The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has come under criticism for presenting an award to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
Ortom was on Monday, presented with a ‘NULGE Life Patron Award’ by the NULGE national president, Ahmed Lobbo, in Makurdi.
NULGE said the governor was being honoured in recognition of his support and “inestimable contribution to the emancipation of the local government system” in Nigeria.
But a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Garus Gololo, while reacting on Friday, berated NULGE for giving such an award, saying, it was an insult on “the general sensibility and collective intelligence” of Benue local government workers, whom he said were being owed cumulative arrears running to 24 months.
Gololo said, there are governors in the country who deserved even more than that, stressing that, such a lifetime award on Ortom was to reward mediocrity and inefficiency.
“Ortom has not done anything to deserve any award. Has he commissioned any culvert since he became Governor? Not even a public toilet was commissioned to his credit. The road from Daudu to his (Ortom’s) country home in Gbajimba is like traveling to Afghanistan.
“NULGE saw Gov. Zulum in Borno, El-Rufai in Kaduna, Ganduje in Kano, Umahi in Ebonyi, even Wike in Rivers and Makinde that just came onboard in Oyo; it was only Ortom who has no single project to his name, except non payment of salaries and pensions, that deserved such an important award.
“I was born and bred in Benue and since all my life, I have never seen such a governor that doesn’t put the welfare of his people into consideration. I will not be surprised if by tomorrow, I see on newspapers that Association of Pensioners too are making him their life patron, in recognition of his non payment of pensions,” Gololo said.
He said, such awards could be procured at the expense of the helpless workers who go to bed with empty stomachs, while their leaders smile to the market for Christmas shopping.
The APC Chieftain also described as “misplaced priority”, the ongoing Benue Youth Summit being organised by Ortom in Makurdi.
He said despite huge amount of money budgeted for the summit, it would not yield any meaningful result, aside being a conduit pipe to syphon more Benue money.
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