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27 Aug 2017

Dr Mrs. Eunice Ortom @ 45 Celebrating life of a “life giver”

By Lucy Ackanyon.

If you are familiar with the dominant feature of the zodiac sign of August, then chances are that you already know something about Dr Mrs. Eunice Ortom’s out look to life and how that defines her person.
Her month of birth, August is governed by the all-powerful Sun and by the magnanimous sign of Virgo. The solar sign reflects the dignified Sun's life force energy and classifies her as " Life Giver". Dr. Louis Turi, a renowned astrologist agrees to this when he says August born people possess the trait to promote life where ever they go. 

For Eunice Ortom, Life is only worth the while if it is lived in service of others. “I strive through my little efforts to be the sun that illuminates light in dark hours, and provides warmth in cold, or water that wets dry land, to people who need it” Eunice, the ever cheerful looking wife of the Benue State Governor, loves to say, but would always rather see any of her kind gestures as being so little and as well, would never forget to redirect every accolades for generosity, to God. 
“Dr Ortom has undying passion for humanitarian work”, Dr Mrs Magdalene Dura, Special Adviser to the Benue State Governor on SDG, NEPAD and Development Cooperatives says, “she has always looked out and helped people in need long before her husband became a governor”.
Mrs. Mnena Kaduna, a widow in Makurdi who has benefitted one from Dr Ortom’s package for widows, agrees no less with Dr Dura’s opinion. “Mrs. Ortom is truly humane”, surprised Mnena averred after receiving N50,000 and a 50kg bag of rice from Dr Ortom. Many other widows also got the same amount of money and items as Mnena, on the occasion.
It is this sort of efforts to make life meaningful to others that reflects so glowingly in Dr Ortom that dominant trait of the August zodiac sign, “the life giver” and also endears her to many people both from the high and the low class. 
Even the name of her pet project, the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, speaks of her natural tendency towards promoting life, bequeathed at the time of birth. Her philosophy for the project aligns with this thought, “It is my wish that the Eunice Spring of Life will be known as one reserved for those who may truly need us to be a spring in their steps”. To this, not a few keen observers agree that water from Mrs Ortom’s spring has rejuvenated lives of many people in the state. 
Foot prints of her pet project appear so boldly on the development strides of the state that when its score card was presented on the occasion of its first anniversary marked On the 14th day of May 2017, many people were amazed at how much the organisation had achieved within a short period and in the harsh economic reality. 
Wife of Former Governor Akume, Mrs Regina Akume, in complete amazement of ESLF success story exclaimed, “I am surprised at how much ESLF has been able to achieve within just one year”. “If this much could be done within such short time,,there is no doubt that by the time the NGO gets older, it will l do much more for people of the state”, Mrs Akume asserted.
According to ESLF Programme officer, Mrs Ginnette Salome-Ikpahindi, the NGO has intervened extensively in all three thematic areas of health, agriculture and education. Notably, she says, it has conducted free medical outreaches in over ten LGAs of the state, where thousands of rural people received diverse medical services including surgery. She explained ESLF has offered scholarships more than 100 students both at secondary and tertiary education and as well purchased UTME for many students. 
“We have also organised entrepreneurship summits for women and youths through which many were empowered with relevant skills and facilitated loans from the Bank of Agriculture for them to start up their businesses”, Mrs Salome-Ikpahindi stated.
Watching Dr Ortom’s public life, one will conclude like Laadi Isiegbe-Ajene, the Benue State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development that “she is the most active firstlady in Nigeria”, and wonders if it is not high time she stopped turning down the many offers of awards of excellence made to her from different bodies and groups. From religion to economy to education to social, Dr Ortom runs well planned out programmes targeted at youths and women empowerment which she actively participates for better results.
As a ardent believer in the power of prayers for success of any of man’s endeavours, Mrs Ortom initiated two prayer convocations, one for women and the other for youths, no sooner than her husband assumed the mantle of leardership of benue state government. “It is my hope that the Benue Women in Prayer and Benue Youth in Prayer meeting bring as many Benue women and youths together as a family, every month to pray for the common challenges of the state”, she says.
Born on August 27th, 1972, Eunice Ortom is from Aondona in Gwer West Local Government by birth and Nzorov in Guma Local Government Area by marriage.
The wife of the Governor of Benue State attended Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Gboko where she obtained the General Certificate of Education in 1988. She proceeded to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) degree in International Studies.
Eunice Ortom obtained a Master of Science degree in international Relations and Strategic Studies from the Benue State University in 2004 and thereafter capped it up with a Ph.D in political Science from the same University in 2016.
Dr. Mrs. Eunice Ortom commenced public Service as an Administrative Officer at the Benue State University, Makurdi while participating in the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps Between 1998-1999. She worked variously as an Administrative officer in the Benue State Civil Service in the Office of the Head of Service in 2001, Administrative Officer II in the Office of the Accountant-General 2002-2003, Chief Administrative officer I 2004-2006, Benue State Development Project on HIV/AIDs 2004-2006, Senior Administrative Officer/Gender Focal person, Benue State Aids Control Agency (BENSACA) 2007-2010 and principal Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Finance.
A wife, mother of six children, a Public Servant, a believer in God, a philanthropist, community and social mobilizer and a humanist, the first Lady has been involved in several humanitarian activities both in her private and public capacity.
She is the Chairperson, Board of Directors of the Benue State Action Committee on Aids (BENSACA), USAID Net Ambassador in the fight against malaria, USAID ZINC/ORS champion, UNICEF Champion/ Advocate against Adolescent HIV among others.
A widely travelled person and activist, Mrs. Ortom has visited several countries and attended trainings, workshops and conferences on development at home and abroad.
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