*insists APC has failed Nigerians
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday announced that only the enthronement of justice and fairness in Nigeria will stop him from speaking out his mind on criticizing the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC)-led government.
Speaking in Ibadan at the commissioning ceremony of the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road held at Akinyele Local Government Secretariat, Moniya, Governor Ortom alerted that Nigerians are in pains under the present APC led Federal Government.
The governor stressed that as the Oyo and indeed the Yoruba nation have always stood with and supported the oppressed and have always been the voice of the oppressed in the country right from the inception, himself also stands for same, saying, ” that is what I stand for. I seek for justice, equity and fairness”.
“For those who feel that Samuel Ortom is talking too much, I want to appeal to them, to give me justice, give our people justice, give our people fairness and ensure equity. I promise you that I will never say anything again”, he said.
Governor Ortom added, ” let me once again call on the APC led Federal Government to rise up and give leadership. Our people are in pains.From the North-East, North Central, North-West, South-South, South East and Southwest, everyone is faced with security challenges. Without security, there can be no meaningful development except in PDP controlled states”.
Emphasizing that the situation of things was not as bad as it is today in Nigeria when the party took over government at the Federal level in 2015, the Benue state governor said, “I want to challenge the APC in this country because they have failed.”
” Economically, security wise, socially and politically, the APC government is in deficit. Government is all about providing security for lives and property. Government is about providing infrastructure like the one we are doing here today. Today, I am here in Oyo state, my brother ( Gov Makinde) was in Adamawa, a PDP controlled state earlier to commission project and lay foundation.
” Go to Rivers state, everyday what you see is laying of projects or commissioning of project, the same thing in Bauchi state, go to Sokoto and other PDP controlled states, you will see development. That is what leadership is and that is what the people of Nigeria are yawning for”
He then enjoined Governor Makinde not to contemplate leaving the people but work with them and do what they want to feel their pains.
“I commend my brother, that within the spate of two years, we are here to commission among others, a 65km of roads duly asphaltic with a guarantee of 20years. I congratulate you my brother.And I believe and trust that he will do more for the people of the state. I commend Oyo people for giving him the backing and support.Don’t ever contemplate on leaving your people, work with them, do what they want, feel their pains, share their pains and also give them leadership that will lead them out of their pains.”
In his remarks at the commissioning, Governor Makinde accused the immediate past administration in the state of using what he called jargon to deceive the people in their effort to embezzle funds, stressing that the project was earlier awarded at a cost of N7billion by the immediate past administration who also paid N2billion to the contractor that could not do anything about the road for about two years.
Governor Makinde disclosed thathe had to terminate the contract and re-awarded it at a higher cost as some other things factored into the construction, saying, his government has so far succeeded in recovering N1billion from the initial contractor and his government would also recover the huge amount of money spent on the Ologuneru-Eruwa road.
“Although a contract for rehabilitation of this road was awarded by the previous administration, our initial inspection visits in 2019 revealed that the contractors had not even done 5 per cent of the work here before abandoning it. We therefore had to revoke and re-award the contract. The immediate past administration, they had a language they use when they want to embezzle money, they use the word ‘limited rehabilitation’, so a contract was awarded for the limited rehabilitation of this road for N7billion.
“Before we came, they already paid N2billion and they gave the contract to one Oladiran Associate. They didn’t do anything serious for over two years and they collected N2billion but I recovered N1billion from the money. So, when we awarded the road for N9billion, they accused us that the road they approved for N7billion, we awarded for N9billion that we don’t know what we are doing”.