By Morgan Adikwu
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Proverbs 29:2)
Electricity is one of the basic requirements of human existence. The amount of Mega watt presence in a Country is one of the indices of measuring development. This is to show the importance of electricity to mankind. However, when wrongly applied, it tends to be catastrophic and disastrous. As imperative as electricity, so damaging it could be, if carelessly handle or left in the wrong hands. The term ‘electrocution’is the negative effects of electricity. This has accounted for the death and deformity of so many people across the globe.
Just as electricity, Politics is the life wire of development and peaceful co- existence in the entire planet Earth. The nature of politics in
any society determines the level and nature of development in that society. Politics has the capacity to entrench national Integration and also allay the fears of the people by providing their basic needs and meeting their demands and aspiration. Politics like electricity can also produce the reverse effects, if allowed in the wrong hands.‘Politicution’ is same as electrocution. The death from electric shock is called electrocution, also the high rate of poverty, corruption, underdevelopment, high level of illiteracy, low standard of living, insecurity, insensitivity to the welfare of the people etc, which is a product of politicking can be term ‘POLITICUTION’.
The cancerous nature of Politicution in any society cannot be over emphasized. In line with above, it is incontrovertible to state that Benue State has being under the siege of Politicution for the eight years of Suswam’s rule with its concomitant effects.
The essence of the administrative history of Suswam’s regime as the one above is to offer explanatory insight to the contemporary administrative pace.
On May 29, 2015, Samuel Ortom, a man of humble and strong personality, with enormous integrity and commitment to good governance, who has set of principles of honesty, transparency, accountability,hard work, discipline, reconciliation coupled the fear of God in discharging his statutory responsibility took over the reigns of government .
The administration of Samuel Ortom inherited a debt burden of over one hundred and sixty nine billion naira (#169,000,000,000.00), structured into ongoing Contracts, Certified Contracts, Bonds, Loans from Banks and unpaid salaries of both State and Local government staff up to the tune of over twenty eight billion naira (#28,000,000,000.00); a state of an economy that was completely shut down, infrastructure dilapidated and lack of the presence of social amenities, youth unrest, ethnic pogrom and general insecurity etc.
Despite this monumental fraud and sleaze of economic and financial terrorism witnessed during Suswam’s regime, is the amazing resilience of Benue State under the Samuel Ortom’s administration to create a path way to the restoration of sanity, probity, governance and accountability in our much battered and abused State. Below are some of the Samuel Ortom’s achievement thus far:
– The re-opening of Benue State University after six months strike, that the students almost lost a session.
– The release of fund for the complete accreditation of college of Health Science, that is now ready to graduate students who had been stagnated for twelve (12) years.
– The release of over #200 million for the renovation of School of Nursing and Midwifery Makurdi in preparation for the reaccredidation of the School.
– Security through amnesty is gradually restoring peace and order to the State as illegal weapons are being turned over to the state government in response to the amnesty deal.
– Payment of salaries to BSU Technical School Staff after 5years of non payment of salaries.
– Procurement of fertilizer at highly subsidized rate to the Benue farmers.
– Attraction of various Local and International investors to Benue State who have indicated interest to invest in the state.
-Government through frantic efforts in providing #5.5 billion as courterpart funding to attracting over double of the same amount for various development projects.
– Development partners have started coming back as a result of the seriousness of the government to pay their own part of the bargain.
– Efforts are on for the establishment of Benue State Information Technology Development Agency (BITDA).
– Agric centre at Otobi, Mbatie and Yandev are being renovated.
– Renovation of Judge’s quaters.
– Negotiation are in top gear with appropriate Authorities to clear the outstanding backlog of salaries and allowances of Benue Workers.
– Completion of Otobi and Katsina-Ala water works.
– The release of #500 million for the completion of Makurdi- Gbajimba road.
– The release of #300 million for the completion of House of Assembly complex.
– Bio metric verification of staff to determine the actual work force in Benue State.
– Efforts are on to increase the state Intetnally Generated Revenue (IGR) through total over hauling of BIRS ect.
These above achievements further strengthened the ethical values which uphold the affairs of government administration which largely depend on the manner in which government resources are used within the tenets of efficiency, effectiveness and improving productivity towards achieving the confidence and trust of the people.
The effective management of government resources is determined by the level of fairness and transparency in which those entrusted with statutory responsibility meticulously and diligently discharge their duty.
This has being the foundation of the Samuel Ortom’s administration.No matter how hard, the PDP in Benue State and its cohorts try to talk down the Ortom’s led administration,he (Ortom) keeps soaring because he has being deploring the acronyms ORTOM which stands for ( O- organisation, R- redirection, T- transparency and accountability,O- over comer, M- management ), in the governance of Benue State.
It is worthy to note that after the eight years of Suswam’s toxic administration in Benue State, the PDP has being a remarkable genius of travesty of turning the brilliant innovation of the social media platform into an instrument of media hooliganism of peddling propaganda.
In as much as constructive criticism is welcome to keep the government in check, these cynic should have the fundamental understanding that their virulent and bileful riposte will not deter Hon Samuel Ortom’s administration from keeping to his electoral mandate.
Inspite the cogs in the wheel, the Ortom’s administration has succeeded in putting smiles in the face of Benue people and creating a conducive environment for the economy to thrive and attract both local and foreign investors.
The #28 billion soft loan of single digit repayable after twenty years to pay the backlog of salaries and wages of both State and Local government workers owed them by the Suswam’s regime will turn around the fortune of the State and restore her loss glory.
It is truly, IN GOD WE TRUST!
Morgan Adikwu writes from Abuja.