Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has promised to perform wonders in the state when funds stolen during the past administration are returned.
A commission of inquiry set up by the state government had unmasked looted funds to the tune of about N219 billion and the Governor belives that the recovery of such funds is the antidote to the financial problems that have plagued the state in recent times.
“If I have N219 billion, I will do wonders for this state. N219 billion is a lot of money. Let them bring back this money and even the other N802 billion we are talking about, even that one there are issues there.
“We want to pay salaries, we want to pay pensioners their money, we want to pay gratuity, and we want to fulfill our contractual obligations, including the ones that we inherited.
“With N219 billion, it is enough to settle all these problems and challenges. Nobody will hear about bailout again. I can even take from there and refund to the federal government the much they gave me as bailout.
“We need rural roads, we need electricity, we need our hospitals to work, we need our schools to work and this is where this money was going and so we must recover it by the grace of God.” he said.
Governor reiterated that there will be no form of plea bargain or political settlement, saying all stakeholders in the state where unanimous about the refund of looted funds, kobo for kobo.
“There is no political settlement on this matter of our commonwealth. I invited stakeholders the other last year and the entire stakeholders were unanimous. This was a non-partisan stakeholders’ meeting and all of them were unanimous that refunds must be made for our commonwealth. So, no settlement; there is nothing like settlement.
“If you can make refunds, I have no case against you. If you said you took N10 billion and you refund that N10 billion, I will tell you to go and sin no more, but where you cannot, that is where I will have problems with you.” he insisted.