From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship candidate in Benue State, Chief Dr Samuel Ortom, has promised to revive the industrialization drive of the first civilian governor of the state, the late Aper Aku, if elected.
Ortom who made the pledge in Lessel, the home of the late governor during the party’s rally, lamented that successive governments have jettisoned the vision of Aper Aku.
He observed that Aku’s vision for an industrialized Benue as a panacea for job and wealth creation was unassailable yesterday as it is today and vowed that if given the mandate, he would tow a similar path with the late governor.
The APC candidate further promised that he would deploy his experience as former Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment to partner with the organized private sector to revive ailing industries and establish new ones in the state.
The former Minister commended the industry of the people, whose land is rich in oranges and mangoes, maintaining that his administration would provide the enabling environment for the establishment of factories for the processing of the fruits and other agricultural produce.
Hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), members including former member of the House of Representatives for Kwande/Ushongo constituency, Chille Igbawua, and former Chief Press Secretary to Governor George Akume, Tahav Agerzua, decamped to the APC at the rally.
At Tse-Agberagba in Konshisha local government area, home of Sen. Barnabas Gemade, Dr Ortom reiterated the same message, adding that his supporters were determined to collaborate with the conventional security agencies and youth vigilante groups to arrest, disarm, and humiliate any individual or group sent to rig the forthcoming elections in the state.
Serving Senator and Benue North East senatorial candidate of the party, Senator Barnabas Gemade, said he was seeking reelection because his people requested that he return to the National Assembly and continue to offer them quality representation, explaining that he changed party platform because those he had helped to put into positions of authority wanted to humiliate him in the PDP.
Senator Gemade described Chief Dr Ortom and his running mate, Engr Benson Abounu, as an experienced and dependable team that can develop the state.