The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has called on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to resign over poor performance and gross ineptitude.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Hwande Titus Akase, on Wednesday, the group said the governor has failed to provide credible leadership since assuming office in 2015.
According to Akase, the state has been reduced to a “fiefdom controlled by Ortom’s family, friends and cronies, so much so that this group of people has consistently siphoned the resources of the state”.
The coalition noted that the result is deteriorating infrasture, zero development and untold hardship in the state, especially with the governor owing pensions and salaries for 72 and 10 months respectively
Instead of concentrate on delivering the dividends of democracy to his people, Akase said Ortom has found solace in the media where he diverts attention.
The group said Ortom amassed hundreds of hectares of land for his cattle rearing business, leading to farmer-herder clashes while arming militias to do his bidding.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice, therefore, concluded that there is no moral justification for Governor Ortom to remain in office.
It, however, called on all relevant stakeholders to join hands and rescue the state from the governor for sustainable growth and development.
Read the full statement below:
We welcome you all to this press conference converged on the heels of the decadence in governance in Benue state, which has become a source of worry to all concerned stakeholders in the state and the country at large.
Benue State, under Governor Samuel Ortom since 2015, has experienced an astronomical level of decadence. Governor Samuel Ortom has elected to play to the gallery at the expense of providing credible leadership.
The Governor has over the years turned Benue State into a fiefdom and controlled by his family, friends and cronies, so much so that this group of people has consistently siphoned the resources of the state under the direction of Governor Samuel Ortom.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is indeed worried that a state governor who claims to be working for the interest of the people could go to bed at night and sleep comfortably when 72 months (6 years) pension arrears of retired local government workers in the state have not been paid.
It is also despicable that under Governor Samuel Ortom, the state government also owes teachers ten months’ salary arrears, nine months of local government workers, and five months salaries of state government workers. It is consequently foolhardy for Governor Samuel Ortom to blame insecurity for his administration’s inability to be up-to-date in the payment of salaries and pensions.
Thus, it is our considered opinion that governance in Benue state has been thrown to the dogs, and there is no moral justification for Governor Samuel Ortom to continue to remain in office as Governor of Benue State.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice uses this medium to inform members of the unsuspecting general public that Governor Samuel Ortom has been engaging in media grandstanding, all to take the attention from his woeful performance in governance in the state.
The general public might wish to know that there is a dearth of infrastructures in Benue State. The roads are bad and littered with potholes, there is a lack of portable drinking water, and farmers do not have access to fertilizers, rural dwellers do not have access to necessities of life and other instances on how Governor Samuel Ortom and his cronies have succeeded in impoverishing the people of Benue State.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is also alarmed that Governor Samuel Ortom has over the years busied himself with amassing several hundreds of hectares of land for his cattle rearing business in Benue state and to a large extent; this has been responsible for the frequent conflict in the state between herders and farmers.
It is also worrisome that a governor would stoop low to arming militia to go after peaceful herders in the state just because he wants to dominate the business. After such attacks are carried out, the Governor is quick to blame it on Fulani herders. In truth, the Fulani herders are the victims of Governor Samuel Ortom’s plot at ethnic cleansing in the state.
Thus, our opinion is that Governor Samuel Ortom does not have any business remaining as Governor of Benue State. As such, he should tender his resignation for the peaceful and loving people of Benue state to have a breath of fresh air.
This is also on the heels that democratic governance has been bestialized in Benue State, as so the people. This is unacceptable and a reason why Governor Samuel Ortom must, as a necessity, vacate office as Governor of Benue State.
Governor Samuel Ortom has betrayed the mandate of the people. He has subjected the people to untold hardship. He has deprived the people, and he has set Benue State back some donkey years using all available indices of governance through his actions and inactions.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is calling on all relevant stakeholders to join forces to rescue Benue State from the serpentine rule of Governor Samuel Ortom in the quest to restore the glory of the state.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice wishes to emphasize that his antics must not deceive Benue State under Governor Samuel Ortom and the general public. We trust that those present at the press conference would take this vital message to our various constituencies.
We thank you for your time and attention. We desire that Benue State experiences sustainable growth and development.