Governor Samuel Ortom And His Burden Of Loyalty
Since the return of democratic rule in 1999, many states in the country had faced a lot of setbacks as result of the burden of loyalty from their godfathers. Once upon a time in Anambra State, monthly allocations and internally generated revenues were divided and shared to godfathers by a sitting governor.
The consequences was a comatose public sector and poverty among the populace. It was reported then that the state could not afford to conduct the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination for its pupils for that year because the Teachers were already on an indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries. Their emoluments had been shared among godfathers.
In Benue State, the political undercurrent is pointing towards this direction. After eleven months in saddle as a executive governor of Benue State. Dr Samuel Ortom is finding it difficult to find his bearing as he seems to be governing under the influence of forces that led to his emergence as the chief executive officer of the state.
Already, 340 days have quietly gone past since Ortom was sworn in as the fifth elected Governor of the state yet, it appears the good people of Benue State are yet to be made to understand whether or not the real business of governance has kick started.
Information pieced together by forefront indicates that Governor Ortom is yet to gain control that would enable him to take charge of the affairs of the state as his godfather, sponsor and self acclaimed leader and former governor of the state Sen. George Akume, is solidly seated behind the scene directing the captain of the ship with so much over bearing influence that is unimaginable and unquantifiable. Undue interference glaring evidence indicate that Dr Ortom is not totally in control of the state.
During appointments of the first key officers of the government that included the Secretary of the state Government (SSG), Chief of Staff to the Government and Security Adviser, of the three appointments, Sen. Akume, took two slots of SSG and Security Adviser that he allocated to his known cronies, Mr Targema Tarkema and Col. Edwin Jando (rtd) respectively. While Governor Ortom produced the chief of staff, Terwase Orbunde.
Similarly, during the appointment of commissioners and special Advisers, it became glaring that out of the 13 commissioners, Akume nominated 7.Just as out of the 18 special Advisers 9 were picked by Akume also out of the 23 local government caretaker chairman Sen. Akume have 13.