By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has vowed to investigate alleged misapplication of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, Sure-P, funds allocated to the state under the immediate past administration.
The governor made the disclosure yesterday while addressing protesting SURE-P interns who barricaded the entrance of Benue Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, over the non-payment of their stipends.
The protesters, led by David Mbakpenev, had accused the government of being insensitive to their plight, regretting that the government was employing new staff through the Urban Development Agency to replace them when they were owed seven months backlog of salaries.
He said: “Starting from January this year, we are yet yo be paid our salaries and the situation has caused us a lot of family problems as we are unable to pay school fees, hospitals bills among others.
“We are suffering, even when we are government staff. Now the people at the Urban Development Agency are employing others to replace us, even when they are still owing us and have abandoned us to our fate”.
In his response, Governor Samuel Ortom denied the allegations of insensitivity and employment of others to replace the existing ones levelled against the government but commended the protesters for adopting a peaceful approach to communicate their grievances.
He disclosed that he had already constituted a committee to investigate the entire Sure-P programme and where its funds had gone, stressing that the government was not recruiting new cleaners in the state.