By Sunday Iduh
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has described the death of The Guardian Newspapers Correspondent in the state, Mr Joseph Wantu as shocking and devastating.
Wantu died in Makurdi, the state capital earlier last week after a brief illness.
Reacting to Wantu’s death in Makurdi, Ortom lamented that late Wantu died at a time when his services were most needed, especially now that experienced reporters were needed to navigate through the murky political waters ahead of 2023 polls.
Nathaniel Ikyur, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, in a statement on Sunday said, his principal described Wantu as a good professional journalist, who plied his trade diligently, adding he was a gentle man who was thorough, fair and firm in the discharge of his duties. “He called a spade by its rightful name no matter whose ox was gored,” Ortom said.
According to the statement, the governor pointed out that the late Wantu was one of the few journalists whose critical reportage of events in the state helped to shape his administration and took appropriate response to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens.
“We shall miss his immeasurable contributions to the socio-political development of our state,” Ortom stated.
He expressed condolence to The Guardian Newspapers, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the immediate family just as he told them to take solace in the fact that late Wantu lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.
The governor expressed optimism that Wantu’s good jobs while on earth will be the spring board on which his family can lean on.