From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Hingah Biem, has debunked as baseless speculations in some quarters that his demotion while in the Benue state civil service would thwart his gubernatorial ambition.
Biem told journalists in an interview that he was demoted from salary grade level 16 to 15 following the recommendation of the Justice Margaret Kpojime Judicial Commission of Enquiry which investigated the award of contract to Artex Investments Limited for the supply of transmitters to Radio Benue during the military regime.
He recalled that trouble started when Radio Benue could not give life coverage to the swearing in ceremony of the then governor and now Senator representing Benue North-East district, George Akume, due to failed transmitters.
He further explained that after the state government had accepted the recommendations of the commission directing for his downgrading for failure to give good advice to the state government on the award of the over N200 million contract, he was so demoted by one grade level, adding that he wrote a request for review to Governor George Akume through the then Head of Service, Mr. Theophilus Adzaager.
Biem said the letter which centered on the need for Akume to look at the fact that he was acting on the orders of a military administrator who had recommended the contractor, attracted his sympathy when Mr Adzaager attached it to the letter he wrote to the governor on the matter on February 13, 2002.
The retired permanent secretary said consequent upon his passionate appeal and Mr Adzaager’s letter to the governor, his position of director was restored.