YOUR WORDS THEY SAY, MEANS NOTHING WHEN YOUR ACTIONS ARE THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE. BENUE’S EMPTY BASKET #Ortom

 

YOUR WORDS THEY SAY, MEANS NOTHING WHEN YOUR ACTIONS ARE THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE.    BENUE’S EMPTY BASKET
YOUR WORDS THEY SAY, MEANS NOTHING WHEN YOUR ACTIONS ARE THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE.


BENUE’S EMPTY BASKET.


It’s not in doubt that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has done so well to not only raise awareness about the senseless killings and Fulani herders invasion of villages and farm settlement in the State that has left scores dead and more than 500,000 people in Internally Displaced People Camps, with no hope of ever returning home.


Anyway, whilst everyone in the State, including traditional institutions has commended the Governor for standing up for his people, christened him, “the defender of the Benue valley” and also praised him for the enactment and enforcement of the anti open grazing law in the State. 


They are also calling his attention to the hunger invading their stomach by the day. As salaries and pensions unpaid are piling up in arrears, even with the over N140b debt profile of the state incurred by the current administration with nothing to show for it apart from a few rehabilitated roads in Gboko. 


Even the road to the Governor’s village Gbajimba has consistently been under construction for the past 5yrs.


The State created in 1976 had one of the most resounding leader in the 2nd Republic in the person of Chief Ape Aku, who established industries like the Benue Cement, Taraku Oil Mill, Benue Hotel, Benue Brewery, Bottling Plant, Benro Packaging Company, Ikyogen Cattle Ranch, Otukpo Burnt Factory, Benue Transport, Benue Educational books and materials company, with offices in most towns, Ulter Modern Market, Benue investment and property company with investment everywhere even in Lagos. 


Unfortunately today, rather than rehabilitate and refurbish those industries, the state Governor, like my MOU Governor in Edo, has instead expanded his business empire of Oracle Business Group with interest in Cattle rearing, Water bottle, Feeds, Sheer butter, Plastic Chairs etc while attempt is currently being made by the Governor to sell most of the existing government companies listed above. 


With poverty everywhere in the State, someone said, only the Governor would have the funds to buy those assets. No be me talk am oo.


Imagine a state that is the largest yam producer in Africa with Zaki Biam yam market. Yet can’t boast of processing one tuber. Even the Katsina Ala yam processing company established by the former Governor Suswan has gone moribund even before take off with no efforts to revive same.


Today, even though the state, referred to as “the food basket of the nation”, that basket is either empty or half empty now. As even the State sesame seeds, topmost in the world and unbelievable different variant of citrus only seen in Benue (like Julie Mango, Peter and Paul Mango) and big oranges goes to waste with no attempt by the government to process any.


I will therefore advocate that as we much we enjoy the Governor’s shout and attention to the killings, he should also remember that the State is shouting and crying for infrastructural attention, but should add to the existing ones instead of selling them few months to his exit from office.


He should heed the cries of workers and pensioners in the state, who are begging for their wages to enable them put food on the table.


The people should shine their eyes and search for a credible, young, energetic and intelligent and vibrant replacement, who will not only defend the state against internal and external invasions, but would like Ape Aku and J. S. Tarka also revive the agricultural potentials of the state and help to create agro allied industries that would add value to lives and the produce from the State.


Liborous Oshoma Esq. (2021 Series)

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