The Benue State Governorment has announced a donation of 50 Million Naira for the construction of a thirty room accommodation at the State Secretariat of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Benue State Chapter.
Governor Samuel Ortom announced the donation Monday, January 23rd, 2023 at the commissioning of the multi purpose Secretariat of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Makurdi which was funded by the Benue State Government.
He expressed optimism that the building would be completed before the expiration of his tenure to provide accommodation for Christian leaders visiting the state as well as serve as a source of revenue generation for the Christian body.
The Governor who lauded CAN under the leadership of Rev. Akpen Leva for prudent utilization of the funds earlier provided for the Secretariat project, stated that the construction of the edifice was a deliberate move to give dignity to the state which has a predominant Christian population.
He reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to religious tolerance and harmony and commended the unity that exists among the various Christian blocks in the state.
According to Governor Ortom, the ascendancy of two traditional rulers, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse and Och’Idoma, Dr. John Inalegwu Odogbo who are both Christians was a product of the dedication of Benue State to God.
He emphasised the need for Christians to be steadfast in the works of charity and contribute to the growth of the Church.
He disclosed that the new CAN secretariat building is a product of his friendship with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State whose goodwill had sowed rhe seed for CAN in Benue to acquire the land for the building of the secretariat.
He further expressed gratitude to the President of CAN, His Eminence, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh for graciously honouring the state to dedicate the secretariat.
In his address, the President of CAN, His Eminence, Most Rev. Okoh, who dedicated the secretariat, described the event as historic, stating that the edifice shall remain a rallying point that enhances our movement toward Christian unity.
The CAN President declared that “The Church in Benue State has come to stay and it shall continue to break new grounds, the coalition of the forces of evil shall not be able to stop the move of God in this state.
“Instead of tears, God will bring joy, instead of extermination, helplessness and devastation, God will bring restoration and abundance to his people in this state. There will be an upsurge in faith and revival like never before in Benue State. This is the beginning of the season of testimony and it shall never cease.”
He spoke further “I know the level of calamity, the mindless bloodletting and the sorrow the enemy has visited on this land. But like the Bible says, weeping may endure for a night, but there shall be joy in the morning. It is a new dawn and God is about to comfort his people in this land.”
He commended Governor Ortom for his courage and for holding unto God in the face of constant terror, danger and excruciating difficulties.
“Surely there is a reward for your patience and faith in Christ Jesus. Thank you for standing with your people always and may I add that I admire you so much that in my heart, I give you this title, defender of the faith in Benue State and beyond,” the cleric stated.
Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Prof. James Iorzua Ayatse in a goodwill message commended the Governor for demonstrating his roots as a Christian to build a befitting edifice as Secretariat for CAN administration, stating that it was a wonderful achievement.
The paramount ruler who is also the President of Northern Christian traditional rulers stressed the importance of unity amongst his subjects, stating that “there is power in unity, there is achievement in unity, there is progress in unity and there is victory in unity. We have seen this in the unity of CAN in the state,” he stated.
On the forthcoming general election, the monarch stated that, “I stand as the father in land to counsel and to caution that everything must be done in peace, there should be no fighting, there should be no violence, people should come out en masse to perform their civic responsibility.”
He went on, “I use this opportunity also to call on the federal authorities, INEC and the security agencies to do the needful, to make sure that everybody that has registered is given the opportunity to vote and let the votes count, because this country is at the verge of a new beginning and that new beginning must be allowed to come forth.
“I decree that and declare as the paramount ruler in the land, all efforts of rigging will be frustrated. Everything must be done properly and in order and let the best candidate emerge,” he added.
Earlier, the State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Akpen Leva expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for providing funds for the construction of the state secretariat, noting that the Church in the state was united.
Governor Ortom later laid the foundation for the construction of the 30-room guest house.