Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Wednesday fired back at those criticising his government for embarking on a cargo airport instead of settling the backlog of salaries owed workers.
Ortom spoke during an interaction with newsmen while commissioning six ambulances meant for primary health care centres at government house. He said the critics were not only envious of his political profile, but also his prudent utilization of the state’s resources.
The governor specifically took on the former Lagos State Police Commissioner Alhaji Abubakar Tsav whom he said was planning to discredit his administration at all cost.
Ortom said, “Abubakar Tsav does not see anything good in my government. Why was he not speaking out when Suswam embezzled N107 billion? What contribution has he made to the state when he was police commissioner, even before I became governor? I have lots of industries and business outfits that engaged many Benue people. Tsav should go to Kano where he hails from he is not from Benue,” Ortom said furiously.
The governor said that in line with his campaign promises, he has to carry out projects on build operation and transfer (BOT) as well as public private partnership basis, stressing that the state was not contributing anything to the airport project.
He added that the consortium has made adequate financial arrangement and even acquired the state 15 per cent equity which will be paid when the project become operational.
He further said the project which is expected to be completed in 2020, has a 25-year life span for the state to pay its equity share.
“So, as far as am concerned anyone criticising this project is an enemy of the state. I am not going to listen to them I will go ahead. This administration is succeeding and will succeed.
“Salary is a global problem and we will get out of it. I am also not aware that the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar, criticized the project. But if he did, then it was out of ignorance. He should have called me to seek clarification on the project,” Ortom said.
Tsav had on Tuesday slammed the governor on the cargo project and accused the governor of hiding under religion to deceive the people of the state, warning Benue to beware of the governor.