THE Governor of Benue State, Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia, today lamented the alleged massive looting of the Makurdi government house by the immediate past administration led by Chief Samuel Ortom, saying he met no single official car or truck to operate with as they were all carted away.
Furthermore, the Governor revealed that he inherited an empty treasury and a whopping N187.56 billion debt profile, as well as months of unpaid salaries and entitlements of civil servants and pensioners in the state.
Governor Alia who 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 over claims that they were legally employed, urged the party to seek forgiveness from people of the state and stop playing to the gallery for it had imposed untold pains and penury on the people.
He regretted that Ortom left the government owing salaries of civil servants for six months (from December 2022 to May 2023) and five months arrears for state government workers in 2017 as well as 10 months for local government workers in the same year, 2017 and same to pensions whom he said were last paid in 2021.
Governor Alia said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Tersoo Kula that his decision to sweep away all last-minute appointments made by the former governor remains irreversible.
“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 to 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 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”.
“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 level of decay caused by the immediate past administration stinks in the severely vandalized offices of state civil servants, such that the new government must have to start from scratch to acquire the necessary equipment for the system to start working again”.
Governor Alia urged the party to apologise to the people of the state to seek forgiveness and stop playing to the gallery to mock the badly deprived people of the state.
He also advised the people not to lose any sleep over the actions he has so far taken as he was out to sanitise the rotten system created by the outgone administration in the state.