ByÂ Peter Duru
MAKURDI â€” The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has commended the rural transformation policy of the Benue State government, recommending it as a model to other non-oil producing states of the federation.
Addressing newsmen in Makurdi, Benue State chairman of the CNPP, Mr. Baba Agan, said Benue was on the threshold of emerging as the state with the most developed rural economy in the country.
Agan attributed this development to a well laid out policy thrust of the present administration in the state geared towards reviving the rural economy of Benue state.
The opposition leader noted that Governor Gabriel Suswam had proved his critics wrong by the singular feat, stressing that Benue State has never had it so good in terms of infrastructural development after the collapse of the Second Republic.
According to him, the urban-rural renewal policy of the government has to a large extent revived the hitherto battered economy of the state and placed it on the pedestal of fast economic growth.
He said: â€œWhat we are seeing in the state today reminds us of the Ape Aku era. I honestly believe that the development we have seen in the last three years, especially in the construction of both rural and urban roads, can only be compared to what we had in the Second Republic under the late Governor Ape Aku.
â€œYou will also agree with me that our state has suddenly become a huge construction site. We must commend this effort because after a long time, we are beginning to feel the impact of government in our state.
â€œOur prayer is that he sustains the tempo because if you go to the rural areas, youâ€™ll be surprised at the massive transformation and boost in economic activities in the communities. That is why I can confidently rate Suswam as next to Ape Aku in terms of infrastructural development in the history of Benue State.â€
The CNPP chairman who insisted that being in the opposition did not bar him from lauding an administration when it meets the aspiration of the people added that despite the resounding performance of the Governor Suswam-led administration, the opposition in Benue State would still challenge him at the forthcoming 2011 general elections.
â€œIn as much as we are not disputing the fact that the man has performed, we in the opposition will not renege in our responsibility to pick an acceptable candidate who would challenge the ruling PDP for the position of governor in the state,â€ Agan said.