Akume, reason for Benue’s underdevelopment, says Benue PDP

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Benue state chapter of the PDP has stated that the reign of Senator George Akume as governor of the state between 1999 and 2007 is the reason for the underdevelopment in the state.

This was contained in a press statement issued today by the party’s state publicity secretary, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom, to counter media reports by the state chapter of the APC which claim that Governor Samuel Ortom was not performing in the area of providing good roads in the state.

According to the Benue PDP, the feat which Gabriel Suswam and Samuel Ortom recorded by building good and motorable roads in Benue state was unreachable for George Akume after 8 years in the saddle as governor, as he did not have a single kilometer of road to name even after himself.

The statement also said that some of those streets which the APC media handlers now showcase in their bid to smear Governor Ortom shouldn’t have been in the state they are in today if Akume had done his bit by constructing them in his time as governor.

The statement reads: “As the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State carry on with its “Operation Make Benue Ugly” by publishing images of streets and roads in the state which are yet to be constructed, their objectives for doing so are becoming clearer.

“It remains a fact that every society has its development challenges which can only be tackled by successive governments working in a continuum, in which wise no administration may be expected to address all of those challenges within it’s own time alone.

“This is an ageless fact obtainable in all human societies, including the most advanced of the industrialised 1st World.

“It is, therefore, negative politics taken to destructive levels for the Benue APC to showcase all the yet to be constructed roads and streets in the state in a smear campaign against Governor Samuel Ortom and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“It is a proven fact that Governor Ortom is delivering on his mandate in line with his “Vision For A Greater Benue” on roads construction, and within limits of available resources, the governor has so far constructed rural and township roads in the three Senatorial districts of the state.

“However, the APC in their quest to foist the blame for the entire backlog of undeveloped roads and streets in the state on Governor Ortom have inadvertently opened a vista of analysis of the situation on the basis of how much was done by successive administrations in the state.

“A cursory look at the 3 governorship administrations in contemporary Benue since 1999 reveals that that of the APC Leader in the state, George Akume, did by far the least in terms of roads construction, with hardly a single road in the state known to have been built by his administration.

“The gaping void in roads and streets left behind by the Akume administration was such that the succeeding one of Gabriel Suswam had to devote a larger quantum of its time and resources to constructing them, some of which the administration completed, like the 13 kilometer dual-carriage George Akume Way; Iyorchia Ayu Way; Kashim Ibrahim Way; David Mark By-Pass; Ishaya Bakut Way; the Adikpo-Ikyoge-Jato-Aka-Ugbema Ring Road, and many others, while some he bequeathed to his successor.

“Governor Ortom in same vein has been improving on the situation, continuing with roads projects which were ongoing when his administration came on board, such as the Zaki-Biam-Afia-Anyiin Road; Mobile Barracks-Welfare Quarters-Yaikyo-Terwase Agbadu Road; Customary Court-George Akume Way Road; Igbor-Ikpa-Wannune Road; the Ge-Ikyobo-Amua-Anshagba Road; the Awajir-Oju Road, and many others, and also initiating new one such as the Imande-Akpu-Gbajimba Road; Ahmadu Bello Road; Och’Idoma Road, and many others.

“It is a fact that while Suswam did his bit in roads construction and could afford to name a whole 13 kilometer stretch of Grade ‘A’ asphalt road after George Akume, Governor Samuel Ortom is as well going strong in that area and will at the end of his tenure be in a position to name roads after personalities of his choice.

“However, this same feat was unreachable for George Akume after 8 years in the saddle as governor, as he did not have a single kilometer of road to name even after himself.

“Benue APC may, therefore, wish to consider the fact that some of those streets they showcase today in bid to smear Governor Ortom shouldn’t have been in the state they are in today if their Leader had done his bit by constructing them in his time as governor”