Samuel Ioraer Ortom is the present Governor of Benue State, who has held this position since 2015. He served as the Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Ortom is a businessman, administrator and philanthropist.
He was born on 23rd April 1961, in Guma local government, Benue State. He is married to Dr Eunice Erdoo Ortom, with 10 children and 7 grandchildren. Ortom is a devoted Christian, and his hobbies include badminton, farming, reading, aerobics and evangelism.
Samuel Ortom established the Oracle Business Limited Foundation, which set aside funds in St. Theresa’s Hospital, Makurdi and Rahama Hospital, Gboko Road, Makurdi, for the free treatment of hernia and snakebites to victims. The foundation also works to alleviate hardship for prison inmates, by offering various forms of skill acquisition, paying fines to inmates who cannot afford to do so, etc. Ortom also founded the Oracle Driving School which trains qualified drivers, to enable them to get employed.
|Commonwealth University, Belize||Ph.D|
|Benue State University, Benue State||Master of Public Administration||2004|
|Benue State University, Benue State||Advanced Diploma in Personnel Management||2001|
|Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State||Diploma in Journalism||1998|
|Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State||Interim Joint Matriculation Board Certificate||1995|
|National School of Salesmanship, Manchester, United Kingdom||Diploma in Salesmanship|
|Idah Secondary Commercial College, Idah, Kogi State||Secondary School Leaving Certificate||1976-1979 (uncompleted)|
|St. John’s Primary School, Gboko, Benue State
St. Catherine’s Primary School, Makurdi, Benue State
|First School Leaving Certificate||1970-1974; 1974-1976|
|Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)||Chairman of the Governing Council|
|Oracle Business Limited, Makurdi, Benue State||Founder/Chairman|
|Gyado Foods Co. Limited||Sales Manager
Guma local government, Benue State.
April 23rd 1961
People’s Democratic Party
Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment (2011-2014)
Local Government Chairman, Guma Local Government (1991-1993)
Governor, Benue State (since 2015)
Ortom’s political career began in 1991 when he contested for the Guma Local Government Chairman Position, under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He won this election and served in the local government until 1993. He subsequently took up several roles in political parties including the Director of Operations of the PDP gubernatorial campaign in Benue State (2007) and the Director of Administration and Logistics of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation (2011).
In July 2011, he was appointed the Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment, and served in this capacity until October 2014, when he resigned to contest for the governorship of Benue State. Ortom won the elections under the platform of All Progressives Congress and was sworn in as the Governor of Benue State in 2015.
In July 2018, after much speculation, Ortom announced his movement from All Progressives Congress to People’s Democratic Party due to an internal crisis in APC. Ortom contested in the 2019 Benue gubernatorial election, under the PDP banner; he emerged the winner defeating close rival Emmanuel Jime of APC. Following the election, Jime challenged Ortom’s victory and filed a petition on the grounds of substantial noncompliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act (2010). However, on 21st January 2020, the Supreme Court affirmed Ortom’s re-election as the governor of Benue State.
Awards & Honours
- 2021 Award of Excellence from the Department of Petroleum Resource branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria
- 2019 The Sun Courage in Leadership Award by The Sun Newspaper
- 2019 Most Outstanding Governor of the Year Award conferred by DAAR Communications
- 2019 Nelson Mandela Award for Peace Efforts by International Human Rights Commission
- 2017 “Vanguard of Security” Award – for best Nigerian Governor in Security by The Nigerian News Portal
- 2015 Amnesty Award conferred by the Nigerian Television Authority
- 2014 Selfless Service Award by the National Union of Benue State Students
- 1992 Best Performing Local Government Chairman
- Collaborated with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide 2,000 boreholes to communities in 8 local government areas of Benue State
- Provision of basic health facilities and learning centres at Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in Benue State
- Attracted the United Nations University For Global Peace to establish its first African University for Peace in Benue State
- Facilitated a ₦6 billion Benue Geographic Information System, BENGIS, project
- Under his ministerial leadership, he attracted several foreign investors into Nigeria
- Construction of 42 primary healthcare centres and a new State Assembly Complex
- Rehabilitation of 11 abandoned road projects across the state, including the construction of two new major highways
- In 2015, the people of Idoma speaking areas accused Ortom of their underrepresentation in the state government office. This was following Ortom’s appointment of people into 4 key administrative positions – which were dominated by Tivs. The Idiomas expressed their regret of voting him into power.
- In 2021, the National Broadcasting Commission queried Channels TV for violating broadcasting regulations, by airing a program that hosted Ortom, in which he made “inciting, divisive and unfair comments”. Ortom reportedly expressed his displeasure over growing insecurity in Nigeria and accused President Buhari of having an agenda to “fulanise” the country.
- In January 2022, Ortom stated that he is deliberately being shut out of Aso Rock, and is being prevented from meeting with President Buhari, following Ortom’s continuous criticisms of the President.