Prof. Zacharys Gundu, Pro-Chancellor of the Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi, and world renowned archaeologist, has said that Samuel Ortom, the Benue State governor, will no longer allow political godfathers to mess him up in his second term in office having fought so hard to win the confidence of the people.
Gundu, who stated this during an exclusive interview with newsmen, said it was a known fact that “Ortom’s first term, which will soon end, did not go so well.”
According to him, “Ortom himself has admitted several mistakes. We also know that Senator George Akume, his erstwhile godfather, had literally lined up his verandah boys and girls for choice positions in Ortom’s government.
“What happened is now history. But, we are happy that Senator Akume has lost out today. We expect that Ortom, having learnt the ropes, will not allow another godfather to mess him up.
“He must choose whom he wants to work with and not whom other godfathers want to give him. The choice must be based on competence and nothing else.”
On his expectation during Ortom’s second term, Gundu said, “We are hoping that in the second term, Governor Ortom will not be making excuses and all those appointed to help him will stay on the same page with him and give us more responsible and more accountable government.”
Gundu also expressed reservation over the state’s wage bill, which he noted was not sustainable, stressing, “We do not know who is legitimately on the payroll. This is the time to sort that out. We must have a better template for internal revenue generation and run a smaller government.
“It’s not tidy for the governor to keep so many special assistants. We must develop cottage industries to add value to agriculture in the state and we must worry about the integration of the state. We should move quickly pass the idea of MOUs and begin to do things concretely,” he said.