News

April 22, 2024

I didn’t inherit or purchase airplane for Benue as Governor – Ortom

Benue debt cancellation
By Peter Duru

Former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom has clarified that he did not inherit an aircraft belonging to the state from his predecessor and never purchased any for the state during his tenure as governor.

The former governor made the clarification Monday while reacting to a recent allegation by Governor Hyacinth Alia during a zoom meeting with the Benue diaspora community organized by the Mutual Union of Tiv in America, MUTA  and the Idoma Association in the United States.


The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terso Kula had quoted the Governor saying “the governor revealed that Air transportation is not so functional, saying he understands the state has an airplane but its whereabouts is still being looked into.”

Chief Ortom, in a statement issued Monday in Makurdi by his Media Aide, Terver Akase noted that the allegation was too weighty to be swept under the carpet.

He urged the Governor to prove the allegation to enable the people of the state know the truth.

The statement read: “We read a statement today by the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia who alleged among other things that “…he understands the state has an airplane but its whereabouts is still being looked into”.

“Governor Alia was quoted by his media aide to have made the allegation during a zoom meeting with the Benue diaspora community organized by the Mutual Union of Tiv in America MUTA and the Idoma Association in the United States.

“We want to state categorically that if the Benue State Government purchased an aircraft before Chief Samuel Ortom became Governor in 2015, such a transaction was not part of the handover notes that he received from his predecessor, and no aircraft was handed to the State Government under Ortom.

“Similarly, throughout his two tenures (2015 – 2023), the Ortom administration did not buy an airplane.

When he was leaving office, the handover notes he presented to his successor, Governor Alia also had no indication that the state purchased/owned an aircraft.

“An allegation of this nature is too weighty to be swept under the carpet, and only its proof will enable Benue people to know the truth.

“We therefore challenge Governor Alia to show evidence that the Benue State Government owned an aircraft before he became Governor. He should do this with proof of the date and amount paid for the plane, model/manufacturer of the aircraft, as well as the particular administration that purchased it.

“On the Governor’s frequent statements that all his predecessors performed badly and Makurdi, the state capital, was a glorified village before he was elected, we will not bother to comment on that. If a Governor who is supposed to be the chief image-maker of his state decides to brand it as backward and poorly developed, so be it.”