By: Janet Samuel
Winner of the Governorship rerun Primaries of the All Progressives Congress APC in Benue State, Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia has disclosed his lineup agenda aimed at turning around the fortunes of Benue State.
Father Alia disclosed this while speaking with Newsmen at the APC National Secretariat, Abuja.
He said the spate of insecurity needed to be put in check, stressing that the home-grown criminality that is negatively destabilizing the peace of the state will be reduced once the proper perspective is laid down.
Alia said that his coming into politics as a Roman Catholic Priest was to dry the tears of the people and wrestle the state from the hands of evil politicians using divide and rule strategy to cause havoc in the State and pledged to return Benue to the path greatness.
“First of all we thank God for the victory. I invite all my fellow contestants to come back, join hands with me so that we can move to the next level and work together for our great State
“God has given us much and we must not let it waste away; there are challenges out there, all we need to do at this stage is proper education of our people to go out there and get their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) because Democracy is about the people and they are the people, once they say yes, it is going to be yes” he said.
Speaking about insecurity in Benue, Alia said: “First, our leadership got the whole thing very wrong, issues of security are not issues of propaganda
“It is not going out there and saying we are holding this meeting and that meeting; tackling insecurity is beyond that. First, you have to get everyone on board
“The traditional council and the people must be on the same page with you. Once the people know that you are not there for them, what do you expect the people to do?
“You are not paying the workers, you are not taking care of the youths, you care less about what’s happening within your immediate environment. How do you expect the poor ones living there that never complained to react? So, they can respond very negatively
“Another big factor that is affecting us negatively back at home today is that we have the home-grown bad guys who are there destabilizing our peace and causing havoc. We have to put them in check.
“I believe once we do this and let everyone understand the importance of unity, we shall make headway. We are all together and we all have a common goal
“You don’t neglect the youths, you must pay the civil servants, employ the youths, do a number of things that will bring them on board. Give them ownership of the State and let them know that you are just a servant. Then they will see you as a servant-leader and they will come onboard”
Commenting on his transition from the pulpit to the political arena, Fr. Alia said: “Ordinarily, I wouldn’t say as a Roman Catholic Priest I would step out into partisan politics because there are few anxieties there that the church might not want to get involved
“I stepped in to take the lead so that they can learn and do better. For 32 years I have been in the Ministry, Come July 7th, I will be 32 full years as a Priest.
“You have to be in Benue State to feel the anger deep within to step out to salvage our State, to do what I’m doing. It takes passion and compassion; it takes patriotism; it takes the love for the State
“When all these elements are lacking, you will never do anything and this why we are in a failed State. The love is not there, the love for the people is not there
“People say democracy is about interest. Interest of who? Interest of the people, it is not about self-interest. But if you come in there for the interest of self, then the whole thing is already lost
“It is the people that desire integrity, responsibility, accountability, transparency that we are bringing to the table. So, it is for them that I have made a lot of sacrifices, to step out there to ensure that what I have been doing for the last 32 years is again replicated in the larger arena of politics
“Saving the souls of those who are rejected and neglected; the suppressed and oppressed; those the society have written off
“I’m coming out there because my people want me and I have chosen to come to the less-traveled road of partisanship to save the soul of the people of Benue state and to save the soul of my state. These are the triggers that brought me to where I am today”