Ortom’s Trips: Benue PDP blasts APC over derogatory comments

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Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Benue state chapter of the PDP has blasted the state chapter of APC over the opposition’s comments on the foreign business trips of the state governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom.

The Benue PDP through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom, was reacting to a press statement signed by his APC counterpart, James Ornguga, where he said the state had not benefited from the governor’s foreign trips.

In his statement, Bemgba Iortyom said the opposition party was aware of all the gains which the foreign trips had brought to Benue state but was only acting a script written to discredit the Ortom-led administration.

According to him, the Benue state APC was desperate to shield the gains of the governor’s previous foreign trips away from the people of the state for political reasons.

The statement reads: “Following the recent working trip to the United States of America by the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Samuel Ortom, there have been series of unfavourable views expressed from opposition quarters regarding the trip.

“From the office of the Acting State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), James Ornguga, came a statement questioning the need for the trip in the course of which the opposition spokesman atypically sought to misinform the public and possibly paint the Governor and his administration in negative hues.

“To counter falsehood with facts it must be established without much preamble that the recent trip of Governor Ortom to the USA and France has significant merits to the state both on the short, medium and long term projections.

“Regarding the MOUs and Bilateral agreements signed by the Benue State Governor with foreign investors on previous such trips, it smacks of mischief for the opposition mouthpiece to claim that those haven’t met their set objectives.

“Fact is the recently distributed tractors, improved varieties of seedling, farm inputs such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and the upgrade in agricultural practices to meet with recent technological advancements and increase in food security are but a few proofs of the impact of some of the signed MOUs and agreements.

“Moreover, those MOUs and agreements signed were proof that discussions were held on certain interests and there was established the intention to act on those interests by the parties involved.

“However, it is common knowledge that MOUs and agreements place performance obligations on all parties involved subject to certain conditions on ground such as security, and in this regard it is trite to note that the state of insecurity in the country including Benue State frustrated the performance of the obligations set out in some of those MOUs and agreements.

“Notwithstanding, Governor Samuel Ortom has not hidden from the people the discharge of some of the MOUs and agreements where investment partners failed in meeting their performance obligations.

“The Governor’s trip to Japan to attend the Global Economic Summit last year was not in isolation as even Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, was in attendance. The IMF at that summit, gave valuable tips on debt and assets management which have proven valuable to our Governor in Benue.

“Benue APC’s Acting Publicity Secretary, James Ornguga, would do well to as well ask Mr. President what the benefits have been so far of his attendance of the Japan Summit and countless other foreign trips to the Nigerian economy.

“Governor Samuel Ortom’s trip to the USA for the U.S – Benue Trade Forum is mutually beneficial to all parties. Besides meeting with potential US investors to Benue State, the Governor seeks to explore the possibilities of opening trade corridors for Benue produce exports to the USA in a bid to improve the state’s IGR.

“On the issue of the delegation on the governor’s trip, the number has been kept to the barest minimum to reduce cost, with the Hon Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General, the Hon Commissioner for Health and Human Services and the Director-General of the Benue State Planning Commission having travelled with the governor

“The presence of the DG BSPC is indicative that the governor intends to use resolutions from the Forum for purpose of strategic economic and socio-structural planning going forward.

“President Buhari has personally embarked on numerous foreign trips to attend forums such as this, yet Benue APC has never condemned those trips, neither have they ever queried the President’s insistence on personally going on these foreign trips.

“Governor Samuel Ortom’s personal involvement in these matters especially in the area of Agriculture is in line with his “hands-on” approach to issues and a practical demonstration of his high degree of commitment to the quest for a liberated Benue economic space capable of attracting profitable foreign investments with attendant multiplier benefits.

“The Governor’s quest to ensure Benue State lives up to its status as the food basket of the federation and guarantee food security for his people is a driving force behind his endeavours in this regard.. His meeting with the Hon. Minister for Agriculture before departing to the USA had similar undertones.

“Those and many more are facts which the opposition in the state must not lose sight of, despite it’s obvious adversarial intent towards Governor Samuel Ortom and his government.

“For to do so will amount to a lack of patriotism to the very entity called Benue State”