SPEECH: ORTOM’S WAGE BILL TRULY OVER BLOATED, SAYS SUSWAM

…Governor must probe sale of BCC assets also

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Erstwhile governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam who left the country on the eve of the swearing in of Samuel Ortom as the new Governor of the state was sighted at the funeral of his late political godfather Atoza Ihindan at Katsina Ala at the weekend and delivered the following speech a full text copy of which http://www.jamesibechi.wordpress.com obtained for records purposes.

ECXERPT

We committed the remains of our slain father, Rt. Hon Atoza Ihindan MFR to Mother Earth today in his hometown, but, I must make this statement boldly. Never in our quest for leadership will position be more valuable than human lives. The puzzle of this heinous crime must be solved to give the bereaved family a closure and to allow the slain hero of democracy rest in peace.

Government is continuous, even though leaders come and go. However, Government is the people and will remain so till the end of time. Once you occupy a position of leadership, the searchlight will be focused on you and nothing about you will be secret anymore. I am out today and someone else is in charge of the state, tomorrow holds a space for another leader. Therefore, we must desist from sweeping away everything including the obvious good programs inherited from a previous government. This is because, whatever we do today will be used as precedence for the next person.

I read in the media about the probe of my stewardship. I am waiting for the outcome and we are ready to be held accountable where found wanting. I was an administrator of this state for 8yrs, and during my tenure, I was privy to informations and records of other persons too. It all boils down to how one manages and builds on shortcomings. I can’t blame anyone for the probe, but i urge that the probe also looks into the sales of government assets including BCC our major asset base.

Obviously, the present government took loans to pay salaries but till date, the sole purpose of the loans has not been achieved. Yet, fictitious figures has been released to justify the over bloated wage bill as previously published. In addition, apart from the loans heaping and increasing by the day, there has also been an improvement in the State’s allocation too. If anyone claims otherwise, the records should be published for all to see.

The insecurity in our state has remained a course for concern, even with the increased security vote to over N300m monthly. With this, it is my hope that the State will be well secured and focused in addressing these disturbing issues using the Security Agencies. I am in full support of the amnesty program organized by the present government to bring peace to our communities. However, it should not be used as a means to oppress its perceived opponents.

Ordinarily, i am not the kind of person that will put pressure on anybody after leaving office, but I was compelled to make this statement for posterity and to assuage the impression that is been painted and the obvious falsehood peddled around. I know what I went through in that office and pressuring someone else now will be counter developmental. That was why I decided to keep mum to the many falsehood and mischief flying round.

Nevertheless, we must look deeply into how we can secure the lives and properties of our people. This will bring about progress in all areas of governance. The once pleasurable places people went to with family and friends for relaxation and unwinding has become killing spots and even homes are not spared. This is totally unacceptable and should be condemned by all well meaning people State, including the Traditional institution.

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