Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has issued a challenge to the Igbos, a few days to the presidential election.
He challenged the Igbos in the country to seize this opportunity to work for the election of Peter Obi as Nigeria’s next President.
The Governor threw the challenge on Monday when he hosted the Igbo community Assembly in Benue State at the new Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.
The Igbo community during the visit also conferred chieftaincy titles on the Governor and his wife, Eunice Ortom.
Ortom said, “I know that if the people are connected in this world, it is the Igbos. This is an opportunity you have to say that an Igbo man from the South East is President because some of us believe in the unity of Nigeria. We believe in working together. That is why we accommodate everybody here. We believe in the unity of this country and so let us not miss this opportunity that God himself is providing.”
“The youth have told me, my own people have told me, stakeholders here, traditional rulers, party people across party lines that Obi’s matter is not about PDP, APC or SDP or any other political party. It is about Nigeria.
“You are many. You have the population and thank God that what is unfolding, Peter Obi is someone that is not bonded by ethnicity and that is why when I hear some prominent Igbo personalities castigating Peter Obi for contesting election, I feel sad.”
“Is it not you Igbos that are lamenting that you have been marginalized since after the war? An opportunity has come today and you are still complaining? What do you want? What are you looking for? What do you want? The whole country North, South, East and West are saying that Peter Obi and you hear some people saying we don’t want it “haba” those people should be outcasts,” the governor stated.
The Governor lauded the Igbo people for their enormous contributions towards socio-cultural, economic and political development, stating that their economic models of empowering younger generations was unequalled.
He particularly commended the Igbo community in the state for coexisting peacefully with the people of Benue, saying “you live and do your business among our people without violence and the value addition that you have done here is great.”
He expressed appreciation to the Igbo community for conferring on him and his wife chieftaincy titles, stating that he cherished the honour and it would foster his relationship with Igbo people whom he noted have inspired him, particularly in doing business.
In his address earlier, President General of the Igbo Community Assembly, Friday Anigor extolled Governor Ortom for providing a conducive environment for Igbos in the state to do their commerce unhindered.
He noted that the Governor’s drive towards total security and protection of lives and property of all citizens in the state was highly appreciated by the Igbo community, stating that “the recognition, affection and appointment of Igbo sons and daughters in your Government are gratefully acknowledged.”
The Igbo community Assembly led by its Traditional Council Chairman, Prof. Charles Ariahu conferred on Governor Ortom the Igbo chieftaincy title of “Agu Na-eche Mba 1” meaning “Lion of Benue State” and the Governor’s wife, Dr. Eunice Ortom the chieftaincy title of “Uno Agu 1” of Benue State, meaning the ‘Lions den.’
According to the Igbo community, the chieftaincy titles were in recognition of “positive endeavours by you and your wife as the voice of the voiceless and defender of the people.”
They offered prayers for Ortom to emerge victorious in his Senatorial bid to represent Benue North-West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.