Newly sworn in governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom has said his government will not be a shield for thugs and warned that those who keep them will not be spared, even as he urged owners of livestock in the state to keep them in ranches to avoid clashes with farmers.
“Youths will no longer be dispensable tools in the hands of politicians. All those with arms are advised to surrender them or be made to face the music. Those who refuse to surrender their arms would be pursued, arrested and sanctioned”.
Ortom and his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu were yesterday sworn in at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Square by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Iorhemen Hwande in the absence of their predecessors, Gabriel Suswam and Steven Lawani respectively.
The former governor (Suswam) was said to have jetted out of the state at the early hours of yesterday to Abuja where he allegedly boarded a British borne Airline alongside some People’s Democratic Party, PDP bigwigs in the country.
Ortom reiterated his promise to lead an inclusive, accountable and result oriented government.
He also advised those who are interested in serving in his cabinet to be ready to do selfless service and not to make money. Anyone who wants to make money should better join the private sector or be disgraced.
“As your governor, I pledge to govern with the fear of God. We shall have zero tolerance for corruption and any government official who misappropriates funds will be punished. If you chop our money, the money will also chop you. Anyone who constitutes himself into a conduit pipe, we will fish out. If you run away from Benue and get into Abuja, Buhari will catch you there.”
Ortom restated his determination to move the state forward by encouraging small and medium scale enterprises, promoting agriculture driven industrialization, investing in critical infrastructure as well as promoting equality and empowering women, youths and people with disabilities among other things.