I inherited N359bn debt from Ortom’s administration – Gov Alia

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State on Sunday disclosed that his administration inherited the sum of N359 billion as debt from the past administration in the state.

PlatinumPost reports that Alia assumed office on 29 May, 2023 after the tenure of former Governor Samuel Ortom.

Alia disclosed this at an interdenominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.

The church service was organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Benue State Chapter, at the Methodist Cathedral, South Bank, Makurdi.

The governor, who is a Catholic priest, said that in spite of the debt burden, he was determined to reposition the state by providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“God has accomplished his work, and it is now left for us to make our state and nation to work. I am here to make things work.

“What we inherited was nothing to be proud of, but we will do what will make us all proud. I inherited over N359bn debt,” he said.

He regretted that the state lost billions of Naira worth of agricultural produce and other property to herders’ attacks on farmers.

He said that the farmers must be supported to do their job well.

Alia said that the condition of rural dwellers following incessant herders’ attacks and fuel subsidy removal had become worrisome.

He said that his administration would find ways to support farmers by providing seedlings, fertilisers and other forms of support to enable them to work effectively in the coming farming season.

“My colleagues call me the governor of the richest state in Nigeria and I agree with them because we have numerous mineral deposits, we have the best yams and soyabeans, among others.

“We will create billionaires in the state through our farms. We have everything it takes to do it.

“The foreigners illegally mining gold in Kwande, Logo, Konshisha LGAs and other places in the state should desist from it immediately. This is an order,” he said.

He said that God blessed the state and the entire Nigeria abundantly and it was left for the leaders to make things to work.

He decried the spate of kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state, pledging to tackle them.

The governor said that the future of the state lied in the hands of the youth, adding that his administration was training 10,000 youths in information technology for improved digital knowledge.

Alia gave the assurance that his administration would not accommodate corruption and nepotism.

The governor appealed to Benue sons and daughters to support the state in any way they could.

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Benue Commissioner kidnapped

Gunmen yet-to-be identified have abducted Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Matthew Abo

DAILY POST gathered that the incident occurred on Sunday night at about 10pm when the armed men invaded the Commissioner’s residence in Zaki-Biam, headquarters of Ukum Local Government Area of the state.

According to an eye-witness, the gunmen who invaded the area on four motorcycles, forcefully entered the commissioner’s house shooting sporadically.

The assailants ordered everyone in the house, including the Commissioner‘s wife and children to lie face down, after which they whisked him away to an unknown destination.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Hyacinth Alia, Sir Tersoo Kula confirmed the unfortunate incident to DAILY POST on Monday.

When contacted by our correspondent, the CPS simply said, “Unfortunately, that is the news. Commissioner for Information, culture & Tourism, Mr. Matthew Abo from Ukum LGA was kidnapped.”

DAILY POST reports that Abo was one of the 17 Commissioners sworn-in as a member of the Benue State Executive Council on August 29, 2023.

(Daily Post)

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Gov. Alia, deputy know fate tomorrow as tribunal delivers judgement on Benue guber

The Benue State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, has fixed Saturday to deliver judgement on the petitions before it over the March governorship election in the state.

DAILY POST gathered that the time and date of the judgement had been communicated to all the parties to the petition.

The candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Rev. Fr . Hyacinth Alia was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Not satisfied with the declared results, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Titus Uba and PDP petitioned the tribunal to nullify the victory of Alia and the APC.

In their final address, the PDP and its candidates, Uba, urged the tribunal to nullify the declaration of Alia and his Deputy, Samuel Ode, as winners of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state for alleged forgery and being nominated out of time.

But counsels to INEC, Ishiaku Dikko, counsel to Governor Alia, Samuel Ameh, that of Ode, Mamman Osuman, as well as the APC counsel, Mathew Burkaa, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

At that point, the three-member panel led by Justice Ibrahim Karaye adjourned the matter for judgement on a date to be communicated to the parties

There has been apprehension in the state since the tribunal reserved judgement.

(Daily Post)

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