Gov. Samuel Ortom: The Expectations Of Benue Youths

Posted: July 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

By Tor, Shiekuma Felix

One amidst the critical people that played momentous role during Gov. Ortom’s electioneering process was Benue youths, who vehemently refused to negotiate their support for him. I could recall to mind how crowd-pleasing social networks and other digital communities were always stuffed with Ortom’s portraits and sugarcoated statements exuding from youths; wooing people who were playing from different league to join the latest bandwagon. The whys and wherefores for this digital mobilization were to ensure that Ortom is diademed as the next governor of Benue state.
The massive and aggressive support Gov. Ortom recorded from Benue youths was neither a mistake nor a miscalculation. They believed governor Ortom has the temerity and gutsiness to embellish Benue state. Moreover, his entrepreneurial backdrop and administrative acumen inveigled youths to gallantly stand for him. They gave credence to Ortom as the most suitable man to level up economic and political holes excavated by his predecessor.
Now that the election and inauguration is winded up, his administration has already kicked off. Key political appointments are made and others are processing. We have so much applauded his spectacular take off, because of the high level of transparency he has exhibited so far and equal distribution of political offices among the three senatorial districts. However, our expectations from his administration as youths are far beyond the foretasted issues.
In the course of scripting this piece, my encyclopedic memory has taken back to Ortom’s inaugural speech on 1st May, 2015 in IBB Square, Makurdi, where he said: “to the youths of the state (Benue), you will no longer be dispensable tools in the hands of irresponsible politicians. We will commit to giving each of you the highest quality training in mathematics, sciences, technology and innovation as well as creative arts to position you for tomorrow as key drivers of the Benue Vision”. This pledge has therefore relieved me of perturb, because youths who are the fulcrum of our state will occupy a space in the development agenda which he intended to unveil in due course.
However, I am not penciling this write-up to hold him accountable for his solemn pledge towards youths, but to draw his attention to the fact that Benue youths are expecting to see him implement his pledge. This is more so because his predecessors brought development blueprints for youths that were more glamouring than his own but at the end of their administrations Benue youths were disdained and ostracized.
Now, it is obvious that sycophants and politicians of easy virtue, including those who capsized Benue state, are stuffing his ears with hogwash advices. This calls for our reminder that even as people are selfishly advising him on how to drive Benue state, he is expected by Benue youths to carry into effect his words of honor. Past experiences are conflicting with our total trust in his promise.

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To be open and crystal-clear, youth empowerment is our great expectation. There should be attitudinal, structural and cultural process whereby Benue youths will gain the ability, authority, and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives and the lives of other people. In essence, youths-centered initiatives and progrmmes are expected to be launched. Benue youths don’t expect him to give them fish, he should teach them how to catch fish so as to live a self-sustained life.

It is a culture in Benue State that youths are only serviceable when it comes to thuggery assignments. Crooked politicians employ the services of these indiscerning and inprescient young men to cause shambles during political processes. To this end, they are appropriately armed with sophisticated weapons to execute their ‘projects’. However, if youth must be key drivers in Ortom’s change agenda, as well as hope of our state, there must be an abrupt reversal of this repugnant and highly preposterous attitude.
I am already floating on the air because of Ortom’s repeated warnings and more recently ultimatum, issued to thugs and their patrons to relinquish arms in their possession and show up for peaceful reconciliation. I must give him an outstanding ovation for this giant stride he embarked upon to shut down this satanic-induced act. Youths will be filled with extreme euphoria if he keeps to this track.
Benue state civil service is stuffed with aged workers; most of them are casualties of senile. In tertiary institutions, prehistoric lecturers wobblingly moving with trembling voice are still occupying offices; moreover, their eyes are no longer accommodating medicated eye grasses. Most of them are living on contract because their service age has been exhausted. Whereas, highly intelligent Benue youths holding good certificates with latest approaches to societal problems are roaming around the streets with grubby files. There is this feeble and debilitated excuse that there are no job opportunities for youths when ancient and over aged workers are still occupying offices.
Benue youths are expecting Ortom-led administration to flush out old as the hills and primordial workers so that youths will step in to use their 21st knowledge to make Benue state a realm of global attention. Ghost workers should also be thrown through the window. – Where they came from. This will pave way for youths who are keenly interested in remodeling Benue state to contribute their quota.
Benue state is indirectly replacing democracy with gerontocracy. – Government of elders. This is more so because older men are the only ones steering government machineries. As a youth, contesting for any political position is perceived as a felony, in fact, it is the same as using your own digger to dig your grave. However, if youths are acknowledged as leaders of tomorrow, we must be allowed to acquit ourselves with leadership experience at the state level ere we can be relevant tomorrow. To this end, Ortom’s regime is expected to dedicate uncompromised leadership positions to Benue youths. This will serve as a preparatory training for great leaders who will succeed current big cheeses.
The first employment that Ortom’s administration will be embarking upon, youths should be ably represented. It is impossible to effect change with conservative and archaic people who are still friends with 19th century. Change of orthodox practices that have been doing any good for Benue state is possible if youths are allowed to join the trend of change.
Communication between the governor and the governed is very vital in any serious democracy. Communication tells people within and outside how the government is being piloted. It also resolves uncertainties. Therefore Benue youths expect Ortom to complete the over processed Benue Television project. If it is successfully put to bed, it will be a platform for disclosing government achievements, policies, decisions and other vital information. A Stone Age state like Benue state should at least have a single TV station dedicated to it under Ortom’s government.
Youths did not support a man on horseback. We threw our weight behind a man who is expected to run a participatory and consultative government. A man with listening ears. That is why I displayed so much sureness in the course of scripting this piece, believing that my input will receive red carpet treatment.
Our government should explore every available means to empower youths and nurse their potentials. Youths should form crux of their policies, initiatives and decisions. Predominantly, they should be given chance in government to make our dear state an envy of the world by way of service.
To close the curtain of this discussion, youths are both agents of change and destruction. Youths must therefore be properly incubated so as to silence the spirit of destruction and preserve the future of Benue State.

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