Alia: The corrupt and fake Benue Governor

Benue State, Governor Hyacinth Alia

Alia: The corrupt and fake Benue Governor

…Has Turned Benue LG Funds Into Personal Use

By Tordue Gudu

When the suspended Catholic priest, Hyacinth Alia indicated interest to run for the 2023 Governorship election in Benue state, those who knew him as a monumental scam immediately drew the attention of the people to the evil that was about to befall them, but the gullibility and vulnerability of the masses who were clearly oblivious of the dangers that lay ahead then gave him the seat he craved in his desperate attempt to use such an elevated position of responsibility for personal aggrandizement.

While he was campaigning, Alia promised to grant full autonomy for the local governments in the state and never touch a kobo belonging to the councils.

But the man who abandoned the pulpit and mounted the political rostrum has hijacked the 23 local governments of the state and turned them into his personal estates. He first sacked duly elected council chairmen and all the councilors and installed his stooges as caretaker chairmen.

After 6 six months of using the caretaker chairmen to amass wealth for himself through the funds accruing to the local governments, on Thursday this week, Alia extended their tenures for another 6 months and dropped a few who appeared not to be cooperating much with his Special Adviser on Bureau for Local Governments, his kinsman Dennis Akura who has been the chief executioner of the governor’s agenda of fleecing local government money. Some civil society groups wrote petitions to EFCC accusing Alia and his man Akura of embezzling N20 billion of local government funds.

It is worrisome that Governor Alia has crippled the local government system in Benue state by making it an appendage of his office as against his assurance to grant democratic and fiscal autonomy to that tier of government. The illegal dissolution of duly elected local government councils and selection of illegal ones says a lot in that regard.

Another aspect of Governor Alia’s style of leadership is covert and unilateral operations. Only he knows what the government is doing. He is silent on what the state is receiving from Abuja in terms of monthly allocations, despite the oil subsidy removal windfall. He is equally silent on the internal revenue of the state, as well as the state wage bill. No one knows what he is doing with resources of the state. As far as he pays workers salaries, he tells the people not to bother asking further questions.

Alia awards contacts by himself and pays also by himself. There is no due process despite the existence of the Due Process Law and Fiscal Responsibility Law in Benue State. He chooses which contractor he wants and signs the papers by himself. This is why contracts such as the 16 short streets of merely 15 kilometers being constructed within Makurdi are heavily inflated (N9 billion) well above the standard rates of contract awards.

While seeking the people’s mandate, Alia persistently said he would fight corruption and reduce the cost of governance. But he made a 360 degree turn immediately after inauguration on May 29 last year and has now made corruption and reckless spending integral pillars of his administration.

The suspended priest apparently thinks he is running a Catholic Parish, where the only response to whatever a Priest says is ‘Yes, Father’. Interestingly, even as a Catholic Priest of 33 years, he failed woefully with no record of achievement, except total disregard for authorities and mismanagement and diversion of funds belonging to the church.

Also, one would have expected that as a man who had worked in the Lord’s vineyard before veering off track, Alia would be fair and just in discharging his responsibilities especially in the selection of those to work in the government if he wants to achieve results. Unfortunately, he has embraced nepotism, cronyism and favoritism in appointments as only his kinsmen of Kyan Constituency of Vandeikya Local Government, mistresses and a few equally misguided elements who with him could be described as birds of a feather are worth serving in his administration.

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It is equally on record that as part of strategies to make up for his poor performance and cajole the people into assuming that he is working, the man destined to fail has initiated a series of fights at different levels.

Since assumption of office, Governor Alia has expended a large amount of energy and time fighting his benefactor, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume who took a huge risk to clear the way for him to get the APC ticket and subsequent victory at the polls.

One would have thought that Alia who practically begged for the APC ticket would appreciate the leadership of the party in the state for the favour done to him; but he has proudly said the party should thank him instead for, according to him, helping them to snatch power from PDP in the state.

Alia has constantly disrespected the party leadership and has never missed any opportunity to stab Senator Akume, the man who staked his neck to help him, forgetting that Akume has forgiven him for working behind the scene to stop his appointment as SGF.

The misdeeds of the suspended priest Hyacinth Alia are legion and cannot be enumerated even in one book. But his gross display of arrogance, pride, insensitivity, lack of tact, injustice, poor vision and shameless show of inability to deliver anything to the Benue people are nauseating and shameful.

Tordue Gudu, a Concerned Benue Citizen Writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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