The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State, has lambasted former Governor Gabriel Suswam for castigating his successor, Samuel Ortom, over the poor handling of bailout funds and the current hardship in the state.
Suswam had during a meeting of members of the Peoples Democratic Party, said Ortom had ruined Benue State that even dogs had become so lean.
Reacting to the statement, the state chairman of the APC, Abba Yaro said Suwam had no conscience.
According to him, if the former Governor had paid arrears of salaries from the enormous funds at his disposal, most of which was diverted into private pockets before he left office, no one would be talking of bailout today.
He said, “It is tantamount of wickedness of the highest order for Dr Suswam to have created a mess and turned round to attack someone who stepped in to clear it.”
Yaro claimed that the N28 billion bailout was an initiative of the APC- led Federal Government which would have been invested into other sectors of the economy if the previous administration had not diverted and squandered the funds meant for payment of workers.
He added, “from the explanation of officials of the APC- controlled Benue State Government, no amount has been directed from the bailout funds contrary to spirited efforts of key players in the previous administration to instigate workers to go on protests over the issue and sustained media campaigns of calumny.
“Meanwhile, documentary evidence tendered before the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Commission of Inquiry indicted Dr Suswam led 51 others to pilfer over N107 billion from the state treasury during his tenure.
“There is every indication that if that amount had been judicious plowed into the system the lives of the people would have been much better.
“For instance, a fraction of that amount would have paid for the accreditation requirements of the College of Health Sciences at the Benue State University and sorted out those of the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in Makurdi as well as College of Health Technology, Agasha.
Failure to do that led to stagnation of medical students and loss of accreditation for the schools mentioned.
“Moreover, if the former Governor can lead his group to refund the N107 billion they looted outstanding salaries would be paid and other commitments that would alleviate the sufferings of the people would be met.
“The miraculous deployment of the N10 billion infrastructure facility to complete roads and other projects across the state indicate that if the looted funds are recovered he would do more wonders.”