OPINION: The burden of underperformance in the name of God

By Sidney Dooyum

It is a fact incontrovertible that His Excellency Gov. Samuel Ortom made his grand ascent to power on the wings of God’s name. His stand for God was undefiable as he went about his campaigns. He didnt shrink back from making it clear that God was His backing and the reason why he was confident of victory. Infact, in his usual campaign outings, he quoted scriptures and made vows freely to God before the people. In some of the vows, he was quoted to even say God should kill him if he failed to deliver the goods of governance to the state. There is no point telling how it gladdened my heart to see a man who trusted in God this much take the reins of power in Benue against all the odds that stood in his way. His victory made it clear that God truly was involved.

Infact, some of His Excellency’s campaign outings were like preaching crusades where he literarily preached from scriptures and sang songs of praises to God. I was so impressed to witness one of such crusade-campaigns in front of Oracle Business Limited, opposite 3rd World Plaza. None of the past best performing Governors of the state (Aper Aku & Orshio Adasu) had taken such stance in there ascent to power. So naturally it was expected that His Excellency Gov. Samuel Ortom will out perform all past governors of the state having gone as far as staking his life in vows to God (If he failed) and making God the Centre of all he did. No doubt even his slogan was and remains “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

But today, based on the untold & unnecessary hardship being inflicted on workers and pensioners coupled with gross underdevelopment of the Benue landscape in the face of notable developments at Oracle Business Limited (Industrial Layout), some Benue people have began to doubt if His Excellency was not just taking the name & Word of the Lord in vain just to get votes- something the Bible warns against.

“You must not use the name of the Lord your God to make empty promises. If you do, the Lord will not let you go unpunished.
Exodus 20:7 ERV

Today God’s Word is being mocked by many as a result of His Excellency’s below average performance in many critical areas of governance particularly in the areas of payment of salaries & developmental projects.

Today people mockingly call him “By the grace of God Governor”. The phrase “In God we Trust” is now used derogatorily.

As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Romans 2:24 NIV

Based on the present general public perception of this government, the above scripture maybe seen as being fulfilled concerning His Excellency.

You see, one of the greatest trade marks of satan is lying. Today it is paradoxical to note that a man so apt in quoting scriptures and organizing prayer meetings is also known for lying consistently about the states wage bill which has been nefariously inflated to the hurt and detriment of civil servants & pensioners. Today, something as basic & mundane as paying of wages has become a monumental achievement in this government.

Lies have also continued to be peddled concerning the states internally generated revenue. There maybe no need to talk about the numerous inoperative MoUs continuously being signed with Chinese companies to which much media hype is given with no results to show for it.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
John 8:44 NIV

“…speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
I Timothy 4:2 NKJV

Today His Excellency’s outing in governance can be said to have dealt a dirt blow to the Kingdom of God and may significantly reduce the chances of any other God fearing person who may seek political office in the state subsequently. I remember a story that was told me concerning a political meeting that was taking place and one of the attendees stood to speak and attempted to buttress his point with a Scripture but the people rather shouted him down saying they were tired of Bible quoting politicians. A sad tale indeed.

This is the question that bothers me; at the end of His Excellency’s tenure, will it still be said in Benue politics that “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord?” (Luke 19:38)

I had hoped that the present negative perception of this government in many quarters will change before the end of this tenure but the time seems too short for any significant changes to be effected. Well, I believe in miracles so I’m watching to see if by any means, His Excellency is able to redeem his image within the forthcoming months as the elections approach.

I rest my case.

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