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Gov Ortom talks tough as Alia accuses him Akume Suswam others of looting public funds

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has reacted to an allegation of corruption made against him by the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the State, Hyacinth Alia.

Alia, a suspended Catholic priest had in a statement, described the present and all past Governors of the State as failures who have only contributed to the underdevelopment of the State since 1976.

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Alia, in the statement, boasted that he is on a messianic mission as the only one in the entire Benue who has the capacity to liberate the State from what he called “unconscionable looting of public funds” since the State was created.

Reacting, Governor Ortom in a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity said Alia’s “unguarded utterances were shocking, ridiculous and unfortunate”.

Ortom lamented that such comments were coming from a man who has “never in his life been tested in any public office, not even at the Council Ward level and therefore totally lacks the capacity to fathom what it takes to govern a State”.

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He said Alia’s condemnation of all past and present Governors of Benue State, including the late Aper Aku, late Rev Father Moses Adasu, Senators George Akume and Gabriel Suswam, as well as Ortom as looters and failed Governors called for serious questions on his credentials.

The statement reads, “The contumacious priest is playing to the gallery to curry unmerited favour and praise from unsuspecting people. His attack on the present and previous administrations in the state smacks of hypocrisy, mischief and crass ignorance of what development entails.

“We challenge Alia to publish his track record of achievements qualifying him to seek the office of Governor. Becoming a Governor takes more than merely dancing to the vulgar songs of party supporters who insult opponents daily on the streets.

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“Here is a man who does not have any evidence of development in all the places where he worked as a priest before his suspension by the Church. If he could not bring growth to any of the Churches where he served, how can he develop a large entity like the state?

“Thousands of Benue people have been displaced as a result of flooding and herdsmen attacks, but Alia who claims to love the people and “wants to liberate them” has never visited any of the IDP camps to support and pray for the victims. Service to the people does not only happen when a man becomes a Governor.

“An aspirant whose name is not found in the register of the party he claims to be flying its flag needs to be bothered about the web of controversies surrounding his emergence, more than what the previous governments did and what the next Governor of the state plans to do.

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“The belligerent and purported APC candidate ought to face his plethora of legal battles arising from the yahoo yahoo primaries conducted by the party which produced him, yet, as a dubious character, he openly hailed the process as transparent.

“The renegade priest should go and contend with the numerous court cases confronting him. His self-appointed role as a latter day critic is not only preposterous but also amounts to a pretentious posture which negates reason. He is the first and so far the only Nigerian who is said to be a political party candidate but has been vehemently resisted and rejected by all other aspirants and many members of the party.

“Benue people are already weary of Alia’s undercover deals with vested powerful interests outside the state to trade the people for a pot of porridge and his cravings for material wealth.

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“Governor Ortom and the former Benue Governors (except one) had no hand in the blunders and willful disregard for due process that characterized the APC primaries in which Alia was a mismatched beneficiary”.

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