By Daniel Agbo, Makurdi–
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state yesterday said his administration was committed to strengthening the state traditional institution by making it the fourth tier of government.
The governor, who gave the indication when he received the Kwande United People’s Organisation (KUPO), led by the Tor Kwande, Chief Ambrose Iortyer, at the Benue People’s House, said the gesture would make the traditional institution as an independent body.
He said, “I have seen the example from the Imo state government and would want to replicate the same system in Benue state, with a view to making the traditional institution an independent body.
” According to the governor, the traditional rulers are closer to people and if adequately positioned, could serve in so many ways to assist government bring development to the society.
Ortom disclosed of his administration’s plan to reduce the state workers wage bill from N7.8 billion to N4.5billion, beginning from next year January, warning that those found collecting money illegally would be prosecuted.
The governor acknowledge the Kwande people for being fair, just and truthful and citing an instance of an event prior to the last general elections, where they insisted that MINDA geopolitical zone should be allowed to produce governor.
He said commended the Kwande people for supporting him in the election adding “I was wholeheartedly accepted by the Kwande people.
” Earlier, leader of the delegation, Iortyer said they were in the People’s House to inform the governor of their intention to organise a reception in honour of the Tor Tiv V, Prof. James Ayatse, and thanked him for fi nding Kwande people worthy of appointment in his government.
He also thanked the governor for upgrading the temporary resident of the Tor Tiv in Gboko, while reconstructing the permanent one, saying the administration was committed to the welfare of traditional rulers