Chief Dr. Samuel Ioraer Ortom, is an industrialist, farmer, a businessman, politician, philanthropist and the Executive Governor of Benue State. He was born on 23rd April, 1961 in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
Educational Qualifications of Samuel Ortom
Samuel Ortom attended St. John’s Primary School, Gboko in 1970 but moved to St. Catherine’s Primary School, Makurdi in 1974 where he completed his primary education in 1976. Chief Dr. Ortom was admitted into Idah Secondary Commercial College, Idah in Kogi State in 1976. His father’s retirement in 1979 brought an abrupt end to his dream of completing formal secondary school education on account of inability to pay school fees.
He obtained General Certificate of Education, GCE as well as Diploma in Salesmanship. Chief Dr. Ortom enrolled at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and obtained both the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Certificate in 1995 and Diploma in Journalism in 1998. He also attended the Benue State University where he obtained the Advanced Diploma in Personnel Management in 2001 as well as Master of Public Administration in 2004. Dr. Ortom also has a Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D, from the Commonwealth University, Belize, through distant learning.
Struggles and Upliftment
After mourning his father he became a tout at Gboko motor park. It was in the park that a good samaritan taught him how to drive because of his honesty and dedication to duty. Another helped him to obtain a drivers’ license and soon after he became employed as a professional driver.
He later became the driver of a prominent Gboko-based Christian leader and politician, Pa Samu Ihugh based on recommendation. One day, after he finished working for the day, he waited voluntarily in the house of his boss, hoping whether his services might still be required. It was his patience that paved a new chapter in his life that made him who he is today.
While sitting on a bench outside the house the wind blew a piece of paper which was an advert for enrollment into the National School of Salesmanship, Manchester, towards him. He picked it, read, and decided to enroll for it by correspondence, thus launching himself into the world of acquiring knowledge and certificates by correspondence.
Samuel Ortom is a veteran when it comes to politics. His working experience spans from the private, public as well as political spheres. He rose from Salesman to Sales Manager with Gyado Foods Co. Limited, before his election as Executive Chairman of Guma Local Government Area from 1991 to 1993 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
In the political sphere he has been State Publicity Secretary of the National Centre Party of Nigeria, NCPN; State Treasurer of the All Peoples Party, APP; and State Secretary as well as Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, all in Benue State. Dr. Ortom was also Director of Operations of the PDP gubernatorial campaign in Benue State in 2007 and Director of Administration and Logistics of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organization in 2011.
He was also PDP National Auditor before his appointment as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in July 2011.
Personal Life of Samuel Ortom
A dedicated Christian, Chief Dr. Ortom is a man who has visited several countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Europe and Asia.
He is happily married with 10 children and four grand children. His hobbies include badminton, philanthropy, reading, farming, aerobics and evangelism. His story which he told before the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, 6th July, 2011 was so moving that Chief Dr. Ortom was asked to take a bow and go.
Chief Dr Samuel Ortom resigned as Minister of State, Industry,Trade and Investment in October, 2014 to contest for the Governor seat of Benue State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. When he couldn’t clinch the PDP ticket he switched over and picked that of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and won the governorship election in Benue State on 11th April, 2015.