The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said he would scrutinize the handover notes of his predecessor, Dr Gabriel Suswam, and make full disclosure about the financial status of the state.
He spoke at a thanksgiving service held at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mega Parish, in Makurdi to conclude week long activities organized for his inauguration as Governor and his Deputy, Engr Benson Abounu.
He said the disclosure became necessary because the figure of N9.3 billion which former Governor Suswam gave as the debt profile of the state was not a complete reflection of the state of affairs as it did not include arrears of salaries, allowances, retirement benefits, as well as commitments to contractors and other obligations.
The Governor promised to fight corruption and block all conduit pipes so that he could conserve funds to develop the state and meet its financial obligations.
According to him the powers that were dominant in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had opposed his candidature because he was a born again Christian who would not tolerate womanizing, drunkenness and wild parties in Government House.
He expressed happiness that his rejection and that of Senator Barnabas Gemade from the PDP drove them into the bossom of Senator Dr George Akume who he said paved the way for what they had become today.
Ortom stated that the development was however, a fulfillment of the his wish of Dr Akume which he expressed at the 60th birthday of his wife, Chief Mrs Regina Akume, that he desired a situation in which he and Senator Gemade would team up with him to rescue the state.
The Governor pledged that the security of lives and property has to be given priority attention in order for his administration to fulfill its promise to provide a conducive environment for the private sector to drive the economy of the state as has become the global practice.
He promised to govern with the fear of God which he said shall entrench core values that would make development inevitable even as he solicited sustained prayers and support so as to enable the state surmount its current challenges saying his victory was a demonstration of the efficacy of prayers and the fact that God ruled in the affairs of men.
Ortom said he hoped for a new Benue where peace, unity, and development would be the order of the day.
Dignitaries at the service included Senators Akume and Gemade, the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Chief Steve Lawani, other elected representatives at the state and national levels, captains of industry, academics, religious leaders and politicians.
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