The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, appreciates the annual youth carnival which engages hundreds of youths that showcase their talents and the rich cultural endowments of the state.
He acknowledges that the creative and entertainment industry remains a veritable platform to engage youths and others to develop their talents and explore opportunities in the sector.
His administration created a Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism to warehouse, anchor and drive activities in the sector.
However, the financial and other challenges on ground currently made it impracticable for the Governor to approve the state government’s direct involvement in sponsorship of a youth carnival in 2015.
A private sector initiative took up the responsibility without any financial commitment from the state government.
It made commitments and organized rehearsals for the Carnival Procession scheduled for 29th December, 2015.
When it was brought to the attention of the organizers that the Northern Governors Forum placed a ban on processions in the 19 Northern states on account of security concerns they cancelled the scheduled procession.
Those involved marched to the Benue Peoples House to demand payments which Governor Ortom did not approve and was not aware of.
Yet as a responsive, appreciative, and sensitive leader he directed members of his cabinet to engage with the protesters at the end of which he approved the release of Three Million Naira to group leaders as transport fare to the artistes.
The Governor regrets the inconveniences those involved suffered and promises to ensure better planned carnivals in the years ahead.
The youths dispersed and went back to the IBB Square where leaders of the various groups attended to them.
Tahav Agerzua, Special Adviser,
Media and ICT.