By Florence Ugbem & Egbe Attah
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed renovation work on the Och’Idoma’s palace in Otukpo.
The governor disclosed this recently during an inspection tour of the palace. He explained that the decision was taken by the state Executive Council to renovate the Palaces of the two paramount rulers in the State. He however said that due to meagre resources, it was difficult to begin both projects simultaneously.
Represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu, the governor stated that with the Palace of the Tor Tiv near completion, his administration has decided to embark on reconstruction of that of the Och’Idoma in, conjunction with Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Benue South.
He also noted that the input of the Och’Idoma was necessary, in order to come up with something befitting of the status of the paramount ruler of Idoma land, in addition to the design made by consultants.
The Och’Idoma, Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, speaking on behalf of Idoma Area Traditional Council, thanked Governor Ortom for his gesture towards the welfare of traditional rulers in the State.The Och’Idoma who was represented by Och’Otukpo-Ohimini, Chief Emmanuel Okochi, prayed God to grant the governor wisdom and strength, in order to complete the renovation of the palace during his tenure.
Meanwhile, Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District, Senator Abba Moro, has commended the Benue State Government on the proposed renovation and reconstruction of the Och’Idoma’s palace in Otukpo.
A recent statement by the Special Assistant on Print and Electronic Media to the Senator, Ameh Godwin, said the lawmaker who had earlier commenced work on part of the palace welcomed the news and is greatly impressed by the move by the state government to give the Och’idomas palace a new look.
The statement added that Sen. Moro believes in teamwork and collective efforts of all and sundry to bring development to the land as singular effort is not enough to bring the needed change. He said that, he would continue with his own efforts in the palace to lessen the load on the state government.
Moro enjoined the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Engr Benson Abounu to continue to use his position to attract developmental projects to Benue South and ensure the take-off and completion of the proposed renovation and reconstruction of the Och’Idomas palace.