Former Benue State Governor, Chief Samuel Ortom, has expressed his approval of the decision by his successor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, to initiate a probe into his actions and decisions during his time in office.
Ortom sees the inquiry as an opportunity for the current Governor to gain a comprehensive understanding of the facts on the ground, putting an end to the ongoing media trial by the government.
The move signals a commitment to transparency and accountability within the state’s leadership transition.
According to vanguardngr.com, the ex-governor also advised his successor to dedicate time to reading the handover notes he presented to him to discover that he had been receiving wrong impressions on several issues that he inherited from his government.
READ: Aviation: Benue Flags Off Construction of N36billion Cargo Airport
This was contained in a statement issued Friday in Makurdi by the Media Aide of the former Governor, Mr. Terver Akase in response to an earlier statement credited to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Tersoo Kula.
Akase in the statement said: “We read a statement credited to Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State in which he made known his decision to probe the decisions and actions of the immediate past administration.
“Governor Alia whose Chief Press Secretary conveyed his intention to the media listed the proposed cargo airport as well as the state’s liaison offices in Abuja and Lagos which the report read that “Ortom’s administration had allegedly leased out the state’s liaison offices in Lagos at N10 million for 15 years, while the one in Abuja was sold out…”
“We consider Governor Alia’s decision as a welcome development as it will enable him to get the facts and perhaps see no reason for the unending media trial of his predecessor, Chief Samuel Ortom.
“The assertion that the state liaison offices were leased suggests that the current government is conflating and confusing liaison offices with Benue Plazas.
“The liaison buildings are administrative offices which were established in Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos alongside the Plazas which were created for commercial purposes and made tenantable to generate revenue for the state.
“The Benue Plazas have always been on lease, while the liaison offices are occupied and run by civil servants posted from the state. At no time in the history of the state have the liaison offices been leased?
It is equally important to emphasize that none of the Benue Plazas has been sold!
“The cargo airport was never a Benue State Government project. Governor Ortom made it clear that his administration was not going to use public funds to build the airport. The project was purely a private sector initiative under a public-private partnership agreement between the investors and the State Government.
“The government’s primary responsibility was limited to providing land for the cargo airport and creating an enabling environment that encompassed security, policy formulation, monitoring, and regulation.
“The cargo airport agreement gave the consortium a condition of two years within which to start and carry out the project or have the land certificate revoked. The company failed to comply with the agreement terms and the Ortom administration wasted no time in revoking the certificate.
“We advise His Excellency, Governor Alia to take time and go through the handover documents that his predecessor presented to him and he will realize that he has been given the wrong impression on several issues regarding the previous administration.”