The Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has voiced its disagreement with Governor Hyacinth Alia concerning the recent awarding of contracts for several projects within the state.
Through a statement issued on Tuesday by its State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, the PDP criticized the governor for disregarding constitutional provisions during the process of awarding contracts.
The party regarded this move as a potential threat to the state and called on concerned citizens to take lawful action against it. The PDP expressed concern that Governor Alia’s actions indicated a suspension of constitutional rule in the state, accusing him of governing with a dictatorial approach.
The statement read: “Yesterday (Monday), Governor Alia announced the award of contracts for the construction of 16 township roads in Makurdi. While the exact cost was not disclosed, it is apparent that the sum runs into billions of naira according to current cost standards. Governor Alia has also failed to submit names of nominees for cabinet appointments as commissioners or advisers within the constitutionally mandated 60 days, contravening Section 147 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Iortyom, the PDP spokesperson, argued that since taking office on May 29, 2023, the governor had assumed exclusive control over the state government’s financial accounts, making withdrawals at his own discretion.
He further asserted that the governor’s actions violated the financial instructions of Benue State, which limit the governor’s spending and approval power for contracts to not exceed N50,000,000, as stated in Chapter 23, Section 2305.
Iortyom highlighted that the procedure for contract bidding, as outlined in the Benue State Public Procurement Law, required the involvement of the State Executive Council (SEC), which Governor Alia had not constituted.
The statement concluded, “The PDP understands that Governor Alia is seemingly conducting the affairs of government as a sole administrator, a despotic figure, and a dictator, disregarding due process and the rule of law, while exerting limitless authority. Our party stands firmly against this budding dictatorship and will utilize all legal means to safeguard the integrity of the democratic system practiced in Nigeria and Benue State.”
Meanwhile, Governor Alia reportedly inaugurated the construction of 16 roads spanning 15.39 kilometers in Makurdi. According to Engr Gabriel Akpen, Chairman of the Technical Committee on Infrastructure, Planning, and Implementation, the project is estimated to cost N6 billion and is expected to be completed within an 11-month timeframe, adhering to specifications.