From Austine Tule, Makurdi
A gubernatorial aspirant on the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Benue State, Prof Joseph Tor Iorapuu has called on people of the state to elect leaders with the capacity to take the state to the next level of development.
Prof Iorapuu who made the call while on a consultative visit to local government executives of the Party in Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of the state called on leadership of the PDP in the state to reflect on why the state has remained stagnated after several years of its creation amidst abundant human and natural resources, declaring that the state has no reason to be underdeveloped.
The professor of Theatre Arts while expressing disappointment with successive leadership in the state for failing to leverage on the foundation laid by Chief Aper Aku, the first civilian governor who worked selflessly to industrialise the state, revealed that Chief Aku was able to record landmark achievements even with the meagre financial and human capacity.
“In four years, Aku laid a solid foundation of industrial emancipation and economic self-reliance for the people that made us proud. It is regrettable that all of Aku’s initiatives have been either abandoned or destroyed completely”.
The PDP governorship aspirant enumerated Aku’s achievements in four years to include Taraku Mills Ltd, Otukpo burnt Bricks Ltd, Ikwe Wild Life Park at Igbor, Benue Bottling Company, Benro Packaging Company, Agro Millers, Benue Cement Company, Ikogen Cattle Ranch and other infrastructures such as, the State Secretariat, the Aper Aku Stadium and Lobi Bank among other projects.
He, however, expressed sadness over the moribund state of the aforementioned industries owing to lack of political will on the part of successive governments to run same.
The guber-hopeful assured that if given the mandate, he would work assiduously towards stabilising the system within four years and reposition its economy and in the process avail those coming after him a solid foundation upon which to build.
Iorapuu pointed out that former President Obasanjo’s privatisation policy which resulted to the selling of Benue Cement Company which created untold hardship on many youths of Tiv extraction especially the sending of many youths on the streets with its attendant consequences.
“During the Aku’s administration, there were only two professors in Benue State in the personalities of Prof Idachaba and Prof Justin Tseayo. We now boast of professors by the council wards of the 23 Local Government Councils of the state, yet we are where we are. The initiatives of Aper Aku at a time when things seemed primitive should not overwhelm us in this age and time”, Prof Iorapuu said.
He said he was on a mission to provoke the people’s consciousness and further appealed to the leadership of the PDP at the local and state government levels to consider him for the governorship ticket to enable him restore hope to the common man and the youths of the state.