The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Benue State has expressed fears over the appointment of two security advisers by Governor Hyacinth Alia, saying a supremacy battle may ensue in tackling insecurity in the state.
This was contained in a statement sent to journalists on Tuesday by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Bemgba Iortyom.
“According to media reports, on Friday, 3rd November 2023, at a press briefing following a meeting of stakeholders from Mbaivur and Mbasombo areas of the state at Government House Makurdi, one Joseph Har had introduced himself to journalists as Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and Internal Affairs.
“The same Joseph Har similarly introduced another, by the name Alexander Igbaya Ashungu, said to be a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Nigerian Army, as Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and Strategic Liaison.
“PDP finds this development as not only shocking but unacceptable considering the fact that the governor has not made any such appointments despite the ultimatum the Benue State House of Assembly issued to him,” Iortyom said.
“The party recalls that precisely on Tuesday, 24th October 2023, the Benue State House of Assembly, worried by worsening insecurity in the state, handed a 3-day ultimatum to Governor Alia to appoint a Security Adviser to his office.
“The ultimatum from the legislature underscored the worrisome fact of the governor’s inexplicable failure to appoint a Security Adviser after close to six months in power, in spite of the severe security challenges confronting his administration, notably herdsmen terrorism and banditry.”
He said the governor snubbed the ultimatum from the state Assembly and has to this day not said a word in response to it, even after concerns were raised from several quarters, including from our great party.
“PDP once again reminds Governor Alia of the duty of accountability and transparency he owes the people as of right, and insists that he follows the right procedure in making appointments to sensitive positions such as that of Special Adviser on Security,” he said.
He said an Adviser is a public servant hired under the lawful procedure stipulated by the taxpayer who bears the cost of his remuneration and maintenance and accordingly reserves the right to know who is hired in that capacity.
Iortyom demanded that Alia subject himself to the law and adhere to the procedure for appointing a Security Adviser and making the appointment public through official government communication channels.