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Ugondo/NAF land: Ortom clears self

By Matthew Ajai-Kume

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has categorically cleared that, he has no hand in the land dispute between Ugondo community of Makurdi and Gwer Local Government Areas of Benue State and Nigerian Airforce (NAF).

In a press statement made available to journalists Friday by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase stressed that, Governor Ortom has not at any time, taken land belonging to the people of Ugondo and handed over to the Nigerian Airforce.

“The issue of land conflict between the Nigerian Airforce and Ugondo began long before he became Governor of Benue State,” the statement said.

According to Akase, Governor Samuel Ortom only attempted to amicably resolve the matter, by holding series of peace meetings with the stakeholders involved in the dispute, however, when the matter was taken to court, the governor called the leaders, elders  and traditional rulers and informed them of his withdrawal from the negotiation.

“As a law abiding person, the moment the people of Ugondo decided to handle the issue through legal means, he made no further mediation, and therefore, wonders why he is still being accused of grabbing the land and giving it to Nigerian Airforce,” he stated.

He emphasised that, even while he was mediating in the land dispute, he only appealed for peaceful resolution of the matter and at no time, imposed his opinion on the two parties.

Akase maintained that, his principal has reaffirmed his commitment to fairness, equity and justice in running affairs of the state and once more, appreciated people of Benue State for the support given him to succeed.

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