Ortom, real defender of Benue Valley, says IHRC

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Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland has described the governor of Benue state, Dr. Samuel Ortom, as the real defender of Benue Valley.

Commissioner of the IHRC in the Middle East, Amb. Dr. Haissam Bou-Said, made this known yesterday at the conferment of the prestigious award of ‘Pride of Africa and Mandela Medal for Long Walk to Freedom’ on Governor Samuel Ortom.

In his speech, Bou-Said who led the IHRC’s delegation to the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi noted that the governor was singled out for the honour for his exceptional struggle for the safety of his people.

The award, which is the second in the history of Nigeria, was conferred on the Governor at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House Makurdi.

He stated that a lot of good reports came when the Governor was nominated for the award even without meeting him in person, stressing that Governor Ortom was the right man to receive such honour.

Dr. Bou-Said decried the lack of security at the Internally Displaced Persons camps and urged the federal government to provide security for the IDPs as it was their responsibility to do so, stressing that he was going to send what he saw at the camps to the Secretary General of the United Nations for necessary action.

Governor Ortom dedicated the award to those who lost their lives in the struggle to prevent the Benue land from invaders and those in the IDPs camps, even as he also called on the federal government to support the return of the IDPs back to their ancestral homes.

He expressed appreciation to all those who stood by him and people of the State during the struggle especially the media, Middle Belt Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, South South Forum, Afenifere and all Nigerians of goodwill.

The Governor who also thanked the IHRC for finding him worthy of the honour, said it would spur him to do more for humanity.

The IHRC also conferred an award of honour on the Benue State House of Assembly in recognition of the enactment of laws for the protection of human rights.