Benue Governor-Elect, Hyacinth Alia, Meets Buhari, Says State In ICU
The Governor-Elect of Benue State, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, has expressed concern over the state of the civil service in the state.
He said that the state civil service is currently in a state of near-collapse and in intensive care.
He made this statement while speaking with State House correspondents on Wednesday after meeting with the President. Mr. Alia stated that he is ready to infuse life into the system and keep it moving.
He also noted that the state is currently indebted in terms of backlog salaries, pensions, and gratuities, adding that he is determined to remain focused and tackle the numerous issues on his desk when he takes office on May 29.
When asked if he plans to probe his predecessor’s administration over allegations of financial malfeasance, Mr. Alia said that he would not want to be preemptive, as he has not yet looked at the books
Alia said: “I haven’t looked at the books, so I wouldn’t want to be quite preemptive. Once I’m sworn in, I know what the good people of Benue want for our progress and development.
“And there’s so much that we need to put on track for things to work. Benue State is an agrarian zone and so we must focus on agriculture and upgrade it.
“Benue is very capable of feeding the whole nation, so we are not just the food basket of the nation by name and I am hoping that we will up our game in agriculture and take care of the rest as well.
“It is sad that the life of civil service in the state is near collapse, it’s in the ICU, so I just need to get in there and infuse life in it and keep it moving.
“We have a lot of backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions, and gratuities. So, already I got much on the desk to keep a good focus on and I remain hopeful that I am going to do just that.”
The governor-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), commended Buhari for making a firm decision for the elections to take place.
On the animosity that pervades the state over the anti-grazing law, Mr. Alia said: “One thing must remain clear, when you say that the atmosphere was quite tense, let it be on record that the Benue people are very hospital people.
“We are very friendly people and over the ages, we’ve lived with all cultures and different people. And so if some mishap had happened in the last eight years, thank God the eight years have expired.
“I want everyone to feel that Benue is a home for everyone. Remember, before I am stepping in there as a governor, our history reveals that we have all cultures in Benue and so it is, we have all cultures in Nigeria in Benue.
“So I believe my time will not be any different. If there were some errors I am coming to correct them.
“But I know for sure we are hospitable, we are friendly and the Benue State Assembly is also a knowledgeable Assembly.
“So the 10th Assembly is going to work for the people and do the work of the people. If by chance anybody perceived us to be a hostile state, please we are a renewed hope of Benue, a hospitable, friendly, law and order people.
“So, we are all welcome to Benue as we move in there.”