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Benue: Uncertainty over bailout payment as Governor's aide slaps bureau accountant

• Bureau Adviser, Titus Zam submits resignation letter to Governor
By Gabriel Ochoga
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• Bureau Adviser, Titus Zam submits resignation letter to Governor

• LG workers and primary school teachers may not be paid bailout this year

The disbursement of bailout funds in Benue State has been engulfed in internal crisis such that the continuity of payment of the funds to local government workers and teachers before Christmas is now uncertain.

It will be recalled that following an outcry over inability of the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to effectively manage the disbursement of bailout funds to local government workers and primary school teachers, the State Executive Council set up a committee to fast track the process of payment.

The committee was headed by the Special Adviser on Labour and Employment, Patricia Kutcher. Other members included the Special Advisers on Special Duties, Joseph Kyaagba; Politics, Sarwuan Tarnongu; Rural Development and Cooperatives, Tsenongo Abancha; Research and Statistics, Adzer Abya; Development Cooperation, Sustainable Development Goals, and New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Dr Magdalyne Dura; as well as Economic Development, Dr Bem Melladu.

However, rather than facilitate the process of disbursement, the committee has ordered a complete and indefinite cessation of the payment of bailout funds and regular salaries to workers pending a complete overhaul of the payment system, which did not go down well with the Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Titus Zam who often took the blame for delays in payment of salaries.

The saga is said to have degenerated into a fight between the two camps. It was gathered that the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Joseph Kyaagba who claimed to have the backing of the state Governor, Samuel Ortom stormed the bureau this evening and slapped the accountant in charge, Mr Emma Gbagyo for failing to comply with their orders, calling him a "*ucking dog"

Predictably, this has angered the staff at the bureau including Mr Titus Zam, who has since tendered his letter of resignation before the Governor.