By Bridget Ikaydo
The Executive Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia has commended leaders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Benue, appealing to them to promote unity for Benue’s development.
Alia during an expanded special stakeholders meeting of the party held at the New Banquet Hall, Government House, Makurdi.
He also thanked the party for sustained support for the success of his administration.
The Governor appreciated the APC for the massive support he enjoyed from the party at all levels.
The Governor who decried the mindless looting of the state by the immediate past Ortom-led administration while in office also expressed his resolve to correct the situation and turn things around for the good of the majority of the people of the state.
He reaffirmed his commitment to payment of staff salaries and pensions adding that teachers were receiving their salary alerts that as pensions too would be paid for two months.
In the Agricultural Sector, His Excellency warned against deforestation of the state and called on Benue people to go back to the farm including those having white collar jobs since his administration wants to make Benue people rich through farming.
He stated that steps have already been taken in that regard by reintroducing the distribution of fertilizer to farmers which was abandoned by the previous administration and announced a 50% subsidy on fertilizer from N25,000 a bag to N12,500.
The governor assured stakeholders that his administration would be fair in the distribution of political appointments in the state adding that those who qualify would be considered.
He decried the padding of the salaries of teachers in the state and announced the discovery of ghost workers and ghost schools which he said raised the monthly bill of teachers to N1.6 billion instead of N800 Million.
He called on those affected by the shame of employment by the past administration not to worry as those who are employable would be considered when new employment opportunities open in the state.
Governor Alia warned against inflammatory statements and hate speech and stated that it would attract legal sanctions to promoters no matter how highly placed in society both in the print and social media.
He appreciated the media for promoting the government but reminded them to be wary of fake bees. Governor Alia promised that in the next four weeks, a pilot youth empowerment programme will commence in the state and urged the state youth leader to profile 1000 names of youth of both sexes to be part of the programme.
His Excellency appreciated the party leaders at the local governments and also appreciated Benue people and called for more patience as they go through the subsidy removal effect and said palliatives will soon be made available for the masses.
State Chairman of the Party, Comrade Austin Agada in an opening remarks expressed his appreciation to the APC family and the people of Benue State for their continued show of support and trust in the party.
He assured stakeholders that the APC will ever remain one United Family and warned that the party is now poised to apply disciplinary actions on those who seek to divide rather than unite the party in the state.
The state chairman pledged the support of the party to the Executive Governor, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Leader of APC in Benue State, Sen. Dr George Akume, CON.
Chief Terlumun Akputu in a goodwill message on behalf of Zone A described the event as a unique day in the life of the party expressing the hope that it would mark the beginning of greater things to come to the party and the state in general.
Also speaking, a Former Governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, Chief Akange Audu, for Zone B, Hon. Emmanuel Aba Yaro, for Zone C in their separate remarks, aligned themselves with the submission of the State Party Chairman.
They pledged their support to the Alia-led administration and advised the Governor to be mindful of ill-fated counsels that seek to divide rather than unite the party and the state.
Speaking on behalf of the National Assembly members, the Senator Representing Benue North East Senatorial District, (Zone A), Sen. Emmanuel Memga Udende pledged the support of the National Assembly members to the Governor’s policies and Programmes
APC State Women Leader, Princess Nancy Awuese Torhee, on behalf of women, drew the attention of the governor to the social investment program which was introduced to empower rural women, youth and communities but was rather politicized by the past PDP-led government in the state and further appealed to His Excellency to restructure the programme to achieve its objective of empowering the general populace in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the youth, the State Youth Leader, Comr. Cephas Tertindi Adom informed the governor of the youth’s readiness to end the extortion of land buyers in the state in the name of ‘marching ground’.
Comr. Adom further called on the Governor to give fifty per cent of appointments in his government to youth and also put a programme on the ground that would accommodate the Youth who constitute a greater percentage of the state’s population.
The Majority Leader of the Benue State House of Assembly, and member representing Mbagwa State Constituency, Hon. Saater Tiseer who spoke on behalf of the state Assembly members also pledged the support of the Assembly to the Governor.
Hon.Tiseer called on the governor to clear the air on the nonpayment of teachers in the state so that the message would go around the state for Benue people to get first-hand information in that regard.
In a special remark, second republic Senator and elder statesman, Chief Sen. Jacob Tilley Gyado urged the governor to hold on to the leader of the party, Dist. Sen. Dr. George Akume. Sen. Gyado who is a key member of the states elders council of the APC urged political leaders in the state to volunteer only wise counsel to the Governor to succeed and turn around the fortunes of the state.