I’ve no hand in selection of Och’idoma —Gov Ortom

By AdvocateNews on 04/01/2022

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The Och’Idoma-elect, Dr John Inalegwu Odogbo and Governor Samuel Ortom
The Och’Idoma-elect, Dr John Inalegwu Odogbo and Governor Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Monday, denied influencing the selection of the Och’Idoma-elect, His Royal Majesty, Dr John Inalegwu Odogbo.

The Governor made his position known through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur.

Ikyur’s statement was reacting to a news report credited to Ochetoha K’Idoma National Forum and signed by one retired AVM Toni Adokwu where the group allegedly accused Dr Ortom of interferring in the selection of the Och’Idoma-elect.

The statement reads:  “Governor Samuel Ortom has no hand in the selection of any traditional ruler or Chiefs, either in Idoma Traditional Area or Tiv Traditional Area.

“And at no time did the governor invite any traditional ruler of Idoma extraction or wheresoever to the Government House for the purposes connected to the selection of the new traditional ruler for the Idoma nation.

“The selection of the new Och’Idoma was based on the legal procedure as enshrined in the legal instruments of the chieftaincy laws of Benue State.

“Due process was followed in the selection exercise as provided by the Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Councils Law 2016.”

“The allegation by the Ochetoha K’Idoma against Governor Samuel Ortom is therefore baseless, unfounded and unnecessary.

“The authors of the press statement therefore acted in error to have dragged the name of the governor into what is entirely a legal process based on the Benue State Chieftaincy Laws of 2016.

"The tone of the press statement as signed by AVM Toni Adokwu, a retired general, who should know the implications of inciting public peace after such a transparent process has been concluded, was not only set in a derogatory language against Governor Ortom but deliberately crafted to cast aspersions on his government.

“The statement is also intended to cause strife, destroy and pitch the Tiv against their Idoma brothers.

“It also beats our imagination for AVM Adokwu and his co-travellers how they tried to belittle the Benue State House of Assembly that included the full compliment of all Idoma representatives in the Assembly.

“The state legislature followed due process, including public hearing that produced the Benue State Chieftaincy Law 2006 which introduced the unified new first-class, second-class and third-class chiefs in the state.”

The statement further clarified that the Benue State Chieftaincy Law ‘is not the creation of Governor Ortom or designed to humiliate and subjugate Idoma people’, adding that, “It is this same law that was used in the selection of other chiefs in Idoma land and is still being used to select chiefs to fill some vacant stools in Idoma land.

“For emphasis, no traditional ruler outside of Idoma land participated in the selection process of the new Och’Idoma.

“So, this campaign of calumny and prejudicial name calling of Governor Ortom is vexatious, callous and therefore completely uncalled for, and should be discountenanced by all well-meaning people of Idoma extraction and indeed Benue State.”

Posted 04/01/2022 03:56:03 AM


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