Immediate past governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, has threatened to expose all dirty and underhand deals being perpetrated by his successor, Samuel Ortom, saying his resolve to remain silent for the sake of peace and progress has been mistaken for foolishness and cowardice.
“I have at the tip of my fingers all dirty and underhand deals so far perpetrated by this administration and would keep quiet no more.”
Suswam, in a signed press statement made available to Nigerian Pilot Saturday in Makurdi, said he would no longer allow the endless malicious and demeaning remarks made against him in the media by Ortom’s agents.
The former governor, who said the chickens would soon come to roost, accused Ortom of abandoning his mission to Government House and instead resorted to desperate means to smear his name before unsuspecting Benue people.
On the wage bill of the state, Suswam insisted that his administration left behind an unpaid salary debt profile of N12.7 billion as against the N28 billion the Ortom government used in accessing bailout funds from the federal government.
Also, Suswam claimed that he left a debt of N9.7 billion, which he said was the balance of bank loans of the N17 billion as well as bonds and wondered where Ortom’s agent got the figures they computed the contractual obligations they alleged his administration made without any commitment. They also accused him of leaving a debt profile of N190 billion.
He also wondered why Ortom would add salaries of workers which were only delayed but not denied for obvious reasons this present government too is currently grappling with as debt.
“The entire world heard how Ortom’s government kept dishing out figures, from N90 billion, N130 billion and again N190 billion as the debt profile left by my administration. What a pitiable inconsistency. And how else would one explain such a travesty?” Suswam said.
He said it is unfortunate that the Ortom administration, which hastily and summarily sacked those he recruited to replace those that have retired, died or incapacitated currently recruiting people massively into the state civil service by manipulating the innocence and gullibility of the unsuspecting Benue public.
Further, he wondered why the Ortom government, despite accessing N10billion bank loan, N2.7 billion and 2.10 billion as share from LNG for local governments and states respectively, received an improved monthly statutory allocations for May and June 2015 amongst other revenue accruals, have failed to pay local government staffs for three months.
The former governor also wondered why Ortom said he was hostile to the transition committee prior to his assumption of power whereas the handover notes he gave to him on the May 28, 2015 were the outcome of the joint transition committee that was set up, stressing that the handover ceremony was elaborately done with wide press coverage.
“The meaning of hostility may be different in a dictionary used by the Governor. Otherwise, when he came for a courtesy call on me, did I run away or did he compel me to receive him?
“I had the option to decline his courtesy call on me, but never did so and he and his team were accorded dignifying reception and attention on all issues.
“I extended to him sufficient goodwill and support to aid and smoothen the logistical and sundry needs he had preparatory to his formal inauguration and this much was evident in the Special Utility Vehicles I bought for him and his Deputy, without any prompting from any quarters whatsoever.
“I conducted him around the Government House on an extensive and comprehensive tour to see for himself the up-to-date facilities I was going to handover to him. The same facilities he later turned around to allege were vandalised by me and as such claims a need for hundreds of millions to refurbish.
“Where then is the indication of hostility, non-supportiveness and discourtesy from me towards Gov. Ortom, as he now wants the world to believe? Suswam wondered.
Regrettably, he said he did not receive any such warm and supporting welcome from his predecessor, George Akume and therefore said for Ortom to paint a dishonest picture that he frustrated the transition committee and displayed hostility towards him, is rather absurd and laughable.

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