By Linus Hagher
News reaching me from Benue State indicates that tomorrow at 10am, my friend Terver Akase, the immediate past Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State will be sworn-in as Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity.
The news is not coming to me as a surprise, but as a good tiding worth rejoicing about. It also reminds me that my friend’s hard work, efficiency and dexterity in image making is still being appreciated by the governor.
When Governor Samuel Ortom declared at a function that he never regretted appointing Akase as his publicist twice and would not hesitate to appoint him anytime the opportunity presents itself, I knew that a day like might come if the Benue 2023 Governorship race doesn’t favour Akase even as the Konshisha-born journalist turned politician was clearly among the most popular aspirants.
The PDP stakeholders in Benue in their wisdom, settled for Vandeikya to produce the next Benue state governor and subsequently favoured the Speaker of the Benue House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba to be the consensus candidate of the two senatorial districts known as Zones A and B that make up the fourteen LGAs of Tiv land.
Akase’s resignation as Governor Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary in September, 2021 to pursue his governorship ambition left a vacuum in the governor’s image making and publicity machinery. The bar he raised high suffered some downward adjustments that made loopholes visible.
Now that he is coming back to head the Governor’s Media team, one would expect that he repositions things and ensures that the bar rises above where he left it six months ago. But the Akase that I know won’t be bereft of ideas to achieve that height. The award-winning journalist is efficient, creative beyond understanding, accessible in an uncommon manner and hardworking to an unimaginable extent.
During his six-year stint as the CPS to Governor Ortom, Akase built a very strong bridge between the people and his principal. He was known for transparency, fairness and justice while dealing with people. The reaction of the journalists covering Benue Peoples House on the day Akase announced his resignation as CPS said a lot about how they loved him and enjoyed working with him.
Apart from his professional acumen, unblemished emotional intelligence, overwhelming presence of mind and undying commitment to duty, Akase’s humility, friendly disposition, respect for people without discrimination, sympathy for all people without recourse to where they come from and his ability to see issues before they arise stand him out as a perception and reputation manager as well as a spokesman that any good leader would want to have.
While I commend Governor Samuel Ortom for finding his former CPS worthy to serve him now in a similar, but higher capacity, I congratulate my friend and brother for once again, getting the opportunity to contribute to the success of the governor Ortom-led administration.
Like the legendary Tiv singer, Gabon Akuhe would say, “Ortom er tom a ven, a fa vanger wen chicha”. And it is true, Ortom knows your mind and believes that you are both trustworthy and committed to seeing him succeed.
I wish you the best in your new assignment and give you full assurance of my support always.
All the best, my brother.
*Hagher a Journalists and Public Affairs Commentator writes from Abuja.