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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Ortom leaves Benue with N187.56 billion debt Gov. Father Alia cries outs



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Benue state Governor, Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia has stated that he inherited an empty treasury and a whooping huge debt profile of N187.56 billion accompanied by accumulated months of unpaid salaries and entitlements of civil servants and pensioners in the state.

Also lamented how an alleged massive looting of the Government House in Makurdi by the immediate past led PDP administration of Samuel Ortom, noting that he was left with no single official car.

Alia also.

“The same party that left an empty treasury in the state and ripped off the economic system of the people is now claiming to be standing on high moral grounds to offer untenable and ill-motivated criticisms to undermine the collective wisdom of the Benue populace,” the statement reads.

Governor Alia revealed this in a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary Mr. Tersoo Kula.

The Governor was responding to calls by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that he should reverse his decision that led to the nullification of all last-minute appointments made by his predecessor

“The PDP looted Government House to a point that the new government under governor Hyacinth Alia, met no single car or truck in government house. The governor’s visits to agencies and parastatals have uncovered the highest level of rot ever witnessed in the history of Benue State”.

Alia regretted that Ortom left the government owing salary arrears of civil servants, arguing that the PDP should apologise to the people of the state.

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“The PDP is not ignorant of the fact that all the appointments and recruitments that were carried out by former governor Samuel Ortom at the twilight of his administration were not done in good faith.

“Is it not curious that for more than seven years, Ortom could not employ indigents of the state into the civil service, until a few months before the expiration of his tenure?

“It is even more ironic that the PDP, which is now a crying wolf, left the government house owing salaries of Benue Civil Servants from December 2022 to May 2023. The same PDP administration left salary arrears of five months for state government workers in 2017; 10 months for local government workers in the same year, 2017. Under this same PDP government, pensions were last paid in the year 2021,” the statement said.

However, the media aide to former Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Terver Akase, has reacted to the allegation by Governor Hyacinth Alia that there was massive looting of the government house in Makurdi under the previous administration.

Akase said Ortom is no longer the Governor, and so should not be speaking about issues of governance in the State.

”Well, I don’t work in a government house. I don’t know about that. What I do know is that the Benue State Government executive council, before Governor Ortom left office, made a resolution that government officials of the Ortom administration should leave with their vehicles. So, if the Governor had a car, that is, the former Governor and Exco made a resolution that he should go with his vehicle, that’s a different thing; that is Exco’s decision.

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“I don’t know about all the other things because I haven’t been to the government house since we left. I don’t know the veracity of those things you are saying. All I know is that Exco made a resolution that government officials who worked under the Ortom administration should go with their vehicles. Yes, so if the Governor was using a vehicle at that time and Exco said he should go with it, there is nothing wrong with that; it’s not criminal. It is legal because this is the decision of the Benue State Government.

”I am not the spokesperson for PDP. I only speak for the former Governor. And the former Governor’s reaction is that he is no longer the Governor. Our people say that when you don’t have clues on the close line, you no longer put your hands there. He is no longer the Governor, so he can’t be speaking about issues of governance in Benue State. Governor Ortom prays for the current Governor and wishes him well,”

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