We have a responsibility to explain our actions as a government whenever there is the need whether those who complain about such actions are altruistic or otherwise.
Someone wrote and it was published in Daily Trust newspaper of Monday, 22nd June, 2015 that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom had reversed some last minute actions of his predecessor because of overexcitement at becoming Governor.
The person mentioned the cancellation of employment of over 4000 people into the civil service of the state and the reinstatement of a deposed traditional ruler as examples.
Governor Ortom’s cancellation of the last minute recruitment is justified on account of the current inability of the state government to pay workers previously employed their salaries and other entitlements for several months, just like pensioners who are being owed several months of their retirement benefits.
The State Ministry of Finance has disclosed indebtedness of N12 billion in this regard.
Preliminary figures from the ministry also reveal a debt burden in other areas amounting to over N70 billion bringing the total amount so far to N90 billion with more being expected as investigations continue.
It the light of this development it became untenable and even irresponsible to take on more financial burdens arising from the new recruitment most of which Governor Ortom had advised against and had warned beneficiaries not to accept.
Moreover, most of the recruitment did not follow due process.
It must be noted that the appointment of new permanent secretaries and others made in the twilight of the previous administration including the Director General of Radio Benue have not been reversed.
With regard to the reinstatement of the deposed royal father the committee set up by the state government to review the issue submitted that due process was not followed and that the relevant law was also breached.
It stated that the chief was not accorded fair hearing and that his deposition was not approved by the State House of Assembly as provided in the law.
This breach was so apparent that anyone who read the law could have uncovered the breach within 30 minutes.
One was rather surprised that it took the committee three days to deliberate on the matter.
It could be recalled that in his inauguration speech Governor Ortom had pledged to sustain whatever was properly done and boldly correct any wrong of the previous administration.
With this and his prior warning about the recruitment he had served sufficient notice.
The Governor had held high office before including Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as such couldn’t be overwhelmed with his new position to the extent of acting out of excitement.
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