Friday, 8 April 2016


By Bemgba Iortyom.

With economic hardship hitting the people of Benue State harder by the day, Gov. Samuel Ortom and his wife, Eunice, are reported to have collected an estimated N34 million for a trip to China.

Reliable sources in the Finance Ministry of the state revealed that the governor's wife collected N11 million while the governor collected N23 million for a trip to China for purposes which it is not clear how relevant they are to the people of the state.

Life has become harder for the people of Benue State since the coming to office of the Ortom government with increase in taxation, non-payment of workers salaries and a recent hike in tuition fees in the state owned tertiary institutions of learning, namely, Benue State University, Makurdi, Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev, Colleges of Education, Katsina-Ala and Oju, Benue Polytechnic, Ugbokolo and College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi.

A rise in killings of farmers, including women and children, and destruction of whole villages and farms by Fulani herdsmen has also added to the misery of the people of this Middle-Belt state who voted Gov. Ortom and the All Progressives Congress (APC) into power, having been promised "change" as a better alternative to the rule of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

The litany of woes in the state also include the widely held impression that the Ortom government is reckless with public funds as evidenced in its collection of billions of naira of loans without any worthwhile developmental projects to show for it.

The government also received over N28 billion since November last year as bailout funds for payment of salary arrears to workers, but up to this moment there are conflicting claims, even from government, as to how much has been paid to workers.

Meanwhile, as Gov. Ortom prepares to jet out to China, his claims of success with his much-hyped amnesty progeamme are becoming increasingly questionable owing to a recent rise in violent crime with recorded incidents of armed robbery and killings in some parts of the state.

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