Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, the new governor of Benue, has frozen all bank accounts belonging to the state government shortly after his swearing-in.
“May I announce that with immediate effect and until further notice, all government bank accounts in all banks are hereby frozen,” said Mr Alia. “A ‘Post No Debit’ instruction shall remain in force until all signatories are changed. Any bank that violates this instruction does so at its own risk.”
Mr Alia, the second priest of the Roman Catholic Church to rule the state since its creation in 1976, was sworn in as the sixth executive governor of Benue alongside his deputy, Sam Ode.
He said his administration would be guided by a seven-point development agenda featuring the security of lives and property, industrialisation, trade and investment, human capital and social development.
Other priority areas include environmental care to mitigate climate change’s effects, investment in information and communications technology, civil service and local government systems reform, and the review of laws to make Benue state investor-friendly through political and economic governance.
He promised to work closely with security agencies and the federal government to ensure the safety of the lives and property of Benue people.
“We will also work tirelessly to address the root causes of insecurity, such as poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion.”
The Catholic priest pledged to prioritise job creation and economic empowerment by promoting private sector-led industrialisation, with a particular emphasis on agriculture.
As part of measures to address the perennial flooding problem in the state, Mr Alia said the government would engage the federal authorities towards dredging the River Benue to address the flooding problem in Makurdi and other parts of the state.
He assured that in the next 100 days, work would commence on designing a comprehensive infrastructure development programme involving unemployed graduate youth in continuation of the government’s public works programme.
Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu (12 June 1945 – 20 November 2005) became governor on January 2, 1992, elected on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).