unpaid Salaries

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the freezing of accounts belonging to Benue and Plateau states in Skye Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank of Nigeria and First City Monument Bank Plc over their alleged refusal to pay state workers.

Reports provide that Justice Ademola Adeniyi gave the order on Monday while ruling on two ex-parte applications filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).  Both states are owing workers several months wages.


Gunmen Kill Policeman In Benue

Some yet-to-be identified gunmen on Wednesday shot and killed an Assistant Superintendent of Police Mr. Baba Ibrahim. Ibrahim was killed in the Kastina/Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, where he had gone on a special assignment on cattle rustling.

The spokesman for the Benue State Police Command, Austin Ezeani, said the murdered ASP was on a special assignment from Abuja. Ezeani said, “ASP Ibrahim was brought in from Abuja to lead a team of other officers to unravel the mystery surrounding cattle rustling in the state.


Disquiet In Otukpo, David Mark’s Hometown Over Buhari’s Victory

There’s currently anxiety in Otukpo, the ancestral headquarters of Idoma land following the victory of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the APC in the just concluded presidential election.

Reporters observed that Buhari’s victory in Benue was courtesy of votes from the Tivs speaking parts of the state.

All the nine local government areas in the Benue south, famously known as Zone C voted overwhelmingly for the PDP candidate.

Their reason for backing Jonathan for second term might not be unconnected with the fact that their political leader and current Senate President, David Mark had urged them to vote for the incumbent so they could create the long awaited Apa State.

He had also informed them to vote for him so they could still remain number three citizen in the nation.

However, the Idoma people were shocked after results from other states put Buhari ahead of their preferred candidate.

Similarly, the national assembly election showed that the APC won more seats than the PDP.

With the emergence of Buhari as the president elect, the leadership stool will surely leave the zone and obviously Mark would step aside as senate president.

In fact, as at 8pm on Tuesday when it became obvious that Jonathan was going to lose, many Idoma natives began to express open regret on social media for falling into Mark’s trap.

Our reporter learnt that GRA Otukpo, where Mark’s residence is located was deserted when Jonathan put a call across to Buhari to concede defeat.

As at 10 pm on Tuesday, major hot spots in the place literarily became graveyards as only few people could be seen on the streets.

However, some ardent supporters of PDP who spoke with reporters said Mark remained their hero despite the outcome of the election.

We Voted For APC Because PDP Government Can’t Pay Our Salaries – Benue Workers

Many civil servants in Benue State voted massively for the leading opposition All progressives Congress (APC) and other minor political parties because of the salaries owed them by the PDP government led by Governor Gabriel Suswan.
The state workers have insisted that there is no need voting for the PDP due to past experiences. They said the party had not paid them their salaries for several months.

During the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, the visibly angry workers who formed the majority of the voting strength of the agrarian state, blatantly refused to vote for the PDP.

The Untold Story: How Fulani Herdsmen Attacked Benue Communities

Spurred by last Sunday’s early morning attack on Egba community in Agatu LGA of Benue State by marauding Fulani herdsmen about which the State Police Commissioner, Hyacinth Dagala, reportedly placed the death toll at 82, DAILY POST headed for the community in an expedition that yielded revealing but disturbing details.

Locals report that hundreds of Fulani nomads invaded the community at about 4:30am on that fateful day, fully clad in military fatigue. They shot sporadically into the air, causing the villagers to run for dear lives. But as they tried to escape, the assailants gunned them down while killing others with machetes and daggers.

An embittered resident of Egba, who gave his name as Attah Okopi, vehemently disagreed with the figure given in official quarters as casualty rate. In his view, those who died from the attack cannot be less than 150. He noted that, “if they are talking about the number of males that died, maybe I can agree with them. But if the number of deceased women and children are to be included, then we would not have anything less than 150.”

Read Moredailypost

Senate Leader Demands Probe Into Benue Killings

Senate President, David Mark, has tasked security operatives to arrest culprits responsible for the recent killings in his homeland of Agatu local government area of Benue State. According to his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark reacted after he was briefed by some of his constituents on the development.

He expressed grief over the incident and wondered why his constituents would be killed continuosly by their supposed neighbors. “This is condemnable. This guerrilla warfare must be stopped. All hands must be on deck to put an end to this. Whatever the issue is, resort to violence or killings cannot bring a solution,” he said.

“We must come together and resolve the matter. This animalistic and barbaric act is condemnable by any right thinking members of the society” Mark added. He called for the establishment of a joint commission specifically to forestall further outbreak of violence and killings.

The Senate President also requested the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to help provide relief material to displaced persons in the area and pleaded with the people to remain law abiding as government finds solution to the crisis. Scores of indigenes of Egba community in Agatu local government area of Benue state were on Monday ambushed and murdered in cold blood.

Credit: CAJ News

Two PDP Chieftains Killed

The Police in Benue have confirmed the killing of two chieftains of the Peoples Democtatic Party (PDP) at Gbinde village in Ushongo Local Government Area of the state by gunmen.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Austin Ezeani, said on Thursday in Makurdi that the deceased, Agbatse Tarkighir and Degeh Ayaahemba, were PDP leaders at council level.

Ezeanin said the victims were traveling from Katsina-Ala to Adikpo on Wednesday evening when another vehicle overtook the bus conveying them suddenly opened fire on them, thereby killing the two.

He said two other passengers in the bus, who sustained various degrees of injuries, were receiving treatment at a hospital at Ushongo, while the corpses had been deposited at the general hospital, Adikpo in Kwande Local Government Area.

Ezeani said the motive of the killing had yet to be established, but assured that the police would not rest until the culprits were brought to book. He appealed to the people to desist from all acts of criminality, especially the killing of innocent people. “I appeal to you not to take delight in killing your fellow human beings, even if the police do not get you, remember that you will never escape the wrath of God.

“Remember the commandments of God, especially now that you approach the elections.

“Assist the police to apprehend criminals; those people who commit those atrocities are not spirits, they leave in your vicinities and dwell amongst you, so help us to protect you,” the police spokesman said.

Credit: NAN

VP inaugurates 5 ultra modern rail coaches in Benue

Vice President Namadi Sambo will on Friday in Makurdi, inaugurate five ultra modern 68-seater passenger coaches, delivered to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) by a Chinese firm.

NRC’s Assistant Director of Public Relations, Mr Akinwoye Abdulrauf, told Newsmen on Thursday in Makurdi that the inauguration would also signal the beginning of operations of the Makurdi/PortHarcourt intercity passenger service.

He assured transporters that the corporation was committed to the provision of high tech rail services in the country. The vice president will also commission the newly-acquired two 16-seater air-conditioned rail buses and 18 five-seater motorised trolleys. Abdulraouf assured that the facilities would be properly serviced and maintained to ease transportation problems in the country.

He said the delivery of the coaches was accompanied by relevant spare parts to avoid intermittent service failure. He said the Nigerian technical crew, charged with the maintenance of the facilities, was adequately trained to ensure continued service delivery.

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10 Things You Need To Know This Morning #NewsBits

Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know this morning:

1. As the strike by Nigerian oil workers gets into its second day, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministries of Labour and Productivity as well as Petroleum Resources will be meeting today with the oil workers to possible end the strike. The meeting has been fixed for 11 am in Abuja.

2 The crisis in the folds of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Oyo State took another dimension yesterday as one of its aggrieved leading governorship aspirants, Seyi Makinde dumped PDP to pick the governorship ticket of the Social Democratic Party, SDP. He alleged lack of free and fair election in the PDP, saying it was the reason for his defection.

3. Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has taken over the case of Ejeh Smith and his wife, Grace, who were allegedly tortured by a policeman, Dada Ogunsanya, an officer attached to the Ikoyi Police Division. According to the Activist, charges would be pressed against the police on behalf of the couple over the abuse of their fundamental human rights.

4. A meeting of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress aiming at picking a running mate for General Muhammadu Buhari ended in the early hours of today with no consensus reached on the matter. The meeting which started at about 10.30pm on Wednesday, ended at about 1.58am on Tuesday without results.
5. Report says some Peoples Democratic Party senators behind the alleged plot to impeach the Senate President, David Mark had a meeting for several hours in Abuja on Monday to strategize on how to kick the Senate President out of power.
Report further revealed that the meeting held in one of the five-star hotels close to the Apo Legislative Quarters.

6. The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose on Monday presented N80.774bn as 2015 budget to the Ekiti State House of Assembly. During the budget presentation, the governor boasted that the opposition All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the state who are attempting to overrun the state would be dealt with by the people.

7. Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has compared Jonathan with Jesus Christ, saying there is no difference between the responsibility of Jonathan for Nigeria and that of Christ for Christians.

8. Report says about five persons have been killed and several villages destroyed in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State in a fresh attack carried out on the local government by suspected Fulani militia.

9. Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has predicted that the economies of some states would collapse if the decline in the price of crude oil in the global market continues for another three months. While speaking on Monday in Minna during the inauguration of the Niger State chapter executives of the Quintessential Business Women Association, the governor said that some states were already finding it very difficult to pay workers’ salaries.

10. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has denied his involvement in the plot to impeach the senate President, David Mark. He said he was shocked by the said report.

Source – Daily Post Ng