Governor Alia Reveals Benue’s Startling Truth: More Ghost Schools and Workers Than Real Ones

Rev Father Hyacinth Iormem Alia, born on May 15, 1966, has been serving as the governor of Benue State since May 29, 2023. He is the second clergyman to lead the state after the late Very Rev. Fr. Moses Orshio Adasu, who governed during the botched Third Republic.

Governor Alia, a native of Mbangur, Mbadede, Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, began his educational journey at St. Francis Primary School in Agidi, Mbatiav, Gboko local government area. He then proceeded to St. James Minor Seminary in Makurdi in 1983, followed by St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, where he earned a diploma in religious studies in 1987 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Theology in 1990.

Furthering his education, he obtained a Master’s in Religious Education (Psychology and Counselling) from Fordham University, Bronx, New York City in 1999. In 2004, he earned an additional master’s degree in biomedical ethics from Duquesne University, Pennsylvania, and followed it with a doctorate in the same course from Duquesne in 2005.

In an interview, the former priest turned politician discussed his transition from the clergy to politics, highlighting his concern for the neglected and suppressed in society. He emphasized his desire to address the challenges facing Benue State, including the lack of infrastructure and neglect of basic services.

Governor Alia explained his commitment to improving the state’s education system, citing the removal of ghost schools and workers, which resulted in significant financial savings. He also spoke about the ongoing infrastructure development, particularly focusing on road construction to benefit farmers and improve market access.

Regarding criticisms of his administration, Governor Alia acknowledged opposition but emphasized his dedication to serving the people and promoting democracy. He addressed concerns about his relationship with Senator George Akume, denying any conflicts and expressing gratitude for Akume’s support during his election.

Governor Alia also discussed security challenges in the state, highlighting efforts to improve the situation and collaborate with security agencies. He assured that his administration is prepared to implement the new minimum wage and shared achievements in revamping the Benue Links transportation system.

Despite facing a substantial backlog of owed arrears, Governor Alia prioritized paying workers’ salaries and pensions. He defended his approach to governance, attributing his disciplined financial management to his background in the church.

In summary, Governor Alia’s administration is focused on addressing infrastructure needs, improving education, promoting agriculture, enhancing security, and ensuring transparency in governance for the benefit of the people of Benue State.

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