By: James Ornguga
President, Benue Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture(BECCIMA), Arc. Austine Asema Achado has urged Gov. Samuel Ortom to be focused, consistent and bring to bear on the Benue developmental landscape achievements that will surpass and outshine efforts of the late Appolos Aper Aku, first civilian governor of Benue state and by so doing, write his name in the good books of history.
Arc. Achado gave this charge when the MINDA Youth Coalition, a group peopled by proactive youths of conscience and passionate about the realisation of the Ortom vision of a "collective vision for a new Benue" paid him a familiarisation visit in his Makurdi residence to interface with him on how best to carve an arrowhead of progress for the MINDA intermediate area.
The BECCIMA President who expressed confidence in the ability of the Ortom government to bring about an industrial revolution emphasised that the governor was from all indications poised to boost development in many facets of the state but was at the moment hampered by the current dwindling economic fortunes, which has slowed down the pace of development, not just in the state but the whole nation, maintaining that when his efforts finally come to fruition, critics of the government would be proved wrong.
He urged the governor not to be intimidated and distracted by the challenges of the day as better is the end of a thing than a hasty take off glory. Arc. Achado observed with optimism that those of them in the private sector equally have a critical role to play as he has constantly been in touch with the governor and his professional colleagues in the state to cross-fertilize ideas on how to move out of the present quagmire, pointing out that this is the more reason he has on his part embarked on the massive entrepreneurial and community based services. He encouraged all sons and daughters of the state to move beyond the blame game and in their minimal and maximum capacities contribute their quota to save the state rather than shift the burden of development to the shoulders of the government.
Earlier in his speech, President of the Coalition, Philip Mbakuuv Ankyhquwa who explained the activities of the group as being development- centred lamented the backwardness of the MINDA zone when placed head to head with their contemporaries and sued for support not just for the Ortom administration but for the emancipation of the zone. Ankyhquwa who lavishly poured accolades on Arc. Achado for hosting the group sooner than expected pointed out that the BECCIMA president has through his various establishments given job opportunities to many youths of MINDA and Benue in general, urging him to fast- track the take off of Benysta College of Education, Makurdi and the Aliade Cement Factory, which are his brainchildren, so as to bring more job opportunities to stranded youths of the state.
In their vocal responses, Collins Ahokegh, James Gbudu and Bem Dzwa representing the three super- clans of Masev, Ihyarev and Nongov unanimously bestowed on Arc. Achado the worthy title of "Jewel of the MINDA People" , which they said was merited based on his unequalled community based establishments and services, such as; Angus College, Makurdi, Benysta Hotel, Aliade, Construction of nylon tarred streets in Aliade, and building of the biggest Catholic church auditorium within Benue in Aliade. The trio equally reminded him of his earlier efforts which manifested in the setting up of Benysta Communications, one of the earliest computer centres that had introduced internet services in Makurdi, adding that by the time the College of Education and Cement Factory go operational, a large population of youths must have been employed and urged Achado to always involve and develop the youth of Benue.
In his final address, Honourable Special Adviser to the Governor on Lands and Survey, Prof. Jonathan Uever who was recently conferred the prestigious title of Garkowa Maitasa Arewa by the Arewa Youth Council (AYC) praised the unequalled innovations of Arc. Achado and thanked the MINDA Youth Coalition for their wise decision to support their own government, under the leadership of Governor Samuel Ortom to succeed. Prof. Uever tasked the youth to be creative and unite for their good as the state will certainly overcome the current economic challenges and make life easier for all. He lamented the activities of naysayers who are bent on seeing nothing good in the government of the day but expressed hope that a turnaround was on the way.