It is a common perception that some politicians have scant consideration for integrity in their conduct but even the most shameless of them all will doff their hats for Samuel Ortom, the immediate past Governor of Benue State and his minions, especially, those who function shamelessly as his media handlers.

At a time the entire Benue State is yet to recover from the state of shock due to revelations of mindless plunder, primitive theft, unprecedented fraud, criminal neglect and utter kakistocracy perpetrated by the worst kleptocrats known to man, the handlers of the old order seek to mask their obvious failures by launching futile attacks on the barely one month old administration of Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacith Alia.

Sadly, the likes of Terver Akase and his co- travelers seem to wish away the scars of Ortom’s devastating regime of sorrow, tears and blood which turned a hitherto proud people into destitutes. The agony of workers and the plight of pensioners are still open sores inflicted by the soulless contraption headed by a self righteous and pretentious group. The fact that workers in Benue received salary alerts for the first time this year in June counts against the perfidious government of Samuel Ortom.

Moreover, the recent tours of government offices by Governor Alia and the shocking state of public infrastructure clearly showed that the affairs of the state were run by people who are subhuman. From the Benue State House of Assembly to the State Secretariat to the Liaison Office in Abuja, the story is the same as leaking roofs, cracked walls, non functional toilets and degrading surroundings. The case of the Government House residence is particularly pitiable with vandalized furniture, window blinds, electronics and other household appliances. This is besides the carting away of ALL VEHICLES including an ambulance and Press Crew bus attached to the office of the Governor. At the last count, 29 vehicles attached to the Governor’s office are still nowhere to be found.

In saner climes, those who brought this state of affairs will either be cooling their heels in jail or be engaged in one form of restitution or the other. Unfortunately, here, we have ignoble image launderers trying to rub salt on the injuries they inflicted on the people. Our society has allowed people who deliberately starved workers by converting their wages to family bazaars to open their foul mouths too wide. People who performed Goebellian roles while the state was bled to near death for eight years are sudden critics of a one month old correctional government. People who failed to pay wages for upwards of 10 months but went ahead to recruit thousands more as a booby trap to the succeeding administration are now attempting an assessment after one month!.

Akase’s laughable and pathetic comparison between Alia’s one month old government and Ortom’s maladministration brings his mental health into question. He has forgotten that Ortom’s first action as Governor was to borrow money from commercial banks at ridiculous interest rates in the name of paying workers and “ building infrastructure “. This was followed by the release of N28billion bailout funds which grew wings. The often repeated “ achievement” of repainting the School of Nursing and its subsequent re-accreditation are mere tokenisms.

Is it not pathetic that Ortom’s Akase is still mentioning renovations eight years later? It would be a different matter if a new school was built. In any case, the Alia blueprint isn’t meant for completion in 30 days. At the appropriate time, the people will have ample opportunities to assess their Governor using the right parameters.

It is amusing how a government that surreptitiously passed a humongous pension law for its benefit but failed to pay people who spent 35years in service will turn around and comment on the reforms of its successor. They should be reminded that the verdict of rejection passed on them by the people is still in force.

Where do they find the moral strength to still talk? Where is their shame? If there still exist shame in the land!

Tersoo Kula

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State.

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