Governor of Benue state Samuel Ortom has inaugurated the reconstituted state Council of chiefs.
Governor Ortom also assented to the amended Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Councils Law, 2016 as well as the amended Criminal Justice Law recently passed by the State House of Assembly.
Some of the duties of the Benue state Council of chiefs include advising the government on issues relating to the customs and traditions of the people.
The council will also promote cultural activities for the good of the state.
For this reason, the governor in exercise of power conferred on him by Section 3 of the law appoints the Tor Tiv, as the chairman of the council and the the Och’Idoma, as the council’s vice chairman.
It disclosed that the Benue state Council of chiefs has reconstituted has 10 first class Chiefs and 23 second-class chiefs across the state as members.
He stated that the 1999 constitution (as amended) made provision for each state to have a Council of Chiefs to serve as an advisory body to the Government at various levels in the federation, noting that the duties of the Council were captured in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In his response, paramount of the Tiv nation and Chairman of the Benue State Council of Chiefs, His Royal Majesty, Prof. Ayatse described the inauguration of the Council as a historic event.
He commended Governor Ortom for what he described as “the giant strides you have taken to give the traditional institution in the state its rightful place.”
The royal father pointed out the building of world class palaces for the paramount rulers and the priority the Ortom-led administration has given to the welfare of traditional rulers in the state.
He further commended the Governor for the provision of befitting means of transportation for the chiefs and for being sensitive to the concerns of the traditional rulers as well as the amendment of the chieftaincy law.
The paramount ruler assured the Governor that “as a Council, we will do the needful to fulfill our roles to the state and the federation” and appealed to him to create a secretariat for the State Council of Traditional rulers for the council to be functional.
Barr. Kenneth Achabo, Special Adviser for the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, and Mr. Ode Ochelle, Permanent Secretary of the Bureau, both thanked Governor Ortom for giving the state’s traditional institution the respect it deserves in separate statements.
Michael Gusa, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, submitted the modified laws for the governor’s approval.