The people of Benue State who voted for Hyacinth Alia as governor of the state in last year’s election must be ashamed of themselves for making such a mistake. Since he came to power, no one can tell the direction that the man who boasts of being the ship that ferried all APC candidates to victory is heading. There is evident confusion even within his cabinet. There is no clear focus, no coordination and no leadership.
Anyone who has visited Makurdi, the Benue State capital in the last seven months must have seen the potholes on all major roads in the town. Makurdi has become dusty, and even the street sweepers are no longer seen in the early hours of the day cleaning the city.
The worst situation is in the state ministries, departments and agencies of government. No activity goes on in any of the MDAs. Government House is not left out. According to those who have been there since June last year, the place stinks with no water running in the taps for flushing of toilets.
Alia says he is paying salaries of the workers and as far as he is concerned, that’s all that is needed. He doesn’t release overheads and other logistic support to the ministries and agencies for their operations. But the civil servants love it of course, because if they can sit at home all week and still receive their salaries at the end of the month, how is that bad? Productivity is relegated to the background.
Governor Alia operates like a parish priest who cannot be questioned. All that the people have to say is “Yes Father”. He gave them that response during the campaigns but they thought he was joking. Now they know better.
The man has elevated nepotism to heights never before seen in the history of Benue State. As a former priest, one would expect him to practice what he preached about unity and equality, but no, Alia is a preacher who would tell the people “do as I say, not as I do”.
There is no tangible project to show since his administration came on board other than failed promises, lopsided appointments, and marginalisation.
Alia is sitting on huge money which has come in from Abuja. Benue State has received fat allocations but the Governor is silent on what has come in. As far as he pays the workers, his government is doing nothing else to develop the state.
No project is going on anywhere. He awarded contracts for the construction of 16 short streets of 15 kilometers and took out N9 billion for the projects but no construction is taking place on the roads.
Alia is not Prepared to govern Benue State. He came ill prepared and is acting exactly in that manner. His first seven months in office are the worst in the state since the return of democracy in 1999. The priest-turned-politician is the most lackluster of all the Benue governors in the last 25 years.
Governor Alia has failed to live up to expectations and instead of delivering on his campaign promises, he has taken up unnecessary battles against perceived critics, stakeholders, and his party members. His arrogance, ineptitude, pride, and all-knowing attitude have taken Benue State backward by over two decades.
The group of people who are worst hit and must be feeling ashamed are those who campaigned for him and mobilized voters in support of the Yes Father movement.
At first, many thought the governor was on a steep learning curve and the ship of the state would be righted and put on the course being an unfamiliar terrain for him. But unfortunately, Alia is not ready to learn or accept his mistakes.
The governor has become so power-drunk that he is now inaccessible to the electorate, stakeholders, and even his party members. Shame! Effective governance is about feedback and criticism. No one knows it all.
Should we talk about his controversial contracts? According to Sahara Reporters, Alia spent whopping amounts in just four months in office awarding fictitious contracts. Between May 29 and September 30th, he was reported to have received and spent more than N46 billion of state resources, prominent among which was the duplication of contracts for the procurement of Hummer buses as palliative measures.
Alia is truly a bad market for Benue. The people of the state made the wrong choice this time!