Benue Govt: Worry More About The Truth

Governor Samuel Ortom

Usha Anenga 

I’m told that staff of banks vested with the responsibility of picking out fake currency are trained to recognise the original notes only. There are a thousand types of fake notes, but there’s only one original. The banks won’t waste their time and energy training staff on fake notes, there would be no end to such. The training is focussed on the original, the truth because with this, false notes have no chance.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, last Sunday upon his return from China where he went in search of investors, announced his departure from social media platform, Facebook. While he and his entourage which included two high-ranking commissioners were in China, rumours broke that one of his commissioners was arrested for theft. 

Even though there was a prompt response from the government media with a video interview of the two commissioners who all took turns to debunk the rumours, that seemed to be the straw that broke the Governor’s patience with the vituperations concerning his administration on social media. This morning, news broke that one PDP social media advocate, the alledged perpetrator of the offence had been arrested by the Police.

In all fairness to the Governor, there has been a lot of falsehood on social media concerning Benue State Government, especially from the opposition party which is outrightly condemnable, but there have been a lot of truth also. For the common Benue man with memories and scars of shortchange by successive governments, it’s just timely and relieving that social media presents an avenue for them to vent their anger, offer solutions, ask questions of leaders and also contribute to the general opinion pool.

It’s however unfortunate that the state government, amidst abundance of truth, have chosen to be more concerned about the falsehood on social media. They often neglect the genuine concerns of a vast majority of the state’s social media community, spending time, energy and resources aimed at curtailing falsehood generated and propagated by a few; focusing and wasting energy on fake currency rather than recognising and working with the genuine. 

It’s important to remind the state government to be more worried about the truth on social media than the falsehood that fly around. “The man whose house is on fire does not go hunting for a rat.”

Rather than worry about the rumours of the arrest of commissioners in China, worry that the Governor and his entourage may have spent no less than N100m as estacode for his four trips to China in the last two years with nothing but a pack of non-binding memoranda of understanding to his credit. 

Worry that the wage bill of the state towers at N7.8billion with no tangible steps taken to fish out ghost workers and prosecute the perpetrators in the last two years. 

Worry that marauding Fulani herdsmen have taken over communities across the state, destroying farmlands and killing our people to no avail. 

Worry that the anti-grazing bill which the people see as a panacea to the perennial attacks from Fulani herdsmen is being given a cold shoulder by the state Assembly after it was exchanged for a weaker pro-herdsmen document. 

Worry that despite monthly federal allocation, borrowing, internally generated revenue, LNG funds, bailout, monthly budget support and funds from Paris Club debt refund, Benue State government is unable to pay salaries. State civil servants are still being owed four months salaries and those of local government, upwards of eight months.

Worry that all the programmes and projects carried out by this administration has been from borrowed money, the money of the leaders of tomorrow. Not even a penny, or stone laid out of ingenious prudence in management of the state’s resources in the last two years. 

Worry that the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress in the state that won the last general elections on the promise for “change” has been unable to conduct her affairs transparently and devoid of violence, imposition of candidates and dubious manipulations.  

Worry that the popularity and goodwill that heralded this administration is melting freely under the heat and test of time. 

Worry that a new tenant has spent the whole time claiming to be sweeping the dirt of the former occupant and has refused to move in while his rent is running out.

Rather than waste time and energy chasing falsehood and shadows, worry about these truths.

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