From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB) to reconstruct a primary school at Tse-Tseen, Saghev, burnt down during a herdsmen’s attacks on the community.
Several primary schools have either been burnt or abandoned following herders’ attacks on villages and communities in various parts of the state.
Ortom gave the directive at the thanksgiving Mass in honour of Onov Mba Zenke Geraza, led by Tor Lobi, HRH, Moses Anageende, at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Tse-Tseen, Saghev, in Guma Local Government Area.
The governor mandated the executive secretary of SUBEB, Joseph Utse, to work out modalities for the reconstruction of all blocks that were burnt down in the school.
The primary school board is also to construct an additional block of classrooms in the school to serve the teeming population of schoolchildren in the community.
Ortom lamented that the school, which was constructed and fully equipped by his administration, was razed by terrorists, which has rendered the children of the community without access to education.
Ortom also reiterated his call on the people of the state to always be vigilant and prompt to respond to invaders whose sole agenda was not to graze but take over their ancestral land.
He called on those who registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure they collect their permanent voter cards, to enable them vote in the forthcoming elections.
He stressed that Benue people would not vote for those who would continue to make the people live as internally displaced persons in their own land.
The governor further commended the security agencies for their “hard work, dedication, resilience and patriotism” to guarantee the security of life and property.
To further strengthen the security of the state, the governor announced that his administration would embark on the third training of an additional 1,000 personnel of the Community Volunteer Guards in January this year to boost their operations.
He emphasized that the state security outfits whose role is to complement the conventional security agencies, requested traditional rulers to liaise with local government chairmen in their respective areas to nominate young men with proven integrity who will be trained in the next batch of volunteer Guards.
While congratulating the Tor Lobi, Ortom noted how Saghev community has produced great people who have added value to the development of the state and expressed delight that socio-economic life was gradually picking up in the community after the dastardly attacks by herdsmen.
Earlier, the Tor Lobi, HRH, Chief Anageende, said the thanksgiving Mass was to appreciate God for his many blessings and raise funds for the construction of a befitting Catholic Church in the community where he began his faith.
He lauded the Governor’s tireless efforts for the development of the state, particularly his security interventions for peace to prevail.
The Parish Priest of St. Gabriel’s Parish Tsavnum-Saghev, Nongov, Rev. Fr Richard Iyaghigba in his homily, challenged Christians to manifest faith in good deeds in society so that the world will see and embrace God’s ways.
According to the cleric, as Jesus Christ was made manifest and his light has illuminated the universe, Christians must uphold truth and shun deceit, emphasizing that the light of God has shone and the faithful must avoid darkness and pursue righteousness.
The Governor later inspected the school and visited the Army unit stationed in the community and commended them for their sacrifices to the people of the area.