A Year In Office, Benue People complain Of Serious Hardship Under Ortom
As Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, prepares to mark his first year in office on the Sunday, 29th May 2016, the people of the state have expressed their dissatisfaction with his performance in office so far. This was revealed through an online opinion poll.
Out of 5,178 respondents in the one-week poll conducted to appraise Governor Ortom’s one-year old administration, 28% rated his performance as abysmal, saying he had failed them completely, while as much as 25% opined that they were not impressed at all. One-fifth (16%) simply rated him as poor.
Some of those who sent in comments explaining their displeasure, hinged their low rating of the governor’s performance on the non-payment of salaries, insecurity and huge tax regime in the state.
Ahula said “no security, no salaries, misplaced priorities, more promise than actions. Gush! It seems he does not have a workable plan (blueprint) but works on intuition”
Charles said “His inability to prioritize workers’ salaries over other projects. Even the blind and deaf know that the economy has been dwindling but again he receives monthly allocation and as such shouldn’t be owing salaries as long as 5 months. Even if he has to owe, it should be a month or two. How does he think the ordinary man survives? And expects crimes not to be on the increase? Benue is a poor state. People in the state are civil servants who depend totally on what they earn monthly.
“The government has not created job opportunities in any other aspect like setting up industries or developing individuals to set up their own personal businesses. Until today, Benue people still believes that Gov Ortom’s govt failed when it misappropriated the 1st 10 billion loan it collected in buying expensive cars for LG chairmen, and settling our god fathers when he should have done so much with that money, my vote is… Too bad, I’m not impressed at all, we patiently await 2019 again.”
Ogah Julius was particularly not happy about the state government’s position on the alleged 800 ghost workers in Obi Local Government Area. He said “…Mr Ode Ageh and Mrs Patricia Kupchi need to apologize to all those affected staff. Pay them their salary arrears.”
Others couldn’t pinpoint what was really wrong as expressed by John. He said, “It is too obvious to give reasons, even the blind say they see it, and the deaf and dumb talk about it everywhere around town.”
Kulugh Jacob could not hide his feelings when he said “20 meetings per one issue. Very slow-running, expensive government but not paying salary, even quarter or half. No project in a year compared to Suswam.
Johnson said “The administration seems to lack clear direction, owing an average of 4-5 months’ salaries in its first year. Also, the multiple taxation is making it difficult for small and medium scale enterprises to thrive” while Doowuese Jenny concluded that, “His one year has brought more poverty than ever before!”
These are just a few as there were over 300 comments expressing displeasure about the state government and their reason for giving them a thumbs down.
That notwithstanding, some were still upbeat about the future of the state under Governor Samuel Ortom with 20% saying he has performed fairly well in his first quarter in office and would do better with time. Six percent said he has started well while 5% gave him an excellent pass mark.
Of these optimistic few, Iorhemba Terdoo Martins said, “Based on the situation he met, I can boldly say he’s doing his best and I’m convinced that he’ll perform in Jesus name!” and Adekaa Samuel added that, “Peace reigns through amnesty program, infrastructure in the educational sector and roads.”
These were the only comments that portrayed satisfaction with Governor Samuel Ortom’s performance after one year in office.
Similar poll was conducted in Benue state, and that time, majority (43%) voted that the Governor had performed poorly, while 8% rated his performance as abysmal. On the other hand, 21%, 15% and 10% judged that he had performed fairly, good and excellently respectively while 4% said they did not care.
Benue people are hoping the Governor’s words will come to pass, when during his last interactive session with the people on Radio Benue, he said, “When hunger came, I defeated it. When poverty came, I defeated it. When ignorance came, I defeated it. I have a covenant with Benue people, I have a covenant with God. Failure will not be part of this Government