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Ortom: From Motor Park Boy To State Governor. Alpheaus Paul-Worika Ph.D

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has been embroiled in various political battles since he took a defiant step to introduce the anti-open grazing law to check the herdsmen, farmers clashes in his state.

With campaigns in top gear, the governor is still in the eye of the storm as the president’s men have accused him of hate speech and telling lies against the president. The Governor has however continued his campaign for his second term and the election of the PDP in the presidential and other elections.

His guts and forbearance have been a source of surprise to many. Despite the overbearing influence of political hawks with very formidable arsenal that have threatened his administration including attempts to impeach him or canvass a state of emergency, Ortom has remained courageous as a political leader.

His candour and gravity shows that there are great possibilities in every individual seeking an outlet to reveal  inherent beauty.

Ortom was a federal minister in the previous administration and had held pockets of offices along the way before his current position. The fact is, his grass to grace story that can inspire and uplift anyone to aspire to the best and brightest things possible.

 One symbolic thing about Governor Ortom was his life in the world of the motor park. He fought great battles of survival as a motor boy and park tout practically ekeing out a living from the igoble environment that had a pool of the good, the bad, the ugly, the deviant and the scum.

While many leaders hardly refer to their inglorious past and modest early beginning, Gov Ortom tells his story as it is, ostensibly to provide a rich and authoritative history for the youth. 

Ortom  said his life story as a motor park tout (agbero), and taxi and truck driver should be a source of inspiration to all less-privileged and downtrodden persons across the world to aspire to greatness and become positive influence on their societies.

  Ortom, who spoke after being endorsed for a second term by members of Benue Tricyclists Association, BETA, in Makurdi, said all the less-privileged persons needed as foundation for greatness was education and moral uprightness.

 He said: “I am always very happy when people recall my life story; my days as a garage boy, agbero, and driver. It clearly shows that despite life challenges, you can work hard with the fear of God and aspire to be anything in life.

 “Don’t take to drunkenness and drug abuse and forget that you owe yourself and the society a responsibility. For those who have dropped out of school, pick up your life again like I did, go back to the conventional school or distant learning. You are potential leaders of this country.”

 Earlier, Chairman of BETA, Bernard Orban, said: “We are in Government House to endorse you for second term, because you are one of us “People call us agbero and say we are useless people, but an agbero has become a governor and we must support him, because we know him as a good man who has defended our people from herdsmen attacks and killings.”

Governor Ortom has demonstrated that it is not the pleasure or pain that counts but focus and objective appreciation of tasks that lead to noble goals and an enduring legacy.

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