The Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormen Alia, has said the construction of rural roads in the state will commence soon.
Governor Alia made the pledge to the people at Saint Gerald’s Majella Cathedral, Katsina-Ala on Saturday.
This was during a requiem mass in honour of his maternal uncle, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, the Tor Sankera and Chairman, Sankera Traditional Council.
According to Alia, the 16 number township roads initially approved and work on them is in an advanced stage with some already completed will fully be completed by April, then attention will be shifted to the rural areas.
He said: “Construction of rural roads would soon commence fully to ease transportation challenges facing people, especially farmers in conveying their farm produce to the markets.”
He disclosed further that the Makurdi-Gboko, Yandev-Ugbema-Katsina Ala, Yandev-Buruku crossing point and Kastina Ala-Wukari highways have been captured in the 2024 budget of the Federal Government, pointing out that his administration would continue to press on the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi, to commence work on the road projects.
The Governor described the late Chief Shuluwa as a man of peace, who made sacrifices and was able to touch and impact many lives in different ways.
“He died with his boots on, canvassing for peace to reign and return to the Sankera axis,” he said.
He called for a careful and fair selection for replacement of the vacant positions of the First Class and Second Class Chiefs of the axis, who were now late, adding that their choice would determine the success and development of the axis.
Governor Alia, who also warned against all illegal activities and security breaches in the axis, said he had promised to develop the state and make it conducive for the people and for ease of doing business and as such he would not relent until such is achieved.
Also in his remarks, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Iorzua Ayatse, called for unity and prayers for a better state.
Prof. Ayatse who was represented by the Tor Kwande, Ambrose Iortyer, urged Benue State citizens to respect all authorities and ensure love prevailed.
He emphasised on the need for integrity, transparency and due process in order to ensure the right leaders were chosen .
In his eulogy, the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Katsina-Ala, Most Rev. Isaac Dugu, called on traditional leaders and other stakeholders from other Local Government Areas to join hands with those in Sankera axis to end banditry, kidnappings and other forms of criminality in the area.
Dugu, who regretted the deaths of Shuluwa and Ter Katsina Ala, Chief Fezanga Wombo, urged the Tor Tiv, kingmakers and the Governor to ensure that those who would be selected to fill the vacant stool of Ter Katsina-Ala and Tor Sankera are people of proven integrity and with the fear of God.
Other dignitaries who showered encomium on Shuluwa were former Governor Gabriel Suswam, former and serving senators from the state, traditional rulers, family members as well as other well-wishers within and outside the state.
Late Shuluwa was born in 1946.
He died on January 16, 2024.