PDP says it will stand with ex Gov Ortom during probe

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By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi

THE People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Benue State chapter, has disclosed that it will stand by its leader, the immediate past governor of the state, Chief Samuel Ortom during the sitting of the two judicial panels constituted by Governor Hyacinth Alia to probe his government.

The party in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chief Bemgba Iortyom and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Thursday, said it recognises probity and accountability as necessary components of good governance and hence will stand by its leader through out the process of stock-taking.

Recall that Gov Alia on Monday, inaugurated two judicial commissions of inquiry to probe the activities of his predecessor’s eight years in office.

The two commissions of inquiry included the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of Benue State Government from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023, and Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Sale/Lease of Government Assets, Companies, and Markets (both State and Local Government-owned Markets), as well as Moribund Companies From or Before May 28, 2015, to May 28, 2023.”

The former Governor has since through his media aide, Terver Akase, agreed to appear before the two judicial panels.

The party however, advised the governor to tackle the issue of insecurity and as well look into allegations of corruption levelled against some of his aides.

The statement reads in part: “PDP recalls that only last week the governor issued a 14-day ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen who have streamed into the state with thousands of cattle to leave; however, there was no clear statement on the consequences for non-compliance with the ultimatum.

“Today marks the 8th day into that ultimatum, and if anything, the herders have intensified their influx into the state, coming in larger numbers and with larger herds of livestock, thereby deepening insecurity and putting in greater jeopardy the survival of the people who depend on the land for basic sustenance.”

The party urged the governor not to ignore the petition to the anti-graft agencies alleging illegal deductions and remittances from the accounts of the 23 LGCs in the state into private accounts of certain officials of the state government and cronies of the governor at the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The party also called on the anti graft agencies and the Department of State Security, DSS, and the Presidency to bring to book all government officials found wanting in the alleged grand theft of local government funds in the state.