Gov Alia and the Parady of Wurukum flyover

Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia

Gov Alia and the Parady of Wurukum flyover

By Peter Awunah, PhD.

The Benue State government led by Governor Hyacinth Alia is turning to a theatre of the absurd, and I mean no disrespect.

The state government recently announced its plan to construct two overpasses, popularly known as flyover bridges, at Wurukum and High Level in Makurdi, the state capital.

In fact, bulldozers brought by the Alia administration were spotted at High Level and Wurukum. This meant that funds had already been released for the project in the same manner the Governor (without a cabinet in place) unilaterally released funds for the construction of 16 short streets totaling only 15 kilometers in Makurdi some months ago.

But like the story of those failed street projects, the bulldozers suddenly disappeared from Wurukum and High Level, a few days after the Vice President, Kashim Shettima who visited the state departed.

Surprisingly, yesterday 25th January 2024, the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi, while flagging off the construction of the dualization of Makurdi-Otukpo-9th Mile Road at Apir, made us to understand that the Federal Government is indeed the one about to construct the flyover at Wurukum. This means that the government of Alia was misinforming the public all along.

My worry is that this is not the first time that Governor Alia and his team has attempted to take credit for a project that President Bola Tinubu has done for Benue people. It began with palliatives. The governor received N5 billion from the federal government and hundreds of bags of grains, but went home and told Benue people that his government was responsible for the package of 100 buses and palliative rice and other commodities.

I think time has come for someone to whisper to His Excellency Alia to take things easy. A popular Nigerian local saying goes that “life na jeje. Development is a broadsheet. There are many things his government can conceive and do for the people without waiting for the Tinubu government to initiate.

I also feel the need to advise Governor Alia that it is essential for the state government under him to always communicate truthfully about development projects to ensure public trust and confidence.

The discrepancy in the state government’s announcement of plans to construct two flyover bridges in Makurdi and the federal government’s latest disclosure that the responsibility falls under their jurisdiction has cast doubts about the sincerity of the Governor and his team.

Benue State Governor,  Hyacinth Alia
Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia

While it is important to acknowledge the intentions of the state government to improve infrastructure, it is equally crucial for them to adhere to accurate and sincere information when communicating with the public. Misleading or inaccurate statements can erode public trust and create unnecessary confusion.

In the interest of transparency and good governance, it is imperative for the Alia administration to ensure that information regarding policies and actions of government is communicated responsibly.

It is also important to refrain from making unfounded claims about the source of funding or ownership of development projects, as this can lead to unnecessary politicization and undermine the actual goal of improving infrastructure for the benefit of the people of Benue State.

Ultimately, the focus should be on delivering tangible development and progress for the citizens of Benue State, regardless of political affiliations.

Dr Awunah writes from Durumi, Abuja.

Leave a Reply