Makurdi – The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Benue, Mr Emmanuel Jime, has called on security agencies in the state to tighten their security knots to ensure safety of lives and property during the New Year festivities.
Jime made the appeal in a statement he signed on Monday and made in Makurdi.
He implored them to adopt proactive measures in preventing any outbreak of violence both during and after the celebrations.
Jime condoled with families of victims of the 2018 new year attack on communities in Guma and Logo and appealed for vigilance.
The former speaker of Benue State House of Assembly and former federal legislator, expressed regret that insecurity only deepened the deprivation and agony of the people.
He urged the people to remain united and resist any attempt to divide them by politicians seeking personal aggrandisement.
He said Benue people, who were known for “their pride, dignity and resilience, have now been subjected to a life of indignity, hopelessness and near-resignation”.
“I am using this moment to again condole with the people of Benue state for our brothers and sisters who died in the unacceptable cycle of violence, targeted at our vulnerable and defenseless citizens.
“I call on every Benue son and daughter to offer a prayer for those we lost, and a shoulder of support to those displaced and living in appalling conditions.
” I reiterate my call on security agencies to remain committed towards safeguarding our communities. They must do all that is needed to be done in preventing a return to violence.”
Jime also expressed regret that Benue civil servants and pensioners were being owed months of unpaid salaries, ” in spite of massive borrowing and hefty financial bailout packages from the Federal Government”.
He criticised the high taxes levied on the masses and assured of better days in the new year.
“Our farmers, after toiling and sweating without governmental support in the production phase, have had insensitive and exploitative taxes levied against their produce.”
According to him, Makurdi the state capital, has become an eyesore and an embarrassment to the state.
“We remain about the only Nigerian state without functional street lights and pipe-borne water supply. We can say the same thing for our roads, other infrastructure and sanitary condition.
“All of these have entrenched hopelessness and disillusionment among our people. They simply have given up on government’s capacity to make life better, but I dare to say we can begin to hope again.
“Our grim situation notwithstanding, the new year offers us an opportunity to open a new chapter in the history of our state to close ranks and put together new ideas that will yield solutions to the problems that we have today, some of which have been there for years.
“We cannot continue in this unending cycle of deceit, insincerity and blame-game, considering that other states have exploited their potentials and worked assiduously to move to higher levels of development, while we grapple with frivolities that don’t add value to our collective aspiration.”
He said the APC candidates in the 2019 general elections presented a chance of fresh breath and a new life into governance and appealed for massive voting for the APC to transform the state.