Benue PDP describes Alia’s take-off as the worst since 1999

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Benue state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party has described the take-off of the governor of the state, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia as the worst since the return of democracy in 1999.

This was contained in a press release issued by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom.

The statement reads:

Yesterday marked a full month since Governor Hyacinth Alia was sworn into office in Benue State, and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state observes that he achieved within this period the worst take-off in office since the return to civil governance to the country in 1999.

PDP’s observation derives from an assessment of the governor’s start in office compared to his 3 predecessors within the same period in view.

To Governor Alia’s credit so far has been a half-hearted attempt at payment of wages to workers which, however, excluded the entire local government workers, staff of the Benue State University (BSU), primary school teachers and staff under Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) as well as secondary school teachers and staff under the Teaching Service Board (TSB).

What this means is that roughly about 70% of the workforce of the state went unpaid from the governor’s much hyped gesture which it is even unclear from which source he funded the exercise that has since been dismissed as a mere popularity stunt.

Governor Alia can also within this period be seen getting increasingly entangled in a self-spurn webb of supremacy battles with stakeholders and leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as poking his fingers into just about everything controversial including even direct involvement in the politics of transport unions in the state.

The governor after a full month in office has failed abysmally where the consideration is stamping an imprint as may pass for the defining paradigm of his government.

By contrast, George Akume as Governor in 1999 had by this time stamped the welfarism paradigm of his administration which targeted to revive a people pathetically impoverished by decades of military dictatorship, as was encapsulated in the maxim “Reviving The People To Strength Before Teaching Them To Fish”.

After only a month in office, it was clear to see that Akume was deploying to good effect his experience and exposure as a thoroughbred civil servant and politician who knew very well the Benue terrain and possessed the right levels of social connect within that terrain.

Gabriel Suswam as Governor was effectively by the one month mark on top of his game in the infrastructure drive of his administration setting to work on the transformation of Makurdi the capital city with the building of grade A asphalt roads and streets with pavements and walkways.

By the time he was a month old in office, Gabriel Suswam was well on the way to earning for himself the deserved title of “Mr. Infrastructure” which was conferred on him by national journalists for his massive impact in the area of infrastructural linkages across the state in his first 100 days in office.

As Governor, Samuel Ortom by the first month had identified as a cardinal objective of his administration the need to straighten the inherited accounts of government and this he set out doing with a focus that saw the empanelling of Commissions of Inquiry with clearcut status under law and operational guide.

By the time Ortom was a month in office he had moved decisively to achieve the following: released funds for accreditation of School of Health Sciences at BSU leading to the graduation of the first batch of doctors after 12 years, released funds for accreditation of School of Nursing and Midwifery, approved Implementation of N18,000 minimum wage for primary school teachers, reached agreement with ASUU in BSU and ended the then ongoing strike and paid two months salaries (May and June) at once for all categories of workers including local government staff and teachers

The immediate past governor also within same period brought to bear his wealth of experience as a seasoned politician to the achieving of harmony within his party, a feat which is a prerequisite for the smooth take-off and functionality of an administration.

On all counts – identification of a paradigm, kick-starting of same as well as engendering of harmony within the sponsoring political party – Governor Alia after a month in office ranks by far the worst compared to all of his 3 predecessors, and this PDP observes may not be unconnected with the governor’s lack of administrative exposure and political experience prior to his coming to power.

Our great party urges the governor to rise to the occasion and face up to the reality that governance and flowery campaign promises are worlds apart, and to henceforth talk less and do more for the good of the state.

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