Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has denied shortchanging the people of Benue South Senatorial District under his administration.
The governor claimed he has been fair to the people by way of appointments and other dividends of democracy despite the fact that the people did not vote for him during the election.
Ortom, who was addressing traditional rulers and other stakeholders from the Idoma speaking area of the state today at the banquet hall of Benue People's House, said some people had been spreading falsehood that he did not like the people.
He said the head of service was appointed from Benue South, along with five commissioners and noted that four commissioners were appointed from Benue Northeast Senatorial District while one was appointed from Benue Northwest.
"I did not coerce people to vote for me; even as people of Zone C did not vote for me, I am looking at them as part of my constituency which is the whole state", the governor maintained.
He said those telling lies against him should know that punishment had been spelt out for them in the Book of Proverbs and assured Idoma people that he would continue to carry them along.
He gave the Idoma Area Traditional Council, those contesting for first class positions and other stakeholders to conclude consultations and end the selection processes by the end of January 2017.
The governor further directed that the election of third class chiefs should be concluded by the first week of February and made it clear that he would not influence the selection processes in any way because he was not interested in any of the positions.
While emphasizing that any government official who interferes with the selection process in Idoma land would be sacked, Governor Ortom said any contestant who uses money would fail because that money would count against him.
The governor said the selection of the Tiv paramount ruler and other traditional rulers took place without rancour and maintained that he expects the Idoma to follow the good example shown by Tiv king makers.
He used the occasion to appeal to traditional rulers in Idoma land to support the state government's efforts in the maintenance of law and order and directed that security committees should be constituted in all the local governments and wards in the senatorial district without delay.
Responding to the governor's address, the Och'Idoma, Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, said some persons have tried to blackmail him by saying that some chiefs close to him were trying to influence the selection process.
He accused those trying to influence the appointment of their relations and friends as chiefs of gossiping and condemned such act in its entirety.
The paramount ruler said Governor Ortom needs the cooperation of the entire people to succeed and assured the governor of the commitment of the traditional council to transparent selection processes.
Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa prayed for the governor, pointing out that he, Ortom, would have a peaceful tenure.
The meeting was attended by the deputy governor, Engr Benson Abounu, other top government functionaries from the senatorial district and the former senate president, Chief Ameh Abute.