Buhari On Benue Flood, Orders Immediate Support For Over 100,000 Victims

President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken on the flood in Benue State that has displaced about 100,000 people, according to official estimates.

In a statement on Friday, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said Mr. Buhari “has received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue State, which, according to early estimates, has affected thousands of homes and displaced more than 100,000 persons in 12 local government areas.”

“Consequently, the president has directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately mobilise personnel and resources to come to the aid of the victims of the flooding.

The president is closely monitoring the situation, and will be receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster, as well as the federal government’s humanitarian response.

“The president extends his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State, and assures that the federal government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding,” Mr. Shehu said.

Speaking on the flood, Mr. Ortese told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Makurdi that places affected included Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, behind the Civil Service Commission, Agboughul-Wadata among others.

“In Achusa, 200 houses were affected with 5,125 persons displaced. In Idye 217 houses were affected while 5,200 persons were displaced.

“Also, behind the Civil Service Commission 200 houses were submerged in flood and 5,777 persons were displaced,” he said.

Benue is not among the states the fedearl government announced would receive N1.6 billion each to mitigate the impact of floods in their state. The directive to give the money to the 16 states was given by the then acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, in July.

Officials in beneficiary states such as Plateau, however, say they are yet to receive the money, which was supposed to be taken from the Ecological Fund and disbursed through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to the affected states.

Officials in Benue, however, say the state should be included among the beneficiaries due to is experience with flood this year.

Ortom Begs Labour Over Strike Ultimatum

Barely two days to the ultimatum given to the Benue State Government by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress Benue State chapter, to clear the Backlogs of salaries owed workers or faced industrial action, governor Samuel Ortom yesterday appealed to Labour not to embark on strike but still give him little time.

Ortom who spoke with newsmen shortly after a meeting with labour leaders at the new banquet hall , government house, Makurdi explained that his administration is working hard towards addressing the problem of salary arrears.

The governor explained that since 2015, the state has been having short fall in federal allocation the situation, he said had affected the running of government.

He promised that his government will not rest on its oars to explore necessary avenues to raise money  to settle all the arrears of salaries and pension allowances.

“Since we came into office, we have been having short fall in monthly federal allocation and as a result of this, we declared state of emergency on salary payment, we are making moved to get funds to settle the salary arrears.”

“Part of the efforts is the on going modified table payment been headed by the deputy governor and we are sure that at the end of the screening exercise we will get it right, because already we have recover over N500million from the screening exercise”.

The state chairman  Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Godwin Anya also told newsmen that, the state governor enumerated  his challenges to labour leaders but we will first of all meet with the union state executives where decision would be taken whether to embark on strike or not.

it could be recalled that the state chapter of Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC, on August 4th, 2016  gave the state up to August ending to clear the backlogs of salary arrears owed state workers or face industrial action.

This was Part of the communique issued at the end of the meeting.

“SEC in session exhaustively deliberated on the issue regarding members welfare, most especially the non payment of salary arrears, pensions and gratuity, as well as the prompt payment of same by the Benue State Government.

The salary situation has brought untold hardship on our members, leading to inability of workers and pensioners, to meet their obligations like food, payment of children’s school fees, settlement of medical bills and even death of some members.”

the State Government should conclude all the ongoing screening exercise on or before 31st August, 2017, and clear all outstanding arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuity; “Pay salaries, pensions and gratuity as at when due”  adding that failure  to meet the demands, the Organized Labour will be forced to embark on an indefinite strike”

Flood Renders Thousands Homeless In Makurdi

All through the year, floods have rendered thousands dead, homeless and missing all over the world. Sierra Leone is still in state of mourning their over 500 citizens killed from flood and mud slides in the Country. Yesterday the heavy downpour that lasted for house caused a major flood in makurdi the Benue State capital, which left hundreds of settlements, houses and markets submerged.

The downpour, which started around 12midnight, lasted for more than four hours. Some of the areas worst hit by the development include Idye village along Zone 4, police headquarters, Radio Benue settlement, Pleasure Travels Coy Limited, Wurukum Market, Wadata Rice Mill area, Gyado Villa on Gboko road, Welfare Quarters, Benue State University community, New Kanshio village, among others.

According to reports the transmitter of the state’s radio station was submerged in water. At Wurukum market and Pleasure Travel garage, the situation was not different, as shop owners were seen helplessly trying to push water out of their apartments to no avail. It was the same development at Wadata rice mill, where rice stored in many shops, were seen soaked and floating on water. At Idye village, almost the entire community was submerged into the flood.

Recall that On July 21, the people of Akpehe near Makurdi confirmed flash flooding, with the growing water level from River Benue, the biggest reason to flooding in Benue.


Killers Of My Aide Will Never Go Unpunished – Ortom

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said he will not rest until those who masterminded the assassination of his aide are brought to book.

Ortom who insisted that he will ensure the killers go unpunished, described the ugly incident as not just sad but a deliberate ploy to destabilise his administration.

It would be recalled that Dr. Tavershima Adyorough, who is a Principal Special Assistant to the governor on Knowledge Economy and Investment was shot dead in the early hours of Sunday by unknown gunmen.

However, returning from China during a vacation to inspect industrial equipment, Ortom while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja said the killing of his aide is a dastardly act, that must be investigated with a view to unraveling the killers.

“My aide was killed, I feel so sad. While I was away, I received the sad news about the brutal assassination of my personal aide, someone who is very close to me, Dr. Tavershima Adyorough. He worked with me while I served as the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was my assistant and I found him worthy when I won election.

“He is someone who was knowledgeable and well learned and for him to have been assassinated at this time in the history of state and country where we need people with broad knowledge to support us to succeed in our hard times, I feel very sad and this is something I am not going to take lightly, I have already spoken with security agencies; they should fish out the killers because this cannot be allowed to continue,” Ortom stated.

On his industrialisation trip to China, Ortom explained that the journey was a huge success. “The principal reason I went there was to interact with Chairman Wu; Wu is the core investor to Ngamale Cement factory in Benue State. We inherited the project, it started around 2004 during Senator George Akume’s tenure, it continued during Suswam and when I came in I discovered it was a very viable project and we have done everything needed on the part of government to ensure that this project takes off but unfortunately, there has been delay from the core investor on the shipping of the equipment. “

Benue Gov’s Aide Killed In Makurdi

Gunmen on Sunday broke into the residence of the Principal Special Assistant on Knowledge Economy and Investments to Benue State Governor, Dr Tavershima Adyorororough, and killed him.

According to sources, the unknown gunmen, around 12:30 a.m., on Sunday stormed his residence at Nyinma layout in Makurdi, Benue State capital where they shot at the man and his wife.

The deceased and family were said to have retired to bed when the assailants invaded the house and shot him dead while his wife was rushed to an undisclosed hospital where she is receiving treatment.

The state governor, Samuel Ortom has demanded the arrest and prosecution of the killer of his aide.

In a press statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, on Sunday, Benue government confirmed that Dr Adyororough was shot and killed by gunmen who invaded his residence.

Governor Ortom described the killing as unacceptable and condemnable, requesting security agencies to swing into action immediately so as to arrest those responsible for the dastardly act.

He described the deceased as a competent and dependable aide who delivered on assignments with dedication and honesty.

He sympathized with the immediate family of the deceased, the government and people of the state on the loss and pledges that he would support security agencies in apprehending the culprits.

He urged those with useful information that can lead to the arrest to make same available.

It will be recalled that the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on security matters was gruesomely murdered in 2016 at his residence along Mobile Barracks, Makurdi.

Efforts to get the reaction of police are not successful as Benue command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Moses Yamu did not pick the call put across to his line.

Illegal Firearms Factory Uncovered In Benue

The Benue State Police Command uncovered an illegal firearms factory at Tse-Tyungu, Kyado District of Ukum Local Government Area; arresting three suspects, with several finished and unfinished firearms recovered.

Parading the suspects and the recovered items shortly after flagging off the Show of Strength campaign, which comprise members of security agencies in the state, Benue state Police Commissioner, Bashir Makama, said the discovery was made following a tip-off. He said the prime suspect in the business, now at large, had been into the manufacturing of the weapons for long, which were being sold to buyers in the state and other parts of the country.


Explaining the circumstances that led to the discovery, the Commissioner said: “Following the arrest of one Felix at Assasi in North Bank area of Makurdi town on May 24, based on reliable information, the suspect confessed to being a distributor and had sold a locally-made Beretta pistol to one Bishop in Abuja for N40,000.

“During our investigation, the suspect led operatives to the arms factory at Tse-Tyungu, Kyado District, where several types of guns were being manufactured. “Two suspects, 25-year-old Tyowa and 18-year-old Aondoyavenga, were arrested at the plant. Items and exhibits recovered from the factory include one carbon cylinder, one gas cylinder, one Sumec generating set, one Dane gun, one fabricated Beretta pistol, one filing machine, one drilling machine, two saws, one tool box, one jute bag containing tools and a motorcycle.”

Fulani/Tiv Crisis: Three Killed In Benue

Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen in his office in Makurdi.

On how suspected Fulani herdsmen stormed Tse Akaa village, Ugondo Mbanar District of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State Sunday afternoon, leading to the killing of three persons.

The report gathered from our reliable source was said that trouble started Sunday afternoon when the villagers challenged the herdsmen who were moving their cattle away from the area.

Sources said the development raised fear among the villagers who thought that the herdsmen’s movement was an attempt to reinforce and attack the village.

It was gathered that the herders resisted the villagers, and the incident snowballed into a serious fighting.

An eyewitness who identified himself as Terver said the herdsmen, without provocation, launched the attack on the villagers around 5pm at the time some of the villagers were coming out from Sunday evening service.

He, however, denied that the villagers’ action triggered the crisis, saying, some of the villagers were coming out of evening service when the herders began to shoot sporadically at them, and in the process, three persons died.

Terver added that several persons were injured and many others missing.

He said that many people were presently taking refuge at a nearby village.

The source alleged that the attackers came from the Taraba axis, through Abaji, Mbamar, Ugondo and emerged at Akaa, shooting sporadically at the village market square.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Yamu, who confirmed the report said the suspected Fulani herdsmen who were relocating from the area as a result of the onset of the rainy season had a clash with the villagers.

“Three persons were killed in the process, but the Police immediately mobilised to the area and I can assure you that peace has been restored there.”

Governor Ortom, who confirmed the incident, enjoined both farmers and herders to always show patience.

Samuel Ortom, Terrorism In Benue State And Other Matters, By Michael Apeh

The seemingly extra ambitious governor of Benue State, His Excellency Samuel Ortom may be gold in the eyes of many, but let us remember the ever correct and tested statement; ‘not all that glitters is gold’.

Terrorism, foreign trips and absenteeism from important meetings regarding issues staring the state in its face is the style of governance adopted by the governor.

If we can remember, the notorious king of the forest, popularly known as ‘Gana’, was kept far away from Benue State in the previous administration of Suswam, only to surface from the forests of Taraba/Cameroon when he was invited by power thirsty political animals to deliver their party, APC, in the April 2015 elections.

Senator George Akume and Barnabas Gemade contracted Gana with the promise of a seat in the House of Assembly, which would be reserved for one of Gana’s several wives. Fair enough deal if you ask me, but was the promise kept? NO.

To compensate the now angry, wild and dreaded Gana, The new governor of Benue State handed Gana the cash cow of the state – Agriculture. Gana collected revenues of N30,000,000.00 monthly from Agric produce and remitted about N10,000,000.00 to the State. Everyone was happy until things went south. Now his Excellency Governor Ortom wants Gana dead.

You may wonder why the romance between the governor and Gana went sour, but the reasons are not far-fetched.

After heavily empowering Gana with office of the special assistant to the governor on security and giving him two pickup loads of security men to guard him day and night, His Excellency has suddenly realized that Gana knows too much of his various shady deals.

Let us also critically look at the issue of amnesty in Benue State.

For the purpose of curiosity, one would wonder if His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom can let everyone know how much this whole Amnesty sham cost the State.

You ask people/militants to surrender their arms with the promise of a better future, which is yet to be redeemed after so many months. Can we then ask what happened to the funds allocated for this course?

Where are the recovered arms?

His Excellency picked out Gana, empowered him with so much money to buy new sophisticated arms, and left the other militants hanging.

Now in a desperate bid to silence him, a rival group from Abaji was commissioned and paid heavily, which led to the killing of 12 out of 13 men who were in a meeting strategizing on how to get Gana. Till date, we are yet to find out who carried out those killings, but the answers seem to lie in the hands of Governor Ortom and Tewase (Gana).

In two years, so many of the governor’s cronies have been arraigned and charged with murder cases, for example, the special adviser on special duties, Joe Kyaagba, who served three months in jail and was bailed by His Excellency and is still standing trial.

Another sad issue I want my people to look at is Ortom and the award of contracts in Benue State. In a country where corruption is the order of the day and sincerity meant only for fools, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the number one man of a state awards himself contracts meant for the good of the citizens, but then again for how long do we intend to continue like this?

We would expect that with the current song of change filling our airwaves, the governor of Benue State will at least lead by example. But No, the reverse is the case.

In July 2015, His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom awarded a contract of N540,000,000.00 to Oracle Business Limited for the supply of 30 units of Toyota Prado SUVs for the government house.

Can we ask who owns Oracle Business Limited? Can it be the same company His Excellency set up with N2,000,000.00 a couple of years back?

Not stopping there, the insatiable governor went ahead to award a N4.7 Billion road contract to M/S Tongyi new international construction company Limited, a company supposedly owned by his private secretary, Mr. Stephen Amase.

The payments made to Mr. Amase’s company were done without the payment of the mandatory 10 percent handling charge.

It may interest you to know that this same company was registered in August 2015 with Ruth Amase, Dooshima, Sedoo, Tavershima, and Wuese Amase as its directors.

We also gathered that all printers in Benue State have refused to pay tax to the state government for the lack of patronage, no thanks to Oracle Business Limited, which gets all the printing jobs and more.

On a final note, let us remember that those who the gods want to punish, they first make mad.

Michael Apeh wrote this piece from Makurdi, Benue State.

Herdsman Killing In Benue State, 6 Feared Dead

Npayango Federal Highway, Benue youths on Thursday were in protest over the reported attack and killing in Tse Igba Uke and Aliade villages in Gwer Local Government Area of the state by suspected herdsmen on Wednesday night.

The youths killed six persons during the protest, leaving travellers stranded along the highway, which is a major route to the southern part of the country.

The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP. Joel Moses confirmed that six persons were killed by the youths, adding that the command had to use “minimum force to disperse the protesters.”

He said, “The youths barricaded the Npanyango Road and also killed six motorists who they suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, so we had to deploy our men who used minimum force to disperse them.”

Moses could not give the number of suspects arrested in connection with the disturbance, saying policemen were still at the scene of the crime.

He said the suspected herdsmen carried out the attack on Wednesday night, following an attack on their cattle by some youths of the village.

According to him, the corpse of the villager killed by suspected herdsmen had been deposited at the Aliade General Hospital and the injured receiving treatment in the same hospital.

The police spokesman, however, warned against jungle justice.


Source: Punch

Mystery Man Pays N42m Tithe To Benue Church

A man whose identity has been shielded by a local church in Makurdi, has shocked church members with a tithe offering of N42 million.

Investigations in Makurdi revealed that the money was paid into the UBA account of the NKST Church High Level  Makurdi.

Although the pastor of the church, Dr. Frederick Ikyaan, initially denied knowledge of the offering, a copy of the church’s quarterly financial report, covering the months of January – March, confirmed the payment of N42million tithe to the church.

The report showed that the lodgement was the highest single offering from an individual for the quarter.

The money was paid into the church’s account in January.

The breakdown of the church’s financial report showed an income of N56.2 million and an expenditure of N33.7 million within the same time frame.

The church’s records also showed that out of the income, N44.6 million was generated from tithe offerings while a single person accounted for N42 million.

Reacting to the financial report, the pastor said his initial denial was based on the allegations that the donor was an appointee of the Benue government.

” I still stand by my words that the person that gave us that money is not an appointee of the state government. In fact, he does not even stay in Benue but is an indigence of the state.”

He said there was nothing wrong with the offering and insisted that the church had nothing to hide.

Meanwhile, the tithe offering has stirred controversy in a state struggling to pay the salaries of workers.

Public discussion centered on  the legitimacy of the donors income, as a man who pays N42m to a church as tithe must have made an income of N420 million in the month that he paid.

The NKST Church is an abbreviation for ‘Non go Kristu  U Sudan hen Tiv’, meaning the Church of Christ Amongst the Tiv

Herdsmen Attack In Benue State, 15 Feared Dead

About 15 persons have been reportedly killed in fresh crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Turan communities in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.

Report says that 2 bodies has been recovered from the incident so far, from the affected communities.

However, the renewed crisis has led to the disappearance of many persons, while several houses, huts and farmlands have also been razed in the besieged communities. According to a local in one of the affected communities, the crisis erupted early Sunday morning when suspected armed herdsmen invaded Ikyoawen, where four persons were reportedly killed and houses razed.

The local said: “After that attack, they moved into Nzaav and Alaba in Yaav council ward, where over 11 persons were hacked to death and several houses burnt down by the herdsmen.

“Though the affected communities have been deserted, we are still searching in the bushes for many missing persons, including women and children.

“We also realised that the attackers have occupied the sacked communities without resistance. As we speak, several of the houses are still on fire.”

Reacting, the National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Alhaji Garus Gololo, said he was not aware of the presence of herdsmen in the affected communities. According to Gololo,

“if anything is happening there, it would certainly be the handiwork of criminal elements, who are bent on frustrating the efforts of the government to ensure peaceful co-existence in the state.” When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attack noted that two deaths were recorded. Yamu said:

“We heard that Alaba and Mande Ordue communities in Yaav council ward of Kwande council were under attack by suspected herdsmen.

“Mobile policemen have been deployed to the area as two persons, including 65-year-old Keemo Anumen and 46-year-old Tervershima Dado, have so far been confirmed dead and their corpses deposited at the NKST morgue in Jato Aka.”



Source: Naij