Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on the for more appointments of people from the state into federal positions.
Ortom was accompanied by a former Governor George Akume and Senator Banabas Gemade.
Addressing State House correspondents, Ortom said Benue residents overwhelmingly voted for the President in the March 28 election and needed to be given a sense of belonging.
The governor said the state had qualified persons of integrity who could contribute positively to the nation’s progress.
He said: “We believe that we are endowed with the capacity to deliver and sustain food security for our nation, even beyond our nation.
So, we are happy about this. We appreciate Mr. President and we also know that we overwhelmingly voted for Mr. President. We have the capacity, the manpower. There are so many of our people who can add value to the development of this country through several appointments.
“Mr. President, we are not being Oliver Twist, but we believe that we have the capacity to also present other sons and daughters of Benue State to be appointed into other key positions. That is why we are here today.
“We know that the appointment of ministers is not the end; there are several other appointments that will still come. We are sure that the Tiv will be carried along.”
Thanking President Buhari for appointing one of Benue sons, Chief Audu Ogbe, as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ortom said: “Beyond that, Audu Ogbe is a detrabalised person; he is known to carry everybody along. We are sure he will represent our interest.
“Above all, we believe that in the next appointments, the interest of our sons and daughters will be taken into consideration.”
The governor pledged to support Ogbeh, whom he said would collaborate with the state to pursue the nation’s food security policy.
He said: “We came to thank Mr. President for appointing …Chief Ogbe as minister and subsequently swore him in as Minister for Agriculture.
“That is putting a round peg in a round hole. And we are happy that Benue State is the food basket of this nation and Chief Ogbe is known for his passion for agriculture and agric business. We believe that with Ogbe as minister, Benue State will collaborate with him very well and Nigeria will have the dividends of democracy through agriculture.”
Ortom also said Benue State hitherto lacked the right people with the right policies.
The governor noted that this was why it had not been able to tap into its agriculture potentials.
He said: “Today, I am a farmer; Chief Ogbe is also a farmer. All of us are farmers. We have put in place the enabling environment not just for agriculture to thrive. But the main problem has been that of storage, processing and marketing.
“These are areas that we are expanding and inviting investors to come into. We believe that this time round, the story will be different.”