Governor-elect Hyacinth Alia of Benue has accused Governor Samuel Ortom of dealing badly with government workers failing to pay salaries, gratuities and pensions. According to Mr Alia, the Benue civil service is about to collapse and is currently in an ICU.
The governor-elect stated this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Mr Alia frowned upon the condition of Benue’s civil service. He alleged the civil service is in a state of near collapse in an intensive care unit, promising to infuse life into it.
“It is sad that the life of civil service in the state is near collapse. It’s in the ICU, so I just need to get in there and infuse life in it and keep it moving. We have a lot of backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuities,” said Mr Alia. “So, already I got much on the desk to keep a good focus on and I remain hopeful that I am going to do just that.”
The governor-elect noted that Benue owes a backlog of salaries, pensions and gratuities. He vowed to tackle the problems plaguing the state once he assumed office.
Asked if he would be probing his predecessor against the backdrop of his letter to the Benue Investment Property Company, warning them of financial transactions with Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr Alia said, “I haven’t looked at the books, so I wouldn’t want to be quite preemptive. Once I’m sworn in, I know that what the good people of Benue want is progress and development.”
The governor-elect added, “And there’s so much that we need to put on track for things to work. Benue state is an agrarian zone, and so we must focus on agriculture and upgrade it. Benue is very capable of feeding the whole nation, so we are not just the food basket of the nation by name, and I am hoping that we will up our game in agriculture and take care of the rest as well.”
On Benue’s anti-grazing law, the APC governor-elect said, “One thing must remain clear, when you say that the atmosphere was quite tense, let it be on record that the Benue people are very hospitable people. We are very friendly people. And so if some mishap had happened in the last eight years, thank God the eight years have expired.”