By Harry Awurumibe, Abuja Disturbed by the spate of allegations of misappropriation of funds against the Benue State Executive Governor Samuel Ortom by Federal agents, concerned Benue State indigenes have called for a stop to the persecution of their Governor.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at an interactive session with the media, Spokesman of the Group, Nathaniel Ikyur, a PDP Federal House of Representatives aspirant for Gboko and Tarka constituency described Gov. Ortom’s travails in the hands of the agents of state as unnecessary distractions especially since he decamped from APC to PDP.
According to him, “the Federal Government is not always on ground in Benue to appreciate the enormous job the Governor has on his hands including the taking care of the deluge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)”, adding that over 312, 000 IDPs are currently in 8 camps in Benue State as at last month.
Ikyur who is a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Ortom on Public Utilities, Environment and Sanitation debunked the insinuation that the Governor is owing large backlog of salaries, pointing out that he is only owing workers six months arrears just as he is not owing workers in 2018.
“Ortom’s administration inherited a monthly wage bill of N7.8 billion which has dropped to N4.5 billion after the Governor carried out verification exercise as a prudent manager”, he said.
Also speaking at the event attended by many senior editors, Ati Terkula, SSA to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals- Media /ITC, argued that no Benue worker is being owed any salary this year in spite of the huge wage bills inherited from the last administration in Benue State.
Terkula disclosed that Benue people at home and diaspora are in support of their number one citizen because of his strong stand in the area of security of lives and properties of Benue people, adding that “Governor Ortom has within three years in office impacted positively in the lives of his people by also providing basic needs of the populace through the Bureau of Rural Development & Cooperatives”.
He therefore, condemned the recent call by a Federal government agency for Governor Ortom to explain how he spends his Security Vote, arguing that ” it is strange to say the least for an agent of Federal Government to ask a seating Governor to explain how he spends his Security Vote “.