Benue State: “Incoming Administration will hit the Ground Running” – Deputy Governor-elect
Aloysius Umalo, Makurdi.
The Deputy Governor-elect of Benue State, North-central Nigeria, Dr. Sam Ode, has assured that the incoming administration will hit the ground running immediately after oath of office.
Sam Ode gave the assurance at a pre-inauguratiom dinner organized by a support group, Alia Alliance, on behalf of the State’s transition committee.
“I want to assure you that we are not going to be crying like babies on assumption of office. We will hit the ground running immediately after oath of office.
“We are aware of the enormous challenges ahead of us – that is why we came. We are ready to take up this challenge and change the situation that Benue has found itself in,” Ode assured.
He described the Alia Alliance as the most active and vibrant support group that promoted the campaign for the election of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as Governor of the State.
“The journey to unseat an incumbent government was not an easy task.
“However, because we were all determined, we went to war and won the battle, and that is why we are here celebrating.
“… There are very high expectations from the incoming administration.
“Quite a lot has gone wrong with our State because of the poor management of the affairs of the State by the outgoing administration,” he noted.
While assuring that Benue State would be safe under Fr. Alia as governor, Sam Ode maintained that the success of the incoming administration would be determined by the level of public support:
“We, however, need your support to succeed… If we don’t get your support into the projects we shall be initiating and conceptualizing, we will not be able to succeed.”
He appealed to the business community to stay back and invest in the State, noting that a conducive environment would be provided for them to play their role as critical partners in the development project of Benue State.
Earlier, the convener of the pre-inauguration dinner, Mr.
Kenneth Gyado, said the event was put together to officially commence the transition process that will usher in the new administration in the State.
Kenneth Gyado told journalists in an interview that expectations were very high for an encompassing government that will function in the interest of all, and not for the benefit of one man and his family.
“Expectations are very high because people want to see schools working.
“They want hospitals that actually work, not to assist people die.
“They want roads that will take them to their destinations, not death traps,” he stressed.
On the recent employments carried out by the outgoing administration, Mr. Gyado described the move as an action borne out of unconscionable thinking of the exiting administration to set up booby traps to erase the memories of its despicable performance.
He said Benue people should expect in the first 100 days a clear direction of what real governance is, where the new person at the helm of affairs will apply himself to the job, not just occupying space and time.
According to Gyado, Benue State now has a governor in Fr. Hyacinth Alia who has a clear vision of what lies ahead of him and the roadmap on how to achieve those expectations.
“The fundamental things that have held the State behind will be resolved. The revenue base of the State has to be broadened and no longer used as a political patronage,” he added.
He explained that investors outside the State would have to feel safe and confident to come and invest in Benue State contrary to the negative impression that Benue people were hostile.
Mr. Gyado regretted that Benue State, which used to be the agricultural hub of Africa, now operates with an empty basket of past glory.
“When you talk about agriculture in Nigeria now, you are calling Niger, Kebbi, Kwarra, Nasarawa and Taraba. Benue is not even mentioned in the top 10 leading agricultural States.
“Meanwhile, you have the most fertile soil in the continent here in Benue. That has to be restored,” he pointed out.