The New Benue Development Agenda (NBDA) says Governor Hyacinth Alia’s first six months in office is the worst in the state since the return of democracy in 1999.
Describing Governor Alia as unprepared for governance and without a clear blueprint, the group said the priest-turned-politician is the most lackluster of all governors elected into office.
The NBDA, which made this known in a statement signed by its President Dr. Tersoo Hwande in Lagos on Thursday, said it came to this conclusion after an extensive analysis of Alia’s administration.
Hwande lamented that the governor 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.
He said Alia’s arrogance, ineptitude, pride, and all-knowing attitude have taken Benue State backward by over two decades, adding that hunger and hardship have doubled.
Hwande regretted that there is no tangible project to show since this administration came on board other than failed promises, lopsided appointments, and marginalisation.
The New Benue Development Agenda, therefore, called on Alia to prioritise the citizens by engaging them and stakeholders on the way forward perhaps in the form of town hall meetings.
The group said the governor must drop his over-bloated ego and admit that mistakes have been made in appointments, award of contracts, and general conduct.
“Governor Alia’s election was seen as a sigh of relief. Being a Catholic priest, he was likened to the Biblical Moses who will take us to the Promised Land,” the statement said.
“We all campaigned for him. We mobilised our members from Lagos and other parts of the country to return home in support of the YesFather movement.
“However, six months later, we are ashamed of the same man. As critical stakeholders, we are compelled to make this public statement as our numerous private messages to His Excellency have fallen on deaf ears.
“At first, we 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.
“Alia singlehandedly picked his advisers and commissioners. The appointments were done in a lopsided manner. Three months after their inauguration, some reportedly have no official cars, some without offices. No surprise we have heard of resignations.
“Alia has so far made empty promises with no tangible project. In September 2023, the government promised to train 10,000 youths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) through the initiative dubbed ‘Benue Go-Digital.’ The initiative was touted as a means to empower the youth, create employment opportunities, and alleviate poverty in the state. However, three months have passed, and the much-anticipated ICT training is yet to commence, leaving many hopeful youths disillusioned and disheartened.
“On August 1, during the closing ceremony of the 2023 Batch B Stream one Orientation course at the NYSC Orientation Camp Wannune, Tarka, Alia proudly declared that each NYSC member serving in the state would begin to receive a monthly allowance of N15,000. There are many other ‘audio promises’.
“Should we talk about his controversial contracts? According to Sahara Reporters, Alia spent whopping amounts in just four months in office awarding fictitious contracts which are ongoing. Between May 29 and September 30th, he was reported to have received and spent more than N46 billion of state resources, prominent among which is the duplication of contracts for the procurement of Hummer buses as palliative measures.
“Another sign of the governor’s ineptitude is his perceived long hours of prayer sessions during the day, which have resulted in delayed or canceled official engagements. Shame! Even the Bible in James 2:26 says faith without works is dead.
“We are not even debating over the obviously contentious local government caretaker committees. All we want is for Alia to wake up from his slumber. He can read Proverbs 24 vs 33 and 34.”