*Demand fair representation on appointments
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Congress of Idoma Journalists, (COIJ) has congratulated Governor of Benue State, Rev. Father Hyacient Alia on his inauguration and assumption office as the sixth executive governor of the state.
The journalists body also tasked Rev. Father Alia to ensure he sustains the fight against insecurity in the state to meet up with his predecessor, ex Governor Samuel Ortom.
The group made the call in Kaduna yesterday, while reacting to Alia’s inaugural address on Monday, where he said that he would review the anti-open grazing bill put up by the immediate past Governor, Samuel Ortom.
In a statement jointly signed by the President and General Secretary of COIJ, Okpani Amos Ebute and Comrade Mike Odeh and made available to journalists in Kaduna, the forum said that although the administration of Ortom is believed to have performed below average, yet the love for Benue people in the area of speaking out against insecurity was massively felt.
The watchdogs further stressed that the need to improve the security architecture of the state with the view to prevent further loss of lives and properties in the state can never be overemphasized, even as the protection of lives and properties remain the primary function of government as enshrined by the Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, amended.
While expressing belief that the incoming administration would be an improvement on the outgoing administration, the Forum insisted that lives of Benue residents are sacrosanct and therefore it is paramount that the new Governor do all he can to prevent further bloodshed in Tiv and Idoma land as a result of the activities of herdsmen.
The forum called on Father Alia to ensure that his administration provides conducive environment that would enable the creation of employment opportunities for people within the state as this will enable Benue sons and daughters to look towards the direction of home to contribute all they have got for sustainable growth and development.
They congratulated the governor on his election to serve the good people of Benue state for the next four years and urged him to use the principle and the doctrines of Christ he has got over the years to lead the people to their promised land.
The group also tasked him to be fair in terms of appointment, stressing that brilliant Idoma sons and daughters should be given equal opportunities like their Tiv counterparts.