An Open Letter To Dr. Samuel Ortom
I have been constrained to write to you via social media, because I do not have a better alternative of reaching you, coupled with the fact that your media/ICT aid will access this for you.
Mr. Governor sir, permit me to begin this letter without the requisite official protocol due to your high office owing to the urgency of its thrust.
Sir, your level of incompetence displayed within this short period you mount saddle have prompt this piece. Your Excellency, I write to you today for many reasons but for the sake of time and space I will dwell more on two (2) reasons.1. I am an indigene of Benue State therefore th way and how my state is been ran I owe my people a voice, my opinion and my take on how my people and I is been governed is my utmost concerned.
- For posterity: Someday you and I will no longer be here again, we all shall answer the call of nature, somehow our Children, the younger generation might rise and demand to know, how and why our state was governed like this, but you and I will no longer be here to answer for ourselves and they will here to access records; So Your Excellency, I am writing because my Children, our children will someday rise and demand to know, they will ask questions, they will be aware their parents (You and I ) were at one point or the other at the helm of affairs; even if one is not actively involved one’s take and position is better made known.
Therefore I write for the sake of providence and posterity. Your Excellency, Having established why it became necessary for me to write to you, I will write to you on three (3) Headings: 1. YOUR GOVERNACE Sir, you will agree with me that the people of Benue State are disappointed in you the little morale and strength the good people of Benue had in you has dropped to a large extend. Let us assume that the previous government failed in the course of service delivery as widely speculated. You were past and parcel of the previous administration, you had first hand information on how the State was been ran. There was no point in time where you came out and inform the people of Benue the short-comings of the previous administration, you were very comfortable with the way things were been ran. But today that you have been voted into power on a different political party. Everybody is just surprise and confused on what we have being hearing from your person, we are even more confuse on how you are running the government.
Sir, am afraid but I have to tell you the bitter truth, your government lacks direction. Your government lack focus. For crying out land, you took the oath of office on the 29th day of may, now we are in December, 2015. There is no single thing your administration can point at. Worker salaries? Benue State polytechnic is shot down, college of Education Katsina-Ala is also shut down, (CAPS) is under Lock and key. Benue State University I gathered reliably that, the School will soon embark on a strike. What is exactly happening Sir? Am not denying the fact that you have said the treasury was emptied when you came in, but today your administration is 7 months old, meaning you have collected/received subversion 7 times, IGR is accruing, you told us the central government gave you N 28 Billion as Ball-out funds, when you came in the assembly approved and you borrowed N 10 Billion, today again I heard on official standing that the assembly approved again for you to borrow the sum amount of N 12b, summing all this monies the State coffers has received almost N 100b in a space of 7 months. Workers salaries are yet to be cleared, local government staff are dying of hungry and starvation. When I sat and look at the whole development am compelled to ask the following questions: I. What is the exact wage bill of Benue State? ii. What is stopping you from paying Benue workers money they duly deserved? iii. Where are all the campaign promises? iv Where is the free education you promise our children? v. You told us that salaries will be paid at most 27th of every month. Your excellency where are the compaign promises I ask again Mr. Governor?
- SUSWAM’S PROBE
Sir, I do ascribe to the principles and do support the demands for probity, transparency and accountability as enshrined in the laws of our country and it is the believe of the good people of Benue that such ought to be the basis and essence of any probe exercise, but the way you are going about the probe of your predecessor it is becoming clear to the good people of the State that you are settling political scores. Why are you running away in probing senator George Akume? Why are you limiting your probe activities to only Suswam’s administration considering the circumstances which surrounded the transition of power between Akume and Suswam’s administration.
The EFCC has accepted to look into the stewardship of the Akume administration in its dealing with the petition before it against Rt. Hon. Suswam, so Sir I write to inform you to summon the courage and accept the responsibility to do the needful by extending your probe drag-net to cover the tenure of the administration of your political god-father George Akume as Governor of the State between 1999 and 2007. To make the probe exercise sellective and limited is to vitiate its fundament objectives and reduce it to a more smoke-screen and at worst a witch-hunting tool. I want to advice you to resist the temptation to use the sacred instrumentality of probe to settle your political scores. Your administration is yet to establish as much as a basic direction in which to steer the ship of Benue State to greater heights. Dr. Samuel Ortom, Governance is all about continuity, Governance is the cumulative efforts of one administration after the other which have brought this State this far, without been an inquest into an era from a succeeding one. ORTOM, you have denigrated suswam’s person and distort the verdict of the legacy of his stewardship. Ortom, with your God-inclined nature, it is expected of you to sit down and reason, pray to God also for direction, thank your God and stars for all the divine blessing and mercies channeled towards your person, while do all these, you should also remember where you came from. Yesterday you were batting with PDP’s primary you lost thereafter defected to APC cliched the party’s ticket through a dubious means and today you are the Executive Governor of Benue State. I want to remind you maybe you have forgotten too soon that no matter how long you stay on that throne you will someday step aside.
After you might have served the people Benue and having step-aside, how would you like to be treated? dragging you on the shirt here and there just because you have accepted to serve your people? you see my Governor, it is not easy serving people in that capacity; Now let me ask you a single question, if you are to give an account of your stewardship now that your administration is 7months old and having lay hands on almost N 100b, with sincerity will you account for every kobo that has entered the state coffers? if your answer to my question is No! then that is what you are ding to Suswam, the embarrassment is becoming too much Sir. Well I will leave you with your conscience and God,time will speak for us all.
- YOUR POLITICAL FUTURE
Sir, permit me to speak further. I see you going down in your political career in the nearest future. The way things are going, you and your administration is increasingly becoming un-popular. Immediately you mounted the saddle of the most exalted office of our state everything has been turn upside down. The reason for a prophesy or why God allow mortals to have an insight into the future is for caution and correction to be taken. I am afraid but your popularity is diminishing as the second hand of the clock ticks. I want to remind you that you have no political base or structure on ground; the structure that propelled or brought you on board is the structure of your political god father senator George Akume. As it is the normal trend with Governors of our country I see you locking horns with your god-father soonest.
Your Excellency, can’t you see the hand-writing on the wall? Benue workers have started complaining; they are complaining of half-salaries, they are complaining of salary-slash or better still no-salaries at all. Benue people are saying they have lost hope in your administration. What did you tell the people of Benue state while campaigning? They believed and thought you are a man of God as you have claimed to be. Beware of senator George Akume His eyes are not clear over your issue. He is not comfortable with you at all. Can’t you see his body language? How many commissioners did you appoint and how many did Akume appoint through you? Akume has taken over your cabinet, I am afraid because the future is not good for you. Aren’t you thinking of 2019? don’t you think Akume will field a different candidate in the APC just because he won’t allow you mount that saddle till 2023? Because if he does he felt you will root yourself political deep and become powerful thereafter dare him in the senatorial election of the Benue North West, the election everybody including Akume knows you must vie for. Akume is calculating you, he is taking stock of the errors and blunders you are making now, watch-out he will use they against you when the time finally comes.
Ortom, whether one likes or not Suswam is going to be the deciding factor of Benue state politics come 2019, your Boss Senator George Akume is aware of all these; you are playing politics without analyzing the options on ground. Now listen, this is what is going to happen come 2019, Senator Akume will influence or help you to miss-rule the dejected but good people of Benue State thinking he is on your side, and in return you will fall out of luck with the electorate by 2019 he will dump you for a different candidate; He will tell Benue electorates of all your blunders, he will tell us how regretful and remorseful he is, then El-stuffy will release a song to polish the plans. If this happens where and who will you run to? Of course Akume cannot compromise his Senatorial target for anything Meanwhile Suswam who is going to be a strong force/deciding factor in 2019 election whom you rubbishing now will be far from reach. Akume your godfather will easily carpet you and your few home-base politicians the type I love to call “ sycophants” Beware of Senator George Akume.
Finally, you must return to the drawing board. You must work for the poor people that gave you their all. You must revive death souls, you must place the plight of Benue people above few that felt Benue Coffers is their personal treasury. About Suswam’s probe you should do the right thing, but stop harassing him publicly, that wasn’t the reason you were voted into power. Treat Suswam with some total of respect because he deserves it.
Benue people want quality and effective governance. Today you are the Governor but tomorrow you will become a former Governor then you will come to terms and test a feel of what am saying now.
Be careful my Governor as you journey towards the year 2019 because event will continue to unfold with loads of surprises. I, sincerely appreciate you for finding time out of your busy schedules to read my letter. I pray to God almighty to give you wisdom as you steer the ship of Benue to greater height.
Armstrong Iorwase Msugh Chir