Benue State under Governor Samuel Ortom is now at par with war-torn Afghanistan in terms of poverty, hunger and hardship, House of Representative aspirant, Philip Agbese, has said.
Agbese, an aspirant for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo federal constituency said the governor’s sheer disregard for human lives, gross incompetence and negligence of duty has led to the death of many Benue natives.
Speaking with journalists on Friday, Abuse, a UK-trained legal practitioner and philanthropist lamented the governor’s refusal to pay pensioners and government workers for over three years.
He said the hardship and suffering in Benue are even worse than in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are now controlling the country’s affairs.
While an average Afgan can still afford at least a meal per day, Agbese said hunger dwell with the majority of Benue sons and daughters, especially the senior citizens neglected by the current administration.
“I hear pensioners are being owed for 36 months. That’s three years without pay. I also learnt primary school teachers haven’t received a dime in the same period. Please is this not equivalent to Afghanistan”, the philanthropist queried.
According to Agbese, Benue is at an all-time low with the level of hunger despite all the efforts by the Buhari-led administration to cushion the economic effect of the pandemic and other social interventions.
Consequently, he added that people are relocating drones to neighbouring States like Kogi and Nasarawa as they believe that the governments there have the interests of the populace at heart.
Mr Agbese further revealed that more people have been killed by hunger which he described as “state-sponsored sponsored terrorism” than insecurity owing to Ortom’s blatant refusal to pay salaries and move the state forward.
“I can assure you that if the Federal government provides a bus today, many Benue residents will be ready to move to neighbouring states where they will at least be spared from hunger,” he noted.
Agbese recalled that recently the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) shared N739.965 billion as federation allocation to the three tiers of government.
He noted that states received N220.272 billion of which Benue got its share as wondered what Ortom did with such allocation in the last years.
According to the All Progressives Congress chieftain, the governor’s only project is Buhari and the numerous allocations that the state has received since 2015.
He, however, called on Benue People to dare the hunger in the land to challenge Ortom to account for all monies accruing to the state since he became governor.