By THOMAS AKASE, Makurdi –
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi to establish a university to immortalize Rev. Fr. Michael Murphy.
The Governor said the late Fr. Murphy had confided in him about his desire to build a Catholic University, hence his call for the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi to ensure the fulfillment of that dream, a legacy in honour of the late missionary priest.
Governor Ortom made the call Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 during the commissioning of township roads in Makurdi, the state capital constructed by his administration.
The roads are situated around a secondary school built by the late Irish priest.
According to the Governor “We don’t have a Catholic University yet in Benue State and I think it will be a legacy in honour of Fr Murphy and the entire Catholic mission to establish a university here in the Diocese of Makurdi.
“It won’t be out of place, because our population is growing and there is a need for more educational facilities to help curb youth restiveness in our state and beyond.”
Governor Ortom pledged his readiness to support the university project if taken up by the Diocese of Makurdi.
He stated that “Whether I am in office or out of office, anytime this project is initiated about building the university, I want to assure you that wherever I am, in or out of office, I want to be part of it.”
He noted that Fr. Murphy sold himself to Christ, stating that he committed himself to serving God for over 60 years as a priest even at the age of 93 before passing on.
The Governor noted that his encounter with Fr. Murphy was that of encouragement and excitement, noting that Fr. Murphy was always willing to make life meaningful for others and not for himself.
Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Jude Uungwa said the roads commissioned were part of the six roads whose contracts were awarded at the cost of over 4.8 billion Naira.
He explained that some of the roads have been completed and others were at various stages of completion, stating that the road inaugurated will benefit the community.
The Contractor, Engr. Stephen Akange of Privent Construction Company, appreciated the Government of Benue State for its patronage, stating that the company will continue to justify the confidence in the execution of quality projects and timely completion.
District Head of Ugondo, Chief Justine Ihwakaa expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for the several projects his administration has executed in his domain, pledging their support to his administration.
Bishop of Makurdi Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Wilfred Anagbe who commissioned the Rev. Fr. Michael Murphy crescent described the honour accorded the late priest as well deserving, stating that Fr. Murphy’s 62 years as a priest were eventful given the unprecedented impact he made in all the places that he served as a priest.
The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Benue State Chapter, Rev. Akpen Leva commissioned Mrs. Victoria Azamber Puusu crescent.
The roads are named Fr. Michael Murphy crescent and Mrs. Victoria Azamber Puusu crescent.
Dignitaries present included former Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Terna Puusu, husband to Victoria Puusu.