George Okoh In Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has warned newly sworn in chairmen of local government Councils to desist from sharing funds meant for development of their place to political elders.
Ortom gave the advice yesterday in Makurdi after swearing in six acting chairmen of local councils and two Commissioners.
‘’The era of sharing of council’s money to the elders is now over. Government money is meant to touch the lives of the people positively.
‘’Be prudent in handling the council’s finances. Do not embezzle the council’s funds. Money is not everything; do not be in a hurry to grab it.
‘’If you do that, you will get into trouble. The Bible says money is the root of all evils. Wait patiently for God’s appointed time for you to make genuine money and not ill-gotten wealth,’’ he said.
He also urged Benue residents to eschew violence now, during and after the forthcoming polls.
“You the chairmen should always ensure that absolute peace reign in your domains at all times,’’ he said.
Responding on behalf of their colleagues, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Ekpe Ogbu and the acting chairman of Makurdi Local Government Council Area, Mrs. Lym Goon, appreciated Ortom for finding them worthy of the appointments.
The duo said it was a rare opportunity for them to contribute their quota to the development of the state and pledged not to disappoint Benue people.
They further promised to work assiduously towards victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state during the forthcoming polls.
Meanwhile, there was wide protest in Kwande and Gboko Local Government Areas as result of the suspension of the chairmen and their subsequent replacements.
It was learnt that youths in the area carried placards and blocked major roads to express their grievances.
A reliable source who pleaded anonymity said the aggrieved youths in the two local governments are seen vandalising offices and destroying bill boards belonging to PDP just as most residents scampering for safety.
“The destruction is worst around J.S Tarka Way as motorcycles belonging to PDP supporters were burnt down”, the source said.
However, unconfirmed report indicates that PDP supporters were also warming up to embark on reprisals.
Confirming the incident, State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Yamu said in Kwamde, the suspended Chairman, Terdoo Kenti, addressed the youths appealing to them to remain calm as they will seek legal redress to the action, adding that in Gboko, economic activities was shut down even as their men ensured the maintenance of peace.
Reacting to the incidents, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom urges the people of Gboko to remain calm and carry on with their normal businesses following the incident in the town, in which youths allegedly sponsored by aggrieved politicians blocked some streets, burning tyres.
The governor however, said the situation has been brought under control.
He charged security operatives to apprehend those responsible for the violence to serve as deterrent to others.
He further stressed that the state government will not tolerate thuggery of any kind.
He advised youths to avoid being used by politicians who have run out of favour with the people and now want to cause political crisis in the state.