Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Makurdi, the Benue State capital, went agog yesterday as the presidential campaign train of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made a stopover in the state. There was heavy traffic along major streets of the metropolis especially on roads leading from the Makurdi Airport through the popular Wurukum roundabouts up to the Low level and to the Ben Government House.
Also, the Aper Aku Stadium venue of the occasion was filled to capacity as people from all walks of life from across the 23 local government areas of the state turned up to witness the event. The presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, along with his entourage flew into Makurdi Airport around 11am where they were received by Governor Samuel Ortom in the company of Senators David Mark, Iyorchia Ayu, former Governor Gabriel Suswam among other dignitaries. The entourage thereafter moved to the Government House to meet with the Benue Traditional Council, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other groups. Atiku who thanked God for the opportunity to meet with the royal fathers described his visit to Benue as a homecoming for him as a Tiv traditional title holder, Zegemule U Tiv.
He assured the royal fathers that he would not betray the oath of office he took to protect the Tiv nation, but discharge his responsibility to the best of his ability. While expressing the belief and conviction that Nigeria should live in the true federal system of governance, he noted that for this reason he has continued to advocate the restructuring of the country to make sure that the responsibility rests more with state and local governments than the federal government.