A former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, has denied laying landmines for his successor, Governor Samuel Ortom.
He also said his administration didn’t leave behind N140 billion debt as claimed by the governor.
Suswam, who made the clarifications in a statement issued by his Special Assistant, Hon Terkaa Mamwoo, said a panel set up by the Benue Governor discovered that his government borrowed only N18 billion from issuance of bonds.
The statement said: “The attention of His Excellency, Rt. Hon Gabriel Suswam, former Governor of Benue State, has been drawn to a report in the media on Tuesday which quoted his successor in office, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, as accusing him of deliberately creating problems for his administration when he was about to leave government in 2015.
“According to the report, Governor Ortom, who spoke in Makurdi on Monday, particularly blamed his predecessor for causing the problems currently confronting his administration, by allegedly looting the state’s treasury.
“The former Governor wishes to state emphatically that his administration did not deliberately lay any landmines for the succeeding administration since his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had a candidate who was hoping to take over from his administration.
“Therefore, he couldn’t have deliberately created hurdles on the way to make the succeeding administration fail.”
Suswam said the alleged debt of N140 billion credited to his tenure was false.
The statement added: “The much touted N140 billion debt allegedly left behind by our administration exists only in the imagination of the Governor who has continued to use the non-existent figure as a cover up for his ineptitude and administration’s lack-lustre performance.
“The report of the probe panel instituted by the Ortom administration even acknowledged that the Suswam administration borrowed only N18 billion from issuance of bonds, so where did Governor Ortom get the figure of N140 billion he has been peddling about?
“It is instructive to state that the Suswam administration did not divert N107 billion as claimed by the probe panel report, as the administration applied the funds accruing to the state on provision of infrastructure.”