Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as fraudulent figures dished out by the governor of the state, Samuel Ortom, as debts left behind by the immediate past governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam, saying the figures are targeted at deceiving the Federal Government and the Central Bank in order to defraud same with an unrealistic amount for the bailout as outstanding salary arrears.
This was disclosed by the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Godwin Ayihe during a chat with newsmen in Makurdi, the state capital yesterday while reacting to the claims made by Ortom.
It would be recalled that Ortom while addressing newsmen at the Government House, Makurdi to mark his 100 days in office, said the state is owing N15bn outstanding arrears for local government staff salaries while N13bn was needed to clear arrears of salaries of state civil servants.
However, the state chapter of PDP disagreed, saying “nothing could be farther from the truth than such dubious figures” adding that it has been on record that the outgone administration of Gabriel Suswam had left a salary arrears of local government staff to the tune of N3.5bn while those of primary school teachers stood at N5.5bn totalling N9bn as against the N15bn being claimed by Ortom.
The party further claimed amongst other things that Ortom may have the intention of siphoning the sum of over N6bn in the over inflated debt profile which he might use to pursue victory for himself at the courts and as well settle other financial costs incurred during his “questionable” election.
It would be recalled that Public Complaints Commissioner, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav who is angry with the alleged manipulation of the House of Assembly and subsequent passage of a “haste and dubious” supplementary budget, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set an eye on Benue State if he is serious with his anti-graft war.


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