Benue Gov, Alia, accuses Ortom of massive looting of Govt House

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Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has accused immediate past Governor, Samuel Ortom, of massive looting of the Government House, leaving no official car behind and an empty treasury.

Alia who lamented the situation he found the state after assuming office, said apart from meeting an empty treasury, he also inherited a huge debt profile of N187.56 billion, accumulated months of unpaid salaries and entitlements of civil servants and pensioners in the state.

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The governor who disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Tersoo Kula, said his predecessor made sure there was nothing to work with.

He added that the clamour by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the reversal of the nullification of all last-minute appointments made by Ortom was out of place as they did not follow the due process.

“The PDP looted Government House to a point that the new government under governor Hyacinth Alia, met no single car or truck in government house,” the statement reads.

Read also: Ortom leaves behind N187bn debt for incoming administration in Benue

“The governor’s visits to the agencies and parastatals have uncovered the highest level of rot ever witnessed in the history of Benue State.

“The same party that left an empty treasury in the state and ripped off the economic system of the people is now claiming to be standing on high moral grounds to offer untenable and ill-motivated criticisms to undermine the collective wisdom of the Benue populace.

“The PDP is not ignorant of the fact that all the appointments and recruitments that were carried out by former governor Samuel Ortom at the twilight of his administration were not done in good faith.

“Is it not curious that for more than seven years, Ortom could not employ indigenes of the state into the civil service, until a few months before the expiration of his tenure?

“It is even more ironic that the PDP, which is now a crying wolf, left the government house owing salaries of Benue Civil Servants from December 2022 to May 2023. “The same PDP administration left salary arrears of five months for state government workers in 2017; 10 months for local government workers in the same year, 2017. Under this same PDP government, pensions were last paid in the year 2021,” the statement said.