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Ortom constitutes panel to probe Owukpa mining row

Restates commitment to road construction

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has set up a committee to look into the controversy surrounding mining activities in Owukpa, Ogbadibo Council of the state.

Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, disclosed this to journalists yesterday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.

The CPS said the committee headed by the deputy governor, Benson Abounu, also has the Head of Service (HoS), Mrs. Veronica Onyeke; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa; and Security Adviser to the Governor, Lt-Col. Paul Hembah (rtd.) as members.

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The Abounu-led committee is to meet with stakeholders in Owukpa as well as the affected mining companies and report back to government in due time, The Guardian gathered.

Clearing the air on the arrest and detention of an activist, Okwori Onaji, the CPS said the state government had no hand in the matter, contrary to media reports that fingered the government.

In another development, the governor has said that the last phase of his administration will be dedicated to constructing more road network in Makurdi, the state capital, and other major cities in the state.

Ortom stated this in a chat with newsmen shortly after inspecting some township roads in Makurdi and the facilities at the international market along George Akume Road, Makurdi.

His words, “We will ensure that we connect the people with good road network. Giving my people good roads is the utmost desire of my administration.

“Makurdi is a swampy area. It is usually difficult to connect especially during the rainy season. So, constructing good roads in the state will go a long way in addressing the aforementioned challenge.”

Ortom expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done so far by the contracting firm, stating that more roads would be build as the finances of the state improve.

Earlier, the governor had inspected 60 transformers procured by his administration through the Ministry of Rural Development and Cooperatives and directed the distribution of same to various communities in the state.

Our reporter learnt that though the transformers were not enough to serve all the communities in need, they would go a long way in supplying electricity to many communities.

Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperatives, Victor Ukaha, disclosed that some of the transformers were 33KV and others 11KV.

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