Ortom reverses Suswam’s appointment of first class chiefs, recruitments



THE new Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has directed the withdrawal of first class stools embarked upon by previous administration of Gabriel Suswam, which few weeks to the May 29 handover date appointed some first class chiefs.

Ortom has also stopped the over 4, 000 last minute recruitments into the state civil service.

Affected by the new directive is the elder brother to the immediate past Governor of Benue State, Dr. Terkula Suswam and six others.

Ortom in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government Targema Takema said no further action be taken on the matter until the determination of the substantive motion before the High Court is decided.

“Any person or group of persons parading himself or herself as First Class Chiefs in the Tiv Area Traditional Council are by this announcement urged to comply.”

The Governor therefore, directed the Tiv Area Traditional Council headed by Tor Tiv, Dr. Alfred Akawe Torkura to suspend forthwith the process of the conferment of the First Class Stools, maintaining that the order granted by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Iorhemen Hwande must be observed.

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has also approved the dissolution of the 23 Local Government Caretaker Committees in the state with immediate effect.

The Caretaker Committees are by this development directed to handover to the Directors General and Administration, DGSA of their various local Governments to enhance smooth governance at the third tier levels.

The Guardian recalls that the dissolved Caretaker Committees of the 23 local councils were constituted barely in April 2015 and two days to the just-concluded governorship election.

Ortom, who gave the directive for the cancellation of the over 4, 000 last minute recruitments into the state civil service in office during meetings with heads of government agencies and parastatals, justified his action by citing the perilous financial condition of the state and reminded the beneficiaries that he had warned them against taking the appointments.

The governor said the reversals became necessary in the view of the backlog of salaries and allowances as well as retirement benefits in the state coupled with the empty treasury he met on assumption of office.

He directed the chairman of the state Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Comfort Agogo, to furnish him with the details of the employment status of former staff redeployed from the Benue State Internal Revenue Service to various Ministries.

While lamenting the huge debt burden of the state, which he had met on assumption of office, Ortom sued for patience, support and cooperation of Benue people to enable him address the challenges confronting the state.

The Governor promised that his administration would make the necessary sacrifices to surmount the difficulties.

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