By Terver Akase
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by
people who have kept on trying when there seemed no help at all.”
— Dale Carnegie
The above words of renowned American writer and teacher, Dale Carnegie
aptly tell the story of the present Governor of Benue State, Samuel
Ioraer Ortom, a man who rose through the ranks of life to occupy very
high offices in the land.
According to another American writer, Casey Stengel, “There are three
kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things
happen, and those who ask, ‘What happened?”. Samuel Ortom obviously
belongs to the fist group in Stengel’s classification. The 55 years
Governor Ortom has so far spent on earth have brought smiles to the
faces of many and wiped tears off the cheeks of more.
Born on 23rd April, 1961 in Nzorov, Nongov in Guma local government
area of Benue state, young Samuel Ortom who rose from humble
beginnings, ultimately overcame poverty and launched himself into
state and national reckoning.
Governor Ortom’s story is that of determination, focus and burning
desire for success. It is the same thirst for success and greater
success that led the former Chairman of Guma local government area,
top party official and Minister to aspire to govern his state.
So it came to pass that the revelation God made to Samuel Ortom way
back in 1992 and reaffirmed in 2012 was fulfilled on April 11, 2015
when the people of Benue State came out in their thousands to vote for
him as their Governor.
Flying the flag of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ortom was
clearly up against the tide as he faced the candidate of the then
ruling party, the Peoples Democratic party, PDP. The rest as they say
is history. Today, Samuel Ortom holds the record as the fist candidate
of an opposition party in Benue State to defeat the candidate of the
Widely regarded as a reliable bridge between the poor and the rich,
Governor Ortom has positively impacted on many lives in Benue State
and the country at large. Before he became Governor, Ortom was
proprietor and chairman, Oracle Business Limited the firm that owns
Goshen Water which produces bottled and sachet water; Oracle Oil
Mills, Oracle Printing Press, as well as Oracle Farms Limited which
handles mechanized farming and animal husbandry.
He was also chairman, Capital Prints Limited which handles commercial
printing, publishing and documentation as well as chairman, Achive
Engineering Limited which is into civil and mechanical construction.
The companies have offered employment to hundreds of people.
One of the greatest manifestations of Governor Ortom’s humaneness lies
in the establishment of Oracle Business Limited Foundation which
handles redemptive and empowerment services.
Under the Foundation, Dr. Ortom set aside funds at Bishop Murray
Hospital, Makurdi and Rahama Hospital, Gboko Road, Makurdi for free
treatment of hernia and snakebite patients.
These were among numerous other indelible qualities of this humble son
of Benue that endeared him to the people of the state who
overwhelmingly gave him their mandate as Governor on April 11 last
Though he inherited an empty and deficit treasury, Governor Ortom did
not let that fact discourage him from hitting the ground running with
Today, a number of projects are ongoing across the state while
numerous others are in the process of being awarded. Applications for
the construction and rehabilitation of 700 primary schools in the 23
local government areas have been received by the State Universal Basic
Education Board, SUBEB, and bidding for the contracts will soon
The Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has deservedly rated
Benue as the first state in the payment of marching grant for primary
education projects. This feat has been achieved following the efforts
made by the Ortom administration which set aside N7.6 billion in
collaboration with UBEC for the 700 school projects.
Within the same period, Benue State has become the first state to
achieve the 2015 Round of MDGs/SDGs Conditional Grants in Nigeria for
the construction of primary health centres, skills acquisition centres
among other projects in over 30 communities of the state.
After 12 years of stagnation, medical students of Benue State University breathed the air of graduation following Governor Ortom’s payment of accreditation fee for the School of Health Sciences at the university.
The Ortom administration has also embarked on 116 water projects under the Benue State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, BERWASSA in parts of the state.
Governor Ortom has approved contracts for the facelift of 64
post-primary schools across the state. Work on the School of Nursing
and Midwifery is near completion ahead of the reaccreditation of the
Contractors have been remobilized to site on ten roads abandoned by
the previous administration while work has commenced in earnest on two
new roads in the state – the Mobile Barracks – Yaikyo – Apir road and
the Origbo – Imande – Akpu – Gbajimba road.
Sanity has returned to public service in Benue as financial leakages
are plugged in compliance with the change mantra of the present
Governor Ortom has left no one in doubt regarding his zero tolerance
for corruption as shown in his administration’s efforts to recover
N107 billion looted during the previous government.
This achiever, industrialist, philanthropist and administrator par
excellence has turned 55 and has chosen to thank God and dedicate his
stewardship for the state to the Creator instead of organising a
lavish birthday party where the meagre resources of the state will be
spent. There is therefore every reason for the people of Benue to join
the Governor in praising the name of God for his life and praying that
he receives greater wisdom to enable him steer the affairs of the
Happy birthday Governor Samuel Ortom!