The Idoma Area Traditional Council, IATC, has elected 52 year old Pastor John Elaigwu as the new Och’Idoma and Chairman of the Council.
The election of the monarch of the second large ethic group in Benue state came following the hunting expedition embarked upon by the last Och’Idoma, His Royal Majesty, Elias Ikoyo Obekpa last October.
Presenting the Och’Idoma-elect to Governor Samuel Ortom Thursday in Makurdi, leader of the election committee and Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development and supervising Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ekpe Ogbu said the election process was “righteously transparent.”
He explained that the contest for the position was held between two blocks/Local Government Areas which were Apa and Agatu.
“We had five initial contestants from the block out of which one of the aspirants stepped down while another did not secured nomination.
“Three aspirants ran the race and at the end of the day Pastor John Elaigwu polled 19 votes from available 28 to beat two other aspirants,” he said.
The Och’Idoma-elect in his remark commended Governor Ortom for allowing a transparent process in the election of the new Och’Idoma for the Idoma nation.
“You are truly like Prophet Samuel in the Bible who God used to crown king David. It is the Lord’s doing,” he said.
Reacting, Governor Ortom commended the election committee for conducting a rancour free election exercise which led to the emergence of the new monarch.
The Governor stated that he would ensure the conclusion of the inauguration of the new paramount ruler and inauguration of the Benue State Council of Chief by first quarter of next year.