Benue State government has commenced the process of filling the over 300 vacant Chieftaincy stools in the three senatorial districts of the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr. Kenneth Achabo made this known Tuesday at the end of the meeting of stakeholders, political leaders and traditional rulers from the Benue South Senatorial District, convened by Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi.
The Adviser explained that the Governor had to convene the gathering in order to take decisive action to tackle the knotty issue since some of the stools across the state had been vacant for over 20 years.
He said, “it was for that reason that the Governor invited stakeholders from Benue south district, including the Ochi’ Idoma, the Deputy Governor, all the National Assembly and State Assembly members, including members of the State Executive Council, Local Government Council Chairmen as well as graded Chiefs from that zone for a stakeholders meeting.
“The essence of the meeting was to rectify, and take care of certain issues that have arisen from the Chieftaincy issues in that zone. Recall that we intended to fill vacancies in the zone and indeed in the whole of Benue state where there are over 300 vacant stools; people have been acting in those positions and some for up to 20 years and that is not good enough.
“The Governor has commenced the process by meeting the people to rectify certain knotty issues. And in that regard certain things arose from that meeting. Issues of excess kindred or clan head as well as the issues of beaded Chiefs arose.
“The Governor set up a committee chaired by me the Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs with a four week time frame to look into these issues and report back to him for further action.
“Other members of the committee are all the First Class Chiefs in Idoma land which is the Idoma Area Traditional Council, IATC, representatives of the Ochi’Idoma who are Barr. Omangala, Odejo K’ Apa, Chief John Antenyi, the Ada Ohimini, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Justice Adam Onum(retd), Chief Jacob Obande, Mr. Antony Oche and the Chairman of Otukpo LGA, George Alli who is representing ALGON in the Committee.
“We are going to replicate the same thing in the other two senatorial zones. I can assure you that after the findings are made and forwarded to the Governor actions will be taken immediately.”