Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has raised alarm over the cancellation of the landing permit of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.
The governor made this public yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital during the swearing- in of the nine commissioners to fill the gaps in the State Executive Council (SEC). He lamented that the cancellation of the permit was part of impunity that is being meted on Benue and appealed to Nigerians to join him to defend the state.
It was learnt that Chambas who was accompanied by RC Edward Kallon had earlier planned a brief visit to the state yesterday as part of his pre-election tour of Nigeria, especially in the crisis affected areas to assess the humanitarian situation, but was stopped on the way by the federal authorities.
Ortom said that for the 40 years he had been in politics he had never seen where a public institution like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which supposed to protect the interest of the general public becomes the mouthpiece of a political party.
How queried why the EFCC had suddenly start to dance to the turn of a political party to victimise and intimidate citizens?
The governor said that the people of Benue would stand against such acts of impunity
While appealing to the new appointees to settle down quickly for a collective vision, Ortom urged them to deploy their wealth of experience to bear on the state’s resolve to respond to the current challenges and meet the people’s expectations.
He however warned them against diverting public funds into their private pockets and threatened that anyone found guilty of such acts, would be sanctioned appropriately.
Ortom said: “Be warned that anyone found diverting public funds would be sanctioned according to the law, and also I want to tell you that the era of political godfatherism in Benue had gone, so all the appointees should focus on how to serve the people not individuals. “
“As you can see, I am now a free man and I can pay salary since I left the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I am now able to pay salaries, I was cage by the APC for three years, but I thank God I am deciding what is good and best for my people now. I have secured N40 billion approved by the state House of Assembly to clear the backlogs of salaries and also execute more projects,” he said.
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