Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that since he detached himself from godfathers he has started paying salaries of state workers as and when due.

“There is no godfatherism again under my watch and that is why you can see that since I detached myself from godfathers, even salaries, I have been able to pay,” the governor said.

Governor Ortom stated this while swearing in eight newly-appointed commissioners, on Tuesday.

He revealed further that he was seeking for other ways to offset the remaining arrears of salaries owed Benue workers as soon as possible.

He maintained that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has become a department of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with its selective prosecution of perceived political enemies.

He continued, “Despite intimidation from the EFCC that has now become a department in APC, we are not going to be intimidated.

“In the last eight months, civil servants who are working with me are being troubled for no just cause. It then means that once you decamp from the APC, EFCC comes after you.

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The governor recalled that when the late paramount ruler of the Tiv nation was buried, N120 million was used for both the burial and settling of the deceased family.

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He said that as soon as he decamped from the APC, the EFCC started inviting members of the burial committee to come and give account of how the money was spent.

“We are not afraid. If we did anything wrong, we are ready to face the law but we will not succumb to intimidation.

“We have reported the matter to the United Nations. I am ready to die once but I must speak the truth.”

While urging the new appointees to remain loyal to him and his administration, Governor Ortom stated that any appointee found to be disloyal, lacking capacity and performing below expectation would be relieved of his appointment.

He also enjoined smiles and friends of appointees of government not to put undue financial pressure on them stressing that, “when you put undue pressure on government appointees, you are encouraging them to be corrupt.”