Alia should sit up, work and stop attacking Ortom in the media, says Akase

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Terver Akase, media aide to the immediate past governor of Benue state, Chief Samuel Ortom PhD has advised the governor of the state, Father Hyacinth Alia to sit up and begin delivery of dividends of democracy to the people he governs rather than his unfortunate media attacks against his predecessor.

This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to journalists in Makurdi by the media aide to the former governor this afternoon.

The statement reads:

It has become necessary to once more advise the Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia, to focus on the task of fulfilling his promises to the people and refrain from denigrating the name of his predecessor, Chief Samuel Ortom who has been subjected to a media trial and other forms of attacks by the present administration.

The Governor’s latest attack on Chief Ortom was contained in a press statement in which he took a swipe at his predecessor on a number of issues, describing him as a failure who did nothing for the people in eight years.

The unprovoked attacks have unfortunately become recurrent. We would ordinarily have responded in equal measure, but we have chosen to rather advise the Governor and his aides to concentrate on the task of providing development for the people. The former Governor is also human, and there is a limit to which he can tolerate the media assaults on him.

Governance is a social contract with the people. A Governor’s tenure begins to run from the day he is sworn-in. Governor Alia and his team therefore ought to be mindful of this fact and roll up their sleeves to get to work. In the end, Benue people won’t ask him to present the scorecard of his predecessor Samuel Ortom. The people voted for him to serve them and they are eagerly expecting the fulfillment of the promises made.

Governor Ortom similarly faced the people’s expectations when he assumed office in 2015 and moved swiftly to address the expectations. He sourced funds and paid two months’ salaries (May and June) at once for all categories of workers including local government staff and teachers. Governor Ortom also released funds for accreditation of the School of Health Sciences at Benue State University leading to the graduation of the first batch of doctors (40 of them) after 12 years. The then Governor also within the first few weeks of his assumption of office, released funds for accreditation of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi. He equally approved the implementation of N18,000 minimum wage for primary school teachers. Governor Ortom also within the first month, released funds for the purchase of fertilizer for Benue farmers at the unprecedented subsidy of 38%, an intervention he later increased to 40% and replicated in every cropping season till 2023. The Ortom administration within the first two months embarked on the construction of 42 primary health centres in different communities across the state. It was also within the first few months that the Ortom administration commenced the execution of 740 primary school projects in the 23 local government areas of the state. Within his first 100 days in office, Governor Ortom mobilized contractors back to site to complete 11 road projects in parts of the state.

Chief Ortom is a practitioner of the biblical injunction in 1st Timothy 2:1-2, which enjoins us to pray for those in authority. He has been praying for Governor Alia and will continue to do so, for God to help the Governor to succeed.

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