Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has called on Nigerians to work for peaceful coexistence of the country and pray for its leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari to enable it surmount the current security and economic challenges facing the country.
The Governor in a new year massage in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase said though year 2020 came with numerous challenges such as COVID-19 and increased insecurity, praises and glory must be given to God for His grace and protection through the year.
He reminded the people that as they go into year 2021, they should remember the need to always observe COVID-19 protocol such as wearing of face masks, the use of hand sanitizers, physical distancing and avoiding crowded places.
He specially commends the State Action Committee on COVID-19, led by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu and all those diligently serving in the frontline and the back end to contain the pandemic, and noted that their selfless efforts ha resulted in the relatively successful response to the virus in the state.
Governor Ortom equally appreciate the people of the state for their support which had helped the administration to record achievements in various sectors of the economy in form of projects in infrastructure, health, education and rural development.
He said, “the progress made by the State Government despite the difficult period offers the assurance that despite the challenges the state faces, it remains on course to realize the vision of an economically self-reliant and prosperous federating unit of Nigeria that is anchored on the fear of God.”
He noted that the economic pressures and fiscal constraints of the outgone year that prompted the 2020 downward budget revision had necessitated the adoption of new measures by governments at all levels to curtail the high rate of unemployment and poverty, insecurity, youth restiveness and breakdown in citizens’ trust of Government as demonstrated in the ENDSARS protests.
He said arising from the Youth Summit recently held in the state, his administration was introducing programmes to give young people opportunities to maximize their potentials in entrepreneurship, particularly in the agriculture value chain, to add greater value to themselves and the state in general.
The Governor deeply appreciated Operation Whirl Stroke, the State Police Command, Department of State Services, DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, as well as all other security agencies for their untiring efforts in guaranteeing the safety of lives and property in the state. He gave assurance that his administration would continue to support them to succeed.