Governance is all about managing the affairs of the people. As a people-oriented governor, it is very important to pay attention to the plight of the people you govern.
Like the biblical three Hebrew boys in Babylon, I am not careful to tell you that all is not well with some of your representatives in certain areas of governance
, particularly, at the grassroots.
Information, I am sure you know, is a two-way traffic. As the government continues to feed the governed with information on activities of government through the various news media, feedback in the form of responses, reactions and actions of the people are supposed to guide the government in taking decisions that will be beneficial to them.
Against this backdrop, there are questions that need answers in order to clear the air on the insinuation that, “Governor Ortom is not sensitive to the plight of the people.”
Do you really believe the report of the committee that handled the disbursement of the N28billion bailout fund, declaring savings of about N2billion when many local government workers are crying daily for non-payment of their legitimate salaries?
Your Excellency, I am compelled, by the tears on the faces of many legitimate workers who are mistaken for ‘ghosts’ whose children and wards are denied education because they can no longer pay their school fees, to write this piece.
For me, the report of the committee on the payment of the bailout fund is far from the truth. The various verification exercises carried out by the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs have not yielded any positive result because the various exercises were fraught with manipulations and incompetence.
A case study is the pathetic plight of the staff of Obi Local Government Council where only a handful of workers are being paid. This is exclusive of those whose employment has questionable sources, and even then, some of them are being paid while those that have genuine employment from the former Oju Local Government Area are not being paid at all. In a situation like this, how can the committee justify the report they presented to you on the payment of the bailout fund?
It seems you are being misled by the report to announce that savings of about N2billion have been made from the exercise.
Today, the Agatu people are crying for being killed and displaced and are berating you for negligence. The say the governor has not visited them. Now, whose report do you believe? Is it the report of Agatu people or that of the Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, who visited Apa instead of Agatu where the people were killed and displaced?
Governor Ortom, I know you cannot be physically present in all places but you are duty bound to receive undiluted and unadulterated first hand information from those to who you delegate power and authority, without which effective governance cannot be achieved.
The success or failure of this administration lies on your shoulders as the Governor and not any other person. This implies that you need to put your lieutenants in check from time to time.
We that write as friends of your administration always put our ears on the ground to gather information that will mar your good intentions and here I am with these bugging questions.
Don’t be misled sir; all is not well particularly at the local government level. When you came on board, the masses rejoiced because of your God-fearing posture, but now people at the grassroots are crying regretting for voting you into power because of the shortcoming of some of those you put in strategic positions, especially the Bureau of Local Government.
Grapevines, particularly, information gathered from beer parlors, wine bars, on the streets and market areas all point accusing fingers on your lieutenants and advisers whose activities appear to be rocking the boat of this administration’s success, only nine months into the tenure.
While acknowledging the facts that some of the allegations were fabricated just to smear your good intentions, some complaints are genuine needing surgical operation in the theatre of reasoning alongside your blueprint: Our Collective Vision for a New Benue.
Ugaba Emmanuel (JP)