Brothers and sisters

Let me clarify this allegation that officials of the Benue State Government have been invited by EFCC.

 Whenever the anti-graft agency invites any public office holder, it makes the matter public and the media report the news. People are not left guessing whether or not the official was invited.

Inquiries made by anti-corruption agencies in Benue State all border on the handling of state funds by the previous administration. When you inherit an office left behind by a predecessor, when anti-graft agencies come knocking, they ask you to avail them with documents and any other information to enable them carry out a successful investigation. It was in respect of this that EFCC, having received petitions of monumental looting of public funds against the immediate past administration in State came to verify the facts.

The result of their investigation is all known to you as the former Governor, Gabriel Suswam and his Finance Commissioner, Omadachi Oklobia are already standing trial on various charges with more soon to follow.

Let me reiterate that EFCC has never invited or arrested any appointee of the present administration to answer questions over allegations of corruption by this government. The Ortom administration transparently handled the bailout funds at the state and local government levels and it has officially given till the end of June to close the matter of bailout funds. All workers who have complaints arising from the bailout disbursement should grab the opportunity to have their complaints addressed.

Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), erroneously raised questions over the payment of bailout funds to Lobi Stars Football Club through the office of the Deputy Governor, but the matter has since been put to rest with the convincing evidence from the State Government to prove that the Commission was hasty in its conclusion. ICPC has also seen the truth in the explanation/evidence tendered by the Ortom administration.

The Samuel Ortom administration promised to lift Benue out of the dark age of zero transparency to the dawn of transparency and accountability, and so far, it is looking very good. Even primary school pupils now know how much the state earns as income and how the funds are managed. This was not witnessed in the past. What we are seeing now is the direction openness in governance which the People's Governor is steering the ship of the state. As he has always said, Benue will be a much better place at the end of his tenure.

On the health of the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Targema Takema, I expect that our brothers/sisters in the opposition will not play politics with matters of health but once again, they have proven to all that our society is fast losing its humanity. It is natural for a human being to fall sick and get well later.

Yes, it is true that Barr Takema was not feeling very well and was taken to the hospital. Governor Ortom visited him at the hospital to see his condition and confirmed that the SSG was responding to treatment.

I grew up knowing the virtue of 'pray for your leaders, not curse your leaders'. I think we can do better than that my people.