Nigeria at 57: Ortom reaffirms belief in country’s unity, frees 28 prisoners

As Nigeria celebrates her 57th anniversary of nationhood, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has restated the commitment of the government and people of Benue State to the unity of the country.

Governor Ortom believed that the challenges facing the country were surmountable if Nigerians joined hands with government and avoid actions and speeches that fanned embers of hatred and disintegration.

Ortom reassured Benue people in particular that his administration would not relent in its resolve to guarantee the safety of lives and property, while providing good governance for all.

In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, to mark the 57th independence anniversary of Nigeria, Governor Ortom congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration’s efforts in taking the country out of economic recession and the successes recorded in the area of security.

Ortom was optimistic that the country would attain greater heights under the present administration.

The Governor reaffirmed the determination of the government to ensure that Benue overcomes the current economic challenges and moves to the next level of development.

He said “now that the country is out of recession, greater efforts will be channelled towards providing development in various sectors to the people”.

He commended the people of the state for their unwavering support, especially at difficult moments, such as the recent flood disaster which affected thousands of people.

Similarly, the Governor acknowledged the support the people have given to his administration to take bold steps in tackling security challenges.

“Such steps include the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment of Ranches Law as well as the law which prohibits kidnapping, cultism and related offences”, the statement reads in part.

He said the roles played by the Benue State House of Assembly, the Judiciary, traditional rulers, the media, civil society groups and other stakeholders made the laws possible.

Meanwhile, following the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the ‘Prerogative of Mercy’, the Governor has approved the payment of fines for 28 prison inmates in the state to guarantee their freedom.

While appreciating Benue workers for their show of understanding for the past two years, the Governor also restated the commitment of his administration to the payment of their wages, saying, efforts have been intensified to clear the arrears of salaries and pensions. Ortom urged civil servants in the state to cooperate with the committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu, to eliminate ghost workers from the state payroll and reduce the high wage bill.

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