By Peter Duru
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has promised to set up a Peace, Truth and Reconciliation Committee to unite and help the people “truly forgive one another, reconcile and usher in peace and development in Benue State” after the hard-fought 2019 general elections.
Ortom spoke after being declared the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Makurdi, urging those who contested with him to join hands with him to build the state.
The governor at the end of the main election of March 9 and a supplementary poll of March 23, defeated Mr Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congresses, APC, with a margin of 89,318 votes after polling a total of 434,473 votes while the APC candidate polled 345,155 votes.
In his victory speech, Governor Ortom acknowledged that he made mistakes in the first term of his administration, promising that such mistakes would be corrected in his second term.
Part of his speech reads, “I thank God, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings for the sweet victory. In the Bible, King David said in the Psalms: “Some boast of chariots and some of the horses but I boast in the name of the Lord my God. Having dedicated the state to God, I invite all the people of Benue to become more committed in obeying and serving God as it is instructed in Job 36:11 that ‘If they obey and serve Him they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures.
“I dedicate this victory to God, who assured me long ago that there will be giants on the way to hinder but He will surely grant me victory. I also dedicate this victory to the good people of Benue State and especially all members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“As we celebrate let us engage in behaviour that will promote peace and reconciliation. Avoid use of hurtful and insulting political and folk songs. I deeply appreciate the entire people of the state for the various sacrifices they made during this election.
“No doubt in our first term, mistakes were made, and lessons have been learnt.’’
By the grace of God, mistakes will be corrected and our new mandate will be greater than the first in delivering dividends of democracy to our people. Our days in the wilderness are over. The Bible assures us that ‘better is the end of a matter than the beginning.’