Allegations of corruption, witch hunting, and false propaganda leveled against Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, credited to some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftains in Benue State and published widely in the media this week are baseless and false.
Those who read the reports would have been surprised that no proof to substantiate any of the allegations was established against the Governor, quite contrary to the maxim that he who alleges must also prove.
Close watchers of events in Benue State may have also noticed that since his assumption of office the Governor has been making full disclosure of the situation on ground.
He has also been giving regular accounts of monies received and how they are being spent.
This is consistent with his policy of transparency and accountability, terms alien to the previous PDP administration in the state.
Yet Governor Ortom’s judicious use of scarce resources in the state has seen the commencement of payment of full salaries, reopening of the Benue State University, full accreditation of the College of Health Sciences for five years, ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation of the School of Nursing and Midwifery for reaccreditation, resumption of pumping of water in Utobi and Katsina-Ala as well as ongoing construction of laboratories at the College of Agriculture, Yandev.
It has also led to the commencement of the upgrading of facilities at the permanent NYSC camp in Wannune, release of funds for the completion of the House of Assembly complex and resumption of work on the Daudu-Gbajimba road and several other projects.
The list is not exhaustive besides the return of development partners to the state and rekindling of confidence in governance.
The truth is that Governor Ortom has not soiled his hands and the allegation of corruption levelled against him cannot be proved. We challenge the PDP chieftains to controvert this fact.
Although the allegation of witch hunting youths in the state was as nebulous as the others, one perceived that the arrest and prosecution of a notorious thug of the former PDP leader in the state by the police may have prompted such a reaction.
But gone are the days when leaders raised, nurtured, and armed thugs at public expense to commit crimes against the people with impunity and full support of government machinery.
The Ortom administration has moved against crime and criminals in the state and none will enjoy any shade or protection.
It is also curious that one of the leaders who is not an adherent of any known religion also challenged the genuineness of Governor Ortom’s Christian faith without any justification.
Since he who comes to equity must come with clean hands one thought he would have first purged himself of gunrunning inclinations and the tragic memories of the charade he organized as a recruitment exercise during which several innocent Nigerians he had fleeced lost their lives.
The PDP leader in the state, noted for globetrotting, got entangled in a wife battery scandal during one of his numerous trips and attempted to blame Governor Ortom for his misfortune. Let it be known that the present Benue State Governor had no hand in that affair.
Leaders of that party have also gone to town shamelessly calling Ortom temporary governor.
This is someone who in the face of the most brutal government machinery at the state and federal levels defeated the PDP at the polls the result of which none of its leaders has contested.
The PDP is now building castles in the air in the hope of sneaking in through the back door based on the conduct of another party’s primaries proven in court to have been done in compliance with that party’s constitution in accordance with the Electoral Act.
It beats one’s imagination that this forlorn hope is also predicated on grounds in a matter that had been dismissed with costs by the Makurdi Federal High Court.
What a pity.
Special Adviser, Media and ICT.