By Amos Aar
THE Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that Governor Samuel Ortom is plotting to appoint new permanent secretaries and promote select individuals in the state civil service so as to frustrate the incoming administration of the APC under Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia.
APC state publicity secretary, Dan-Morgan Ihomun, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday said, they got the hint of the plot from “reliable sources”.
Although Ihomun did not mention names of individuals allegedly selected to be appointed as permanent secretaries, he said the alleged appointees will be placed in different ministries to cause impediment in the smooth take off of Fr Alia’s administration.
According to him, the Benue APC has cautioned anyone tipped for such appointments, promotions, and placements to reject it or they will be “treated as saboteurs” when the governor-elect takes over on May 29, 2023.
In the statement, dated March 28, 2023, Ihomun said:
“The All Progressives Congress (APC), Benue State Chapter has received reports from reliable sources that Governor Samuel Ortom plans to appoint new Permanent Secretaries and give accelerated promotions to selected individuals of interest in the Benue State civil service.
“The selected individuals who are cronies of the Ortom led administration will be strategically placed in selected Ministries, the intent of the promotion and placement is to constitute impediments to the in incoming administration of His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr Hyacinth Alia by planting land mines and pitfalls to slow his takeoff.
“These selected individuals have been tools in the hands of the failed Ortom led government, constituting themselves into a cartel that has robbed Benue Civil servants, pensioners and the state at large of the dividends of democracy and have brought untold hardship to the people of the state.
“The All Progressives Congress in Benue State urges those whose names have been penciled down for such ill appointments, promotions and placement to reject such Greek-gifts from the Ortom led administration.
“We will like to advice that those who refuse to heed to this warning and take up such appointments will be treated as saboteurs and enemies of the Benue people.
“The incoming administration of Rev. Fr. Dr Hyacinth Alia in Benue State is positioned to restore peace in our communities and to deliver its promises of restructuring, rebuilding and developing Benue. The APC will therefore not fold its arms and allow anyone or group of persons to plant landmines in its path”.
Efforts to get the reaction of officials of the state government or the media aides of the governor failed as their mobile numbers were said not to be available.
APC State Chairman, Comrade Austine Agada, had earlier raised similar allegation during a press conference held at the party’s secretariat in Makurdi few days before the March 18, 2023 governorship and state assembly elections. According to Agada, Governor Ortom had threatened to sack civil servants and traditional rulers who would not do his bidding at the polls.
Comrade Agada however assured the state’s workers not to panic, stating that the party will reinstate anybody sacked as a result of their support for the APC in the 2023 general elections.
“It’s unfortunate that he has sent emissaries through the local government chairmen, that any traditional ruler that does not work for or support the PDP, he is going to remove that person from seat. He has also threatened civil servants, Permanent Secretaries and others,” Agada alleged.