“Ortom Left Me With Empty Treasury, No Official Car” – Benue Gov, Hyacinth

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Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State, has lamented the alleged looting of the government house in Makurdi by the immediate past administration led by Samuel Ortom, noting that he was left with no single official car.

According to Alia, 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.

The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Tersoo Kula disclosed this in a statement in response to calls by the State’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he should reverse his decision that led to the nullification of all last-minute appointments made by his predecessor.

Information Nigeria reports that the governor also demoted some permanent secretaries appointed by the immediate past administration, saying they should revert to their previous positions.

“All appointments into the state civil service made by the outgone administration from May 2022 to date are hereby nullified with immediate effect,” Tersoo said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The governor also ordered all those who had retired but had yet to vacate their offices or duty posts, either because of extension or contract appointment, to proceed on retirement forthwith.

“All civil servants due for retirement but are yet to tender their letters of retirement or notice of retirement should do so forthwith and proceed on retirement immediately.

“All civil servants and or persons appointed Permanent Secretaries from the month of January 2023 to date should revert to their previous positions forthwith.

“All the postings and transfers made in the state civil service from October 2022, to date are hereby nullified. The affected staff should revert to their former ranks, stations, or offices with immediate effect,” the statement added.

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But in reaction to the calls, the governor noted that, “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.”

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

“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.

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“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.

 

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