Gov Samuel Ortom of Benue state, on Tuesday inaugurated the 35-Kilometre Okpoga- Idoba – Ichama Federal Rural Electrification project in Ichama, Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project was facilitated by Rep. Francis Agbo, from Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency.
Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Benson Abounu, expressed regrets that successive governments had failed Ichama community by not providing electricity for them since inception.
He noted that Ichama, which was one of the oldest 22 traditional districts in Idoma land, had been without electricity up till 2022.
“Ichama District is one of the oldest in Idoma history. It is a community that has produced very prominent Nigerians.
“They have been deprived of their rights as successive governments have failed them. It is very difficult to pinpoint exactly what is responsible for the delay in the provision of electricity in Ichama.
“I Know very well that even smaller communities, even my own community for example which is not a district headquarter, got electricity over 20 years ago.
“This is exactly what those representating us in government or who are in government are required to do for their communities.” he said.
He, therefore, commended Agbo for not just promising during his 2019 campaign to provide electricity for the community, but also ensuring that he kept his promise to the people of Ichama.
Earlier, Agbo said he was only delivering on his campaign promises.
Agbo explained that he had promised to lighten up “Enone” his constituency, during his campaigns and that was exactly what he was doing.
According to him, every ward in Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency now has light or was about to have it in the coming months.
He said it was his delebrate plan to ensure that his people got social amenities, to raise their political consciousness.
The lawmaker, however, disclosed that his secret for achieving much within his first term in office was aggressive lobbying.
“The House of Representatives is a place where you send your best players. I promised to lighten up Enone and that is exactly what I’m doing.
“Apart from Ichama, there is electricity for the people of Owokpa, Otukpa, Oworikpa etc. Adigan community will get light in 2023 budget.
“Aside these electrification projects, I have also attracted the first and biggest Agro processing plant in the whole of North Central to my constituency and it is ready for commissioning.
Meanwhile, the President, Ichama Unity Forum (IUF), Mr Lawrence Ogwuche, has commended the lawmaker for the execution of the landmark project.
Ogwuche said the realisation of this dream today was historic in all ramifications because it would definitely boost the economic and social life of the people.
“I am more than convinced that the completion and commissioning of this laudable project today will among other things, create more job opportunities and employment for our teeming youths.”
On his part, Most Rev. Michael Apochi, Catholic Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, said it was satisfying to see Ichama community benefit from the Federal Government’s Rural Electrification Project.
In his good will message, Mr Owuno Okoh, District Head of Ichama, said since inception, it was the first time Ichama was witnessing federal presence.
“The Ichama people will be counted among the 22 districts that have electricity in Idoma land now after many years of existence.
“Today will be remembered from generation to generation and Ichama people are ready to protect this projects provided for them by Agbo.”