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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Nathaniel Ikyur: Ortom’s administration exhibited high financial discipline

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I read a news report in The Nation newspapers of August 25, 2023 wherein the paper accused the immediate past administration of Samuel Ortom of operating 57 bank accounts without bank statements or, according to the report, “overwhelming fraud” is “being carried out on them.” This is laughable.

The stock in trade of this priestly administration is to blame the Ortom regime of everything even when they are commiting impeachable offences as it is so evident.

The paper quoted Governor Hyacinth Alia saying his government froze the 57 government bank accounts operated in various banks across in the State since he assumed office because according to him, “some people have open cheques issued by the Ortom administration on the frozen accounts running into billions.”

This is not only false but a clear indication that the current administration is bereft of all ideas on how government is run. At least not by hiding under the cloak of divinity, for as it has so far proven, the avalanche of constitutional breaches by the incumbent Governor which could lead to impeachment is enormous. But what do i know?

I would rather advise Governor Hyacinth Alia that since he has taken over the reins of government, he should request for a Certificate of Balances on all State Government bank Accounts operated by the state government. This will enable him ascertain the true position of all bank accounts, some of which are said ro be dormant and not to continue falsely accuse Ortom where procedures are ignored by him.

I’m sure that is the reason for the shut down in ministries and parastatals where revenue could be generated.

Besides, it is not enough to always jump into the public space and begin to cast aspersions on the Ortom administration as if it was an illegitimate regime. Ortom was elected twice to serve the state. And he performed well under the circumstances with milestones in all sectors.

Ortom’s administeation never indulged in the kind of breaches so far witnessed in this parish like government. It was a communal effort where all stakeholders were brought on board. As it stands now, even the euphoria that threw up this administration has since been eroded by the lack of cohesion and what state craft is.

In the alternative, the Alia administration may also wish to demand for Inventory on State Government accounts from the Nigeria Interbank Service System, NIBSS. Detailed transactions on all government bank accounts as claimed by the frivolous news report in the newspaper will be availed to him in order not to be acting in ignorance.

It is noteworthy to stress here that the administration of former Governor Ortom exhibited a high level of probity, transparency, and accountability in all its transactions up to the time it left office on May 29, 2023. That is why the former Governor has maintained that he has nothing to be afraid of and is ready to avail himself bwfore anyone and answer questions bothering on his stewardship.

The task before the new administration which is almost hitting the 100 days in office should be to activate the necessary actions to fulfill the numerous promises they made to the Benue citizenry and not to continue to give excuses of why it is unable to meet up its obligations.

Alia’s government should stop these desperate attempts to paint the Ortom administration in bad light so as to escape from its failings.

Ikyur is the former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Samuel Ortom

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