From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has advised newly appointed commissioners and special advisers in his who want to make money through dubious means to rather decline the appointment and go into business.
“If you want to make money, decline this appointment and go and do business because governance is not about making money but about service to the people.”
The Governor who gave the advice on Thursday during the swearing in ceremony of eight Commissioners and five special advisers charged them to rather sustain those positive leadership qualities that qualified them for the appointment.
He urged them not to be deceived into engaging in any sharp practices to make more money warning that if anyone asks them to pad budget so that they can give him (the governor) his own share, such person is only lying.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you into padding budget on the lie that Governor would have a cut. It’s a lie, such money has never gotten to me. If I go back in the secret to tell you to make money for me, tell me that I told you in the public that I said you shouldn’t make money for me. I will not arrange lawyer for you if EFCC catches you,” Ortom warned.
The Governor noted that the new appointments became necessary following the resignation of many Commissioners to seek elective positions while others left as a result of a minor Cabinet reshuffle.
He added that the re-constitution of the State Executive Council provided an opportunity to inject new blood into the system to quicken the pace of service delivery that will enable his administration finish strong.
While maintaining that the new appointees have assumed office at a time when challenges are numerous and expectations are high, the Governor urged them to bring their wealth of experience to bear on the collective determination of his administration to respond to those challenges and expectations.
He disclosed that the new appointment has now brought the number of commissioners in his to 16 and 30 special advisers even as he enjoined them to shun every temptation to convert public funds into private pockets saying such was unacceptable to him and against public fiscal responsibility.
Responding on behalf of the appointees, Dr. Kester Kyenge and Richard Ujege thanked the Governor for finding them worthy to serve in his even as they promised to do their best to ensure the success of his administration.
Highpoint of the event was the allocation of portfolios to the new appointees.