Benue state governor, Chief Samuel Ortom, on Monday denied allegations that he ordered the Management of the IBB Square, Makurdi not to allow the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) use the facility for its State Congress which holds tomorrow, Tuesday.
Auditor of the Benue state PDP, Honourable Moses K. Gbev, had earlier today alleged that the APC-led government in the state had directed that all public squares including the Aper Aku stadium should not be given to the opposition party for it’s state congresses.
Hon. Gbev in his statement added that he was told by one Mr. Ioryina Atetan, an official of the Benue state government, that Governor Ortom had directed that the IBB Square, Makurdi should not be given to the PDP for its state congress when he went to make payment for the facility.
The PDP official continued that he was shocked when the official of the IBB Square told him that he wanted to protect his job and wouldn’t allow him to make any payment for the PDP to use the facility.
He stressed that it was undemocratic for any sitting government to prevent people from using public facilities just because they belong to the opposition camp.
He however noted that the Peoples Democratic Party, Benue state chapter had resolved to conduct tomorrow’s congress at it’s state secretariat on Otukpo road, Makurdi.
But reacting to the allegation on behalf of the state governor, the state commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Mwuese Mnyim, said the IBB Square was not allocated to the PDP to use for its tomorrow’s congress because the party didn’t follow the normal procedure.
Her words: “For anyone to use the IBB Square which operates directly under the state ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, he/she must go to the place, meet with the officials who will give him an application form to fill.
“After filling the application form, the Management of the facility will bring it to my table and when it is approved, the person or group will be asked to pay into a government’s bank account. But as I speak now, the PDP has not gone to fill the application form which I have to approve before the facility will be allocated to them for their congress”.
Mrs Mnyim added that the state government had no reason to prevent anybody or group from using any government facility just because of a political difference. “The place would have been allocated to them if they had sent in an application form” she noted.
In an earlier reaction, Special Adviser to the governor on Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, described the allegation as false, stressing that there was a procedure to follow to secure public venues, and the governor’s office had no connection whatsover with the process.
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