N350m SUV to Amaechi: Alia is corrupt, full of hypocrisy, says Benue PDP

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Benue state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has described the governor of the state, Hyacinth Alia as a corrupt political office holder.

The party also said the governor is full of hypocrisy, stressing that he had rubbished his acclaimed war against God fatherism and stakeholders with some of his corrupt acts.

The party through its state publicity Secretary, Chief Bemgba Iortyom (Vande-U-Mbaiwer) said this in a press statement in reaction to reports that Governor Alia donated a N350m SUV to a former governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi as a compensation for his financial supports during the last general election.

The statement reads:

The report carried in yesterday’s online edition of New Telegraph Newspaper regarding the donation of a luxury SUV by Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, to immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, exposes the corruption and hypocrisy which has so far characterised the running of government in the state under this governor.

According to the report, Governor Alia donated the SUV, a Lexus LX 600, worth N350 million to the former Transportation Minister in appreciation for the huge financial support he gave to enable him to win the governorship election early this year.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State notes that this reported item of expenditure adds to the growing mountain of alleged financial expenditures by the governor without recourse to due process and the rule of law obtainable under a constitutional order.

Governor Alia since assuming office has kept the financial accounts of the state under a veil of secrecy and in a state of freeze on the flimsy excuse that there are those he calls “hyenas” waiting to devour the content of those accounts once they are opened.

From May 29, 2023, following the removal subsidy on petroleum products in Nigeria by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the governor is known to have been receiving from the monthly Federation account allocations humongous amounts of monies many times more than that received by his predecessors during the subsidy regime.

He has also been in receipt of huge sums of funds from other sources on which due diligence requirements had been met by the immediate past administration of Chief Samuel Ortom, with drawdown into the state’s coffers been awaited at the time that administration exited power.

In addition to those referenced instreaming of external funds, there has been the internally generated revenues (IGR) running into hundreds of millions of naira monthly, using the benchmarks available in the previous administrations.

PDP, however, notes that Governor Alia has foisted a regime of concealment over the finances of Benue State, preferring to run the business of government as he would run a sole proprietorship without a duty of accountability or transparency to any authority.

The governor has in the manner of a sole administrator been expending huge sums of public funds on his personal luxury such as the purchase of brand new luxury SUVs for his motorcade worth an estimated N2 billion, air travels and hotel accommodations running into hundreds of millions of naira.

He has at the same time arrogated to himself emergency powers to award contracts to the tune of billions of naira without recourse to existing public procurement and fiscal responsibility laws of the state, or even the mandatory State Executive Council consideration and approvals.

Available records indicate that he has expended over N46 billion of public funds without recourse to due process, and his donation of a luxury SUV to Rotimi Amaechi only adds to this ongoing trend of arbitrary and lawless expenditure of the commonwealth of Benue State which is corruption growing to menacing levels.

Time and again our great party has demanded accountability of Governor Alia over his running of government, and again we demand that he come clean on how much he has received into the public coffers of the state, and how he has been expending those resources, this being in line with the duty of accountability and transparency we have consistently reminded him he owes the people.

PDP also notes that the donation of a luxury SUV to Rotimi Amaechi exposes Governor Alia as a hypocrite, rubbishing his recent purported claims of waging war against god fatherism and stakeholders whom he accused of demanding favours and gratification from him.

The party cautions the governor against dipping his hands into public coffers to service external god fathers in his self declared war against the stakeholders who helped him to power, as doing so will only worsen the financial mess he is creating for administration.

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