By Nathaniel Ikyur
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and his wife, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, Governor Nyesom Wike have been conferred with honorific chieftaincy titles by the Idoma Area Traditional Council.
The Och’Idoma, His Royal Majesty, John Elaigwu Odogbo who performed the ceremony also honoured retired Maj-Gen. Lawrence Onoja with a chieftaincy title.
This is just as former Senate President, Senator David Mark, lauded Governor Ortom for building a modern palace for the Och’Idoma.
The Paramount ruler of Idoma nation conferred the chieftaincy titles Thursday, February 9th, 2023 during the commissioning of the magnificent Och’Idoma’s palace in Otukpo built by Governor Ortom-led administration.
Governor Ortom was conferred with chieftaincy title of ‘Ochikpali L”Ogwabo K’Idoma’ meaning, ‘Defender of the Defenceless’ while his wife, Dr. Eunice Ortom was given the title ‘Ogbonene K’Idoma,’ meaning ‘Kindness of Idomaland.’
Governor Wike was conferred with the title of ‘Okokonjo K’Idoma’ which translated to mean the ‘Unbreakable.’
Governor Ortom in his brief remarks at the occasion, acknowledged that the traditional institution was a key component for the success of governance, saying it was the reason his administration accorded priority to the welfare of traditional rulers.
He pointed out that, as part of deliberate policy to ensure the traditional rulers performed optimally, prompt payment of salaries as well as provision of vehicles was made a topmost priority.
He appreciated the guidance his administration has received from traditional rulers, stressing that their untiring support enabled him to be firm to tackle complex challenges that confronted the state.
The Governor disclosed that apart from the befitting palaces for the two paramount rulers in the state, he has directed the upgrading and rehabilitation of all government lodges in local government headquarters as palaces for the first class chiefs in the state to also provide more befitting accommodations for them in their domains.
He extolled his Rivers State counterpart, Governor Wike for demonstrating that he was a true friend of the state by his continued support to IDPs, noting that Wike has been speaking out against injustice and oppression of Benue people.
In his remarks, Governor Wike expressed appreciation to the Och’Idoma for finding him worthy to be honoured with a chieftaincy title in Idomaland.
He recalled how he shares common ties with the people of the state as a chieftaincy title holder in Tivland and now Idoma.
He praised Governor Ortom for passionately identifying with the traditional institution and prioritizing the welfare of traditional rulers by building state-of-the-art palaces for them and prayed to God to grant the Governor success as he rounds-off his eventful tenure.
Former Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator David Mark who commissioned the palace, applauded the Governor for giving dignity to the traditional institution.
Senator Mark stated that Governor Ortom has made the Idoma nation proud by the construction of an ultra modern palace for the paramount ruler of the Idoma nation, adding that Idoma sons and daughters will now have a sense of pride inviting their friends to visit the kingdom.
In his address, the Och’Idoma, His Royal Majesty, Odogbo stated that history shall be fair to Governor Ortom for building a befitting palace for the Idoma nation.
The Och’Idoma went spiritual when he declared that God’s will prevail over Idoma kingdom and stressed the need for unity amongst his subjects for development in his domain.
The paramount also declared peace and prosperity on his domain, emphasising that despite the challenge of insecurity by external aggressors on his domain, he was optimistic that the powers of darkness shall be frustrated, adding that the authority of God will continue to prevail over his domain.
Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Prof. James Ayatse in his goodwill message congratulated the Och’Idoma for moving into an ultra modern palace and commended Governor Ortom for “leaving legacies that generations will remember” stressing that “You have lifted the traditional institution and we your royal fathers are pleased with you for doing so well.”
In separate goodwill messages at the ceremony, Air Vice Marshal, AVM Monday Morgan (rtd), Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Prof. Innocent Ujah and the State Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Veronica Onyeke all described the event as historic and hailed the foresight of Governor Ortom in erecting the magnificent edifice.
Earlier, Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development who is also the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Chief Ekpe Ogbu stated that the palace had residential complex, administrative block, service quarters, chapel, guest house, public square and pavilions, conference halls amongst other facilities, noting that the commissioning of the palace was “a monumental stage in the annals of Idoma history which has given pride to the people.”
Others who were honoured with chieftaincy titles included: Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd) as ‘Okekela K’Idoma’ (the Voice of Idoma kingdom, Ode Ede as ‘Ojalohoi K’Idoma’ meaning, ‘he is enough for us.
@views exclusive rights: Nathaniel Ikyur, Chief Press Secretary, February 9th, 2023