Ahead of the forthcoming general elections, the Benue State governor and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Chief Samuel Ortom, led the party’s candidates to a thanksgiving Mass for a successful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
The Mass took place Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Daudu, in Guma local government area.
Governor Ortom said it was organized to thank God for the success recorded by the party in the campaigns across the 23 LGAs of the state.
He said the service was to pray for peaceful elections commencing this Saturday with presidential and National Assembly polls.
He charged people of the state to exercise their civic responsibility by turning out on the day of the elections to vote under a peaceful atmosphere for candidates of their choice, warning that violence would not be tolerated.
“As we march into the elections, we must not add salt to our injury,” he said, adding that, “We must not add pains to the existing pains that we have as a result of the attacks and displacement of our people taking refuge in IDP camps. Let us not create more problems.
“Nobody should recruit thugs, nobody should coerce anyone for whatever reason. Let there be peace. Our prayer is that God will provide the enabling environment for peaceful elections in our state and the country.”
He reiterated his commitment to pursuing the cause of justice, equity and fairness in the political leadership of the country, stating that for Nigeria to get it right, ‘we must work for equity, fairness and justice’.
In his words, “Whatever is good for ‘wa’ and ‘zo’, it is also good for ‘bia’. Let nobody deceive you with peanuts so that you will continue to be slaves to people. What we are facing is a matter of life and death, and we must put that into consideration as we vote in the presidential election.”
According to Governor Ortom, the choice of Daudu for the thanksgiving Mass was significant as it is one of the places hosting the highest number of internally displaced persons, stating that it was to give them hope.
Earlier in a homily at the Mass which also coincided with Ash Wednesday, the parish priest of St Francis Mission, Daudu, Rev Fr James Bature, admonished Christians to show humility and return to God with contrite hearts to win his mercy.
He commended the governor for acknowledging the place of God by choosing to return to Him in thanksgiving, urging the faithful to be peaceful and vote wisely in the coming elections.
The PDP governorship candidate and speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Titus Uba, and other candidates of the PDP vying for various elective positions joined the governor at the Thanksgiving Mass along with his deputy, Sir John Ngbede.