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Suspended Benue priest breaks silence, states reasons for joining guber race

Suspended Benue priest breaks silence, states reasons for joining guber race
May 23
08:12 2022

Hyacinth Alia, a suspended priest in the Catholic diocese of Gboko, Benue, says he joined the state’s gubernatorial race to effect change.

Alia, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was suspended by the church after his declaration.

The priest has since submitted his gubernatorial expression of interest and nomination form to the APC.

In a post on his Facebook page, the priest said: “From the day I took the decision to answer the overwhelming calls of my people to contest the governorship of Benue with the aim to rescue our people from the shackles of maladministration, I was fully aware of the sacrifice I was going to make.

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“And I am convinced that it is worth the cause I am fighting to serve the souls of Benue people and the state. I remain resolute and please don’t be anxious either because I am well prepared and focused.

“More importantly, I am more charged because I have seen the genuineness in the agitations for me to step in and help salvage the already sorry situation the state has found itself for some time.

“As stated in the last paragraph of the suspension letter, I shall return to the public pulpit after I must have served out my mandate as the Governor of Benue state.”

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The priest also commented on the position of William Avenya, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Gboko, who said the canon law of the Catholic church forbids clerics from being involved in partisan politics.

Speaking through Donald Kumun, his media aide, Alia said the canon law did not imagine salaries and gratuity of citizens would not be paid.

“They never imagined that there would be a governor who would refuse to listen to a Catholic bishop begging for the payment of workers’ salaries in the way and manner that Bishop Avenya (Catholic Bishop of Gboko) has done in Benue state,” he was quoted as saying.

“They never knew it would be possible for a governor to stay in power for almost eight years with literally nothing to show for it by way of infrastructural development.

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“They never thought of a situation where a state would produce numerous raw materials with practically no industry to process them; while the government plans to sell the existing state-owned industries.

“They never imagined that poor farmers, who are not benefiting anything from the government, would be made to pay cut-throat taxes on their farm produce.

“None of the drafters of the code of canon law imagined that a state will deliberately increase school fees in government-owned tertiary institutions in a way that makes it impossible for the children of the poor to go to school.

“Certainly, they never knew there would be a state in Nigeria where a government would deliberately and consciously impoverish its citizens just to make them politically pliable.

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“The canon law never envisaged a state that would turn her highly intelligent youths into political thugs instead of engaging them productively just to mention but a few.”

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