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September 3, 2021

Call for emergency rule condemnable, unacceptable, Akume’s kinsmen tackle Minister

Akume

Akume

By Peter Duru – Makurdi

Kinsmen of the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, also known as the Jemgbah Unity Forum, JUF, have declared as condemnable and unacceptable the content of last Monday’s media conference addressed by the Minister and Benue All Progressives Congress, APC, stakeholders in Abuja.

The Minister had at the said media outing accused Governor Samuel Ortom among others of keeping a militia, being disrespectful to President Muhammadu Buhari, diverting public funds, encourage stockpile of weapons and asked for emergency rule in Benue state.

Piqued by the outing of the Minister, the elders and leaders of JUF Friday in a press conference in Makurdi expressed their dismay and disappointment saying that the media outing was full of malice and vilification of Governor Ortom and the people of the state.

According to the leader and spokesman of JUF, Yandev Amabai “We found the outing of the Minister condemnable and unacceptable. Jemgbagh people are not known for such despicable acts. Akume’s has put the entire Jemgbagh in disrepute and we won’t tolerate it anymore. Since his infamous press conference, any Jemgbagh person seen in any part of the country is considered a traitor and one who hates the progress of others.

“Akume’s claimed that Ortom never respects Buhari who is older than the Governor, alluding that the Governor has been insulting Mr. President. However, it is curious that the Prosecutor – in – Chief, Senator Akume failed to point out the insults. He who alleges is expected to prove.

“Two pertinent questions beg for answers here are when has calling on the President to uphold his oath of office of protecting lives and property become a sign of disrespect? And when has speaking out against well coordinated genocidal attacks of one’s people become insults?

“We also remember that in 2017 when President Muhammadu Buhari was hospitalised in London over an undisclosed ailment and was at a point rumoured to be dead, the Benue State Government in conjunction with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) organised prayer and fasting for the survival of the President. Does that sound like someone who has no regards for Mr. President?

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“For the avoidance of doubt, President Buhari as the Commander – in – Chief constitutionally controls all the State coercive forces and superintends over the whole nation. The buck of providing security stops at his table.

“Akume’s allegation of corruption against Governor Ortom is most unfortunate and laughable. If we may ask. When did Akume realise that Ortom and his government are corrupt? Is it before the governor left APC or after he left the party?

“We the members of Jemgbagh Unity Forum have no issue over the invitation to EFCC and ICPC to probe Ortom administration. But we only wish to remind Senator Akume that when you point one accusing finger at someone, four fingers are pointing at you. Already, some commentators are requesting that the probe should cover the periods 1999 to 2021. Not also to forget the N2 billion take off grant released for the Federal Polytechnic Wannune. ‘He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.’

The elders also pointed out that Senator Akume had from the onset supported the making of the Benue grazing law which is being replicated in other states and was present on the day of the signing of the bill into law saying it was the height of betrayal to deny knowledge of the law.

While countering the Minister’s claim of arms stockpile and the people encouraging killings in the state the elders said, “We hope the Minister has not forgotten the unprecedented killings and destruction that took place in Tarka, his local government, Kwande, Gboko and other areas in the Tiv land during his tenure as governor. Was Ortom responsible for all those evil visitations on our lands at that time?

“Of all the pictures painted above, our knowledge of the person of Senator Akume detects that we be less bothered about him but his call for a State of Emergency in Benue State is our concern.

“Here is a man who has been shown much love by Benue people in the past but now wants to demolish democracy in his state. Is it because Akume was overwhelmedly rejected at the polls for his 4th term bid to the Senate that he resorted to a call for a State of Emergency which is a call for anarchy?

“Our advice to Akume, a former Governor, former Senator and now a serving Minister is that he is expected to be more mature in his approach to state and national Issues. Other states that have worse security situations than Benue have Ministers who are rather cooperating with their state governors to find enduring solutions.

“We call on Akume to use his office and his close relationship with Mr. President to let him know the true position of things in Benue. That the Fulani herdsmen have displaced our people from their God – given lands and over 1.5 million of his kins and kith are currently living in terrible conditions in IDP camps.”

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