- A prominent group in Benue state, Tiv Youth Council Worldwide, has berated Governor Ortom for always criticising President Buhari
- The group stated that while Ortom attacks the president verbally always, Benue people have been suffering untold hardship under the governor
- The youth group also accused the governor of refusing to pay workers their salaries and pensions, let alone develop the state
Makurdi - The Tiv Youth Council Worldwide has stated that the administration of Governor Samuel Ortom will go down as the worst in the history of Benue and will remain the darkest and inglorious years of the state's evolution.
The group made the statement in reaction to comments by Governor Ortom that the Buhari administration is worse than past military regimes in Nigeria.
The statement which was signed by the president of the Tiv Youth group Hon. Mike Msuaan, and sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, November 2, stated that instead of building the needed synergy like other governors with the federal government, Governor Ortom has continued his blame game.
Ortom's blame game
The group accused the Benue state governor of covering his ineptitude by always dropping the name of President Buhari.
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Part of the statement read:
“Since 2015 when Ortom was elected governor, he has continued to advance one reason or another for his inability to perform. His latest antics is to drop the name of President Buhari
“First, he accused his predecessor Senator Gabriel Suswam of siphoning state funds meant for development. He set up a judicial panel headed by Justice Kpojime to investigate Suswam.
“The panel indicted the former governor to the tune of 107 billion. According to Ortom, he needed Suswam to return just 60 billion for him to turn Benue state to London.
“Governor Ortom blamed paucity of funds for his inability to pay workers' salaries, pensions or embark on any development project. He has continued to jump from one blame game to another.
“The most ridiculous was his claim that he had exorcised the evil spirits that were responsible for his inability to perform. Today, he blames insecurity for his failure.”
The worst Benue governor
The group added that Ortom is on the verge of making history as the worst governor of Benue in all ramifications.
The statement further stated:
“It is imperative to state that, Ortom has never complained that federal allocation and other billions meant for Benue have been held back for any reason. Yet he has completely failed to even pay workers their salaries and pensions, let alone develop the state.
“Perhaps If the Buhari government was anything like the military, he would have forced the Benue governor under Ortom to pay workers and pensioners.”
Benue govt faults workers
The Benue state government had earlier questioned why workers fail to acknowledge when they are paid promptly or regularly.
Hon. Uloko, special adviser on information and orientation described such behaviour as workers' payday mentality.
In a post shared on Facebook, the government official explained that it is unfortunate to give the impression that nothing is being done for Benue state pensioners.
Benue pensioners continue to groan under Ortom's administration
The National Union Coalition of Aggrieved Pensioners in Benue recently threatened to engage in massive protests that will shut down the state if the Ortom-led government fails to address the plight of its members.
The chairman of the union, Comrade Akosu Orban, said out of the 33 months arrears owed pensioners in the state, only six months was inherited from the previous administration.
The union also wondered how N700 million the state government says it releases monthly as claimed by the governor is being spent, stressing that the number of months owed them keeps rising.
Benue listed as one of the states that owe pensioners’ backlog of gratuities
Recall that Benue was recently named as one of the states in Nigeria owing pensioners backlog of gratuities.
At the time the report was released to the media, pensioners in the north-central state say they were owed 34 months pension arrears.
It was also revealed that local government pensioners were owed 72 months pension arrears in the state too.