By Sunday Ode
he Association of Igede Media Professionals has sent warm greetings to the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, with an appeal to him to endeavour to visit conflict areas in the state, especially, Bonta and Ukpute in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas, respectfully.
According to the group, such a visit with message of peace and hope will be an elixir to the traumatized victims of the needless strife that has rocked the two communities for months.
The group in a statement released Tuesday by its President, Egena Sunday Ode, also commended the gesture by the governor to assist victims of the communal clash in Konshisha but wondered why Oju, which also has a huge number of victims from the same conflict was not mentioned.
AIMPs also charged Governor Ortom to immediately initiate actions that will bring succour to the teeming unemployed youth ias well as pensioners in the state.
The statement titled, “Happy Birthday, Your Excellency” reads:
“We, the members of the Association of Igede Media Professionals would wish to join people of goodwill, friends and family in felicitating with the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom on his 60th birthday.
“We are delighted by his decision to visit orphanages and other vulnerable groups as well as commit to assisting the families of the 12 slain soldiers in Bonta on this day instead of rolling out drums in celebration.
“Dr Ortom was right on track when he said the mood of the state did not permit such luxury. We commend him for his thoughtfulness on this occasion given the fact that few in his position would let slip by an opportunity like this without creating comets.
“We wish him good health, wisdom, courage, resources and resourcefulness to govern and lift Benue State out of poverty and misery.
“Birthdays are also moments of reflection. We would therefore urge the Governor to strongly reflect on the deteriorating security situation in the state with a view to restoring peace through genuine reconciliation across the hotspots.
“We would urge the Governor to visit communities mired in violent conflicts, especially Ukpute and Bonta with a message of hope. We recollect that his predecessor in office Colonel Aminu Isah Kontagora (of blessed memory visited Ukpute and Bonta in 1997 three days after fighting broke out between the two communities. The peace he made held until 2020.