From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Makurdi, the Benue State capital was yesterday thrown into frenzy and jubilant mood following the affirmation of the election of Governor Samuel Ortom by the Supreme Court.
Though Governor Samuel Ortom was in Gboko the traditional home of the Tiv nation for a prayer session at Peace House,at the time of the declaration, scores of Peoples’ Democratic Party supporters were seen in Government House singing victory songs,
Reacting to the judgement, Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP Chairman John Ngbede said it is a confirmation of the Governor’s victory at the polls which was earlier affirmed by the Election Petition Tribunal and Appeal Courts.
“Now we have come to the end of litigation”, Ngbede said.
In his reaction, erstwhile Senate President and Chieftain of the PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu said he is not surprise that the Supreme Court upheld Ortom’s election, noting that it was overwhelming.
According to Dr. Ayu, “Ortom won by over 85,000 votes and again, won in the rerun that was conducted. The Supreme Court has vindicated the people of the state who voted for him for a second term.”
“I congratulate Ortom for the victory and the entire people of Benue state for standing behind him.”
Also, reacting to the ruling by the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN), former Senate President Senator David Mark noted that the affirmation is a validation of the mandate given to Ortom by the people of Benue State.
He told Ortom: “the validation of your mandate by SCN is an affirmation of the trust reposed in you by the people of Benue State to serve them; for their development, welfare and security which must not be taken for granted”.
In addition, he urged the governor to be magnanimous in victory by extending hands of fellowship to his major opponent Emmanuel Jime and his supporters in the task of working for the good of Benue people.
To Jime, Senator Mark reminded him that the battle for the plum position of governor of Benue State has been fought and won and implored him to join Ortom in the voyage to develop the State.
According to Mark, “I have always maintained that everybody cannot be governor at the same time because there is only one seat but whichever side of the coin one finds himself, he must remember that the interest, welfare and security of Benue and Nigerian people must be paramount”.
He urged the governor to be a father to all irrespective of party affiliation saying, “Your good works, security, peace and unity of the State would be the needed legacies”.