…Even His Core Supporters Can’t Find Reason To Praise Him
By Peter Awunah, PhD
Yesterday, I was randomly going through some newspapers online and this particular headline in Blueprint caught my attention. It read ‘Governor Alia and citizens in triumphant delivery’ and was written by one Fely Mammah Nwokorie. I decided to leave other stories and read the article was focused on the governor of my state Benue, Hyacinth Alia. And why not, I should be interested in a piece that sought to celebrate my governor.
After painstakingly going through the lengthy write-up which was loaded with biblical references, I discovered that I had wasted my precious and productive time on nothing. It was poorly scripted sycophantic nonsense. Nwokorie or whoever wrote that piece for him doesn’t have an idea of what is going on in Benue State. In any case, he ended up talking about the achievements of President Bola Tinubu in Benue State for which I understand the Alia government has been desperately trying to take credit.
The last time I visited Benue State was as recently as the 23rd of December last year on my way to the village for Christmas. On getting to Makurdi, the state capital, I observed that township roads have become death traps with potholes on almost all of them. I was shocked and decided to ask one or two persons around the busy area of Wurukum who told me that there has not been any repairs on the roads since the current government took over.
Now, back to Nwokorie. The obviously sponsored writer said in his article that “Benue state is gradually becoming the envy of other states and the actions of Father (Alia), are clear indication that “ideas rule the world”. This is certainly an insult to Benue people! What has Alia done to make other states envy the state? Is it the apparent lack of direction in his government that other states are envying?
To prove that the writer is a 5th columnist, he sounded exactly the way Alia’s media aides have been sounding, claiming that the governor has provided buses for transportation and is laying street lights. What an insult to President Bola Tinubu who has provided all the resources and palliatives!
Only a few days ago, I read that the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi was in Benue State to flag-off the construction of the Makurdi-Enugu expressway and confirmed that the President has also approved the construction of an overpass (flyover) in Wurukum. Before the visit of the Minister, Governor Alia and his government had gone to town announcing that he was going to construct a flyover bridge in Wurukum. Senator Umahi’s revelation must have thoroughly embarrassed Alia and his team.
Just imagine that Umahi didn’t visit Benue and made the disclosure then the flyover was done, Alia would not only have claimed credit but also have “proudly” said that his government released billions for the project. In fact, the governor wore a flowing agbada on the day of the Makurdi-Enugu road project flag-off and was dancing to the sound of swange music. But that was where it ended – the expensive agbada, the dance and the show-off. Nothing on his scorecard!
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I have been asking that any of Governor Alia’s supporters should tell me what he has done in the last 8 years, but all I get is “he is paying salaries”. Salary payment is fine, but is that all he has to offer?
While the governor’s supporters are groping for evidence of his achievements, let me share with them the “achievements” of their governor which someone who lives in the state posted on social media today:
1. Sack of 5,000 civil servants
2.Award of 15km roads for N9 billion without EXCO in place
3. Pending: to return IDPs to their ancestral homes despite promising to do so within his first 100 days in office
4. Pending: to buy appointees official vehicles 5 months after they were appointed, but he has the most expensive convoy in the history of the state
5. Pending: to account for huge monthly federal allocations for state and local governments
6.Pending: to fund 10,000 youths training in ICT
7.Successful foundation laying of his private housing estate in the first 100 days in office as promised
8.Pending construct the 15km township roads despite releasing funds for the project
9.Increase in his approval limit from N50 million to N250 million
10.Provision of official vehicles to only House of Assembly members loyal to him
11. Pending: to clear salary arrears despite unprecedented federal allocations to the state
12.Pending: to grant local government autonomy as promised
13. Pending: to end killings and kidnappings in sankera axis as promised.
If any of the praise-singers of governor Alia knows what he has so far done, the person should send it to my private email [email protected].
* Awunah writes from Durumi, Abuja.