Benue State Governor-elect, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has stated that the eight Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs given to him and his deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu, were from the official Benue State government house fleet procured for use by the incoming governor and his deput,y which Dr Suswam showed them in case any was needed for use during the transition period and that they remained government property.
According to a press statement by his Media Adviser, Tahav Agerzua and made available to Nigerian Pilot Sunday yesterday, the governor-elect “wishes to however, correct the erroneous impression that the Sports Utility Vehicles were personal gifts presented to him and his Deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu as well as their spouses.”
Dr. Ortom, according to Agerzua explained that the gesture was in consonance with the culture in government circles where an outgoing administration provided some logistics for the incoming one at the state and federal levels.
He pointed out that at the federal level the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, had been moved to Defence House and provided with several official vehicles and enhanced security while a plane from the presidential fleet has been placed at his disposal besides other arrangements.
Dr Ortom stated that elsewhere, elected chief executives are also provided with accommodation, security, and protocol arrangements pending their swearing in, adding that he had decided to remain in his private residence and also make other personal sacrifices in order to reduce the financial burden on the state government.
He assured that he would never compromise the mandate of the people for whatever reason, pointing out that he remained faithful to their sensibilities and his pledge to be God fearing, transparent, honest, accountable, selfless, just, free and fair in his dealings with the people of the state.
The governor-elect stressed that he had declined to celebrate his 54th birthday with pomp on account of the sober mood of the people brought about by the harsh economic environment at this time even though it came on the heels of his victory at the governorship polls.
He said he spent his birthday holding important discussions with the outgoing governor after which he held meetings to wind down his campaign team and fine-tune his administration’s blueprint after which he held another meeting with one of the Catholic Bishops in the state, which lasted into the early hours of the next day.

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