Ortom, a courageous and principled leader, says Soyinka


Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has described the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, as a courageous and principled man whom he has enormous respect for.

Professor Soyinka stated this yesterday night during a dinner organised in his honour by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, held at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi.

In his speech, Professor Soyinka described Governor Ortom as a courageous and principled personality who stands for the rule of law in all situations, stressing that he has enormous respect for the Governor.

His words: “I want you to understand that I have enormous respect for your Governor. He is a man of courage, he stands for principles, and he stands for the rule of law,”

Soyinka also stated that for Nigeria to know and enjoy peace, any individual or group of persons who threatens the security of a state or another section of the country must be arrested and prosecuted.

He noted that for Nigerians to coexist peacefully, whenever any individual, no matter how highly placed, threatens the security of citizens of the nation, the only form of action against such a person is to be put behind the bars.

His words: “Whenever any individual, no matter how highly placed, threatens the security of the citizens of this nation, there is only one form of action to be taken against such an individual.

“If any individual, any group of people comes out to say that there will be no peace in a state, which refuses a particular policy, any policy whatsoever, if a part of an entity comes out to threaten the rest, threatens their volition, their right of choice, their right of development, their right to respond even to policies of government and says anyone who rejects his or his constituency’s preference will enjoy no peace, there can be no peace in the nation unless such people are put behind bars.”

In his address, Governor Samuel Ortom said the dinner was organised to honour a peace ambassador, an upright and truthful personality who commands respect the world over, saying the Nobel Laureate always stands by the truth in all situations.

He stated that Professor Soyinka visited the state during its invasion by militia herdsmen, made pronouncements and stood with people of the state when many had abandoned them, saying the elderstatesman had come back again and visited the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to give them hope that the world has not forgotten about them.

The Governor reiterated his call on Benue people to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the National Livestock Transformation Plan and make Benue the hub of pork by rearing pigs in large quantity for commercial purposes.