By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue state government has accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, of allegedly undermining the authority of Governor Samuel Ortom ahead of the May 29, 2023 handover date.
It would be recalled that the opposition APC won the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state after the candidate of the party, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia defeated the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Titus Uba at the poll.
The APC would on May 29, 2023 take over leadership of the state but the Benue State government in a statement weekend in Makurdi by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase regretted that the APC was already assuming leadership before time thereby subverting the Governor Ortom led administration.
The statement notes that “In the last one week, APC has written to heads of government agencies and some permanent secretaries to stop obeying directives from the Governor. This is in addition to making false, inciting and misleading press statements against the present administration.
“APC Chairman in the state, yesterday addressed the media and made spurious allegations against Governor Ortom, particularly as it relates to financial transactions and general governance. Agada also illegally asked heads of state government agencies to henceforth stop complying with the Governor’s directives and approvals. We wonder where on earth such rascality is obtainable.
“It is absurd and disturbing that the Benue State leadership of APC has waged a war of attrition on a legitimate government whose tenure is yet to end. They are in a hurry and have resorted to arm twisting tactics using falsehood as a tool to disparage and blackmail the current administration.
“We wish to remind the APC that Governor Ortom remains the duly elected Governor of Benue State and has the constitutional authority to direct government agencies and make approvals while carrying out any other business of government till May 28, 2023.
“We demand that the party desists from its acts of sabotage and subversion against the present administration.
“It is equally pertinent to state that the Benue State Government under Governor Ortom has not entered into contract with anyone for the construction of the civil airport approved for the State by the Ministry of Aviation, contrary to the speculation by the APC Chairman and his team.
“It was also a figment of the imagination of the Benue APC Chairman and his co-travelers when they claimed that the state government was involved in some unspecified contractual engagements of various sums which they curiously could not substantiate.
“As a functional and responsive government, the Ortom administration reserves the right to employ and appoint qualified Benue indigenes into positions where vacancies exist; and that’s precisely what this administration has done with the employment of Benue sons and daughters through the Teaching Service Board (TSB) and the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB)”
According to the Adviser “Governor Ortom has already set up a transition committee and will be liaising with the Governor-elect to nominate people to serve as members of the committee. The APC ought to separate political campaigns from the real issues of governance and stop exhibiting ignorance.
“At the federal level, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries on March 29, 2023. Similarly, the Federal Executive Council on Thursday, March 30th, 2023 approved N95.8 billion for a road linking Ekiti and Ondo states. This is besides the approval of N2.24 billion for the construction of a 150-room capacity female hostel at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Kaduna State.
“The Benue APC should desist forthwith from making inciting and provocative statements while issuing threats to officials of government as if they are already in power. They are yet to assume duty and must be seen to conduct themselves lawfully and in a manner devoid of mischief.
“We urge the people of the state to ignore any form of a sponsored smear campaign from the APC as they are only laying a foundation of excuses for failure.”
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