May 29, 2023

Alia takes over in Benue, promises end to insecurity

Alia takes over in Benue, promises end to insecurity

…plans review of Benue grazing law 

By Peter Duru, Makurdi 

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia on Monday tookover the reins of leadership in Benue state with a promise to collaborate with the Federal Government to end the nagging security challenges facing the state. 

In his maiden address shortly after being sworn into office by the Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, before a mammoth crowd in Makurdi, Fr. Alia also promised to undertake a review of the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law with a view to accommodate current realities. 

The Governor who recalled that his campaign had been hinged on seven pillars on which his government would revolve stressed that the state needs a reset which would be accomplished by his administration. 

He said: “One of the most pressing issues facing our state today is insecurity. We cannot achieve any meaningful development in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. 

“As your Governor, I am committed to working with security agencies and the Federal Government to ensure the safety of lives and property in our state. We will also work tirelessly to address the root causes of insecurity, such as poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion. 

“We are inheriting an anti-open grazing law whose implementation has become controversial. Having gone through some period of implementation, it is fit and proper for us to review the law to identify the lessons learned, hold the gains made, if any, and reform to accommodate current realities. 

According to the Governor, “we campaigned on the promise of the Seven Pillars of our Campaign Document; A Strategic Development Plan for a greater Benue. 

“Our State has been tested by crises that have steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. We therefore promised to prioritize the security of lives and property of our people by ending insecurity occasioned by farmer/herder crisis, returning our Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to their ancestral homes and providing them a means of livelihood in a new economy. 

“We promised to industrialize our State through agriculture and massive rural development. This cannot be done through government alone and therefore, we will create the conditions that promote 

private sector-led, agric driven industrialisation. 

“We promised to celebrate the initiative and enterprise of our people, their insistence on hard work and personal responsibility which are constants in our character. We will achieve this by creating 

opportunities through a revitalised commerce and industry space. 

“We need to build capabilities of our people for the change we want to lead through human capital and social development. 

“We must build the required infrastructure to support our planned economic growth and care for the environment to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change through the adoption of climate change adaptation technologies. 

“We, like other countries and organizations, must move forward with digital transformations and the skills needed to implement them through investment in information and communications technology, ICT. 

“Finally, we promised to reform our civil service and local government systems, carry out pension reform, education reform and curricula review, review our laws to make them investor-friendly through political and economic governance. 

“These seven pillars represent a social contract between our Government and your good selves. On these promises, we shall be held to account.”