Presidency mocks Gov Ortom over unpaid salaries and pensions in Benue

Garba Shehu said Nigeria has had enough of failed politicians who blame others as a diversion for their inability to improve citizens’ lives.

Governor Samuel Ortom

The Presidency has ranked Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State among ‘failed politicians’ who offer excuses and blame others for their inability to solve problems.

The Presidency said Ortom currently holds the country’s longest record of unpaid salaries and pensions.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said this in a statement titled “The Incongruence of Governor Samuel Ortom on Arise TV”.

The statement was released on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, in reaction to the governor’s constant attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ortom had recently said on Arise TV that Nigerians are regretting voting for the president in 2015.

Reacting, Shehu said instead of raising money to settle unpaid salaries in Benue, Ortom keeps blaming the President who didn’t owe federal workers for his woes.

He said despite collecting Salary Bailout, Excess Crude Loan and Budget Support loan, each repayable in 20 years, Ortom could still not perform his tasks.

The presidential spokesperson said Nigeria has had enough of failed politicians who blame others as a diversion for their inability to improve citizens’ lives.

The statement reads in part: “There are two types of politicians in Nigeria today. The first are politicians who are leaders that offer solutions to the challenges facing the voters and the country. They bring forward policies, and implement them, to improve the lives of others.

“The second, politicians who offer excuses for the challenges voters face. They avoid ideas and instead blame others for problems they have either not solved or have themselves created.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is a leader. He inherited a treasury that had been emptied by previous administrations — and he sought and succeeded in repatriating billions of dollars of stolen funds from overseas. His administration discovered more than 500,000 bank accounts operated by Ministries, Agencies and Departments. In these accounts, the money belonging to the government was kept.

“Governor Samuel Ortom, office holder, is that other politician. He inherited unpaid salaries and pension arrears — and rather than find a way to raise the funds to pay them, he has blamed the President.

“This is a President who has not failed to pay the salary of those working for the federal government and declared the failure of states to do so “a national disaster.”

“To avert this, he had, at various times lent money to the states in excess of N1.682 trillion, and Benue, Mr Ortom’s state did not miss out on all occasions: Salary Bailout, Excess Crude Loan and Budget Support loan, each repayable in 20 years. Lagos for instance didn’t collect any of the loans.

“A few other states declined to take one or two. Mr Ortom, an office holder who collected on all occasions, currently holds the country’s longest record of unpaid salaries and pensions, has no reason, absolutely no reason, to blame President Buhari for the mess in which he put his state and its workers.

“Having first come claiming that his predecessors created the arrears, it was his business to prove that he was better by paying. Instead of doing that, he joined them! And while he runs up even further salary and pension debts on top of those he was bequeathed, instead of respecting the voters who elected him to office, he publicly attacks them in unprintable words and has raised his own thuggish militia to harass and violate them.

The presidency further slammed Ortom for the claim that Nigerians wish to be “rescued by the PDP”

Shehu said no voter would seriously consider it possible to be “rescued” by a party that allows a politician such as Ortom in its ranks.

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