…both parties disagree on audit query against Akume’s administration
By Peter Duru
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue state have been locked in bitter war of words over the recent happenings in the state and the audit query raised against the then governor George Akume administration in the state.
The APC State Chairman-elect, Comrade Austine Agada had Wednesday at a media briefing in Makurdi lampooned the state government for misrule and for taking steps to act on an audit report that called on anti-graft agencies to investigate the then Governor George Akume administration for series of alleged impropriety describing it as a witch-hunt.
“Let it be known to all APC faithful and the whole world that the fraud allegation currently leveled against Senator Akume by Governor Samuel Ortom and his government is clearly an act of political witch-hunt,” he said.
But in a swift reaction, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom described Comrade Agada as a political neophyte saying “he raised a number of complaints against Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration, chiefly among which is the issue of the audit report which recently unearthed cases of gross financial offences against George Akume during his tenure as Governor of Benue State from 1999 to 2007.
“It is the position of Benue PDP that Akume should do the honourable needful by availing himself to answer to those cases of financial crimes so unearthed against him by the audit rather than resorting to sponsoring press conferences by a neophyte whose status is still unclear even within his party, the APC.
“Crying wolf about the audit report being a witch-hunt is totally immaterial as the due process of law requires him to prove his innocence before a competent authority when called upon to do so.
“Perhaps, Agada may need to be as well enlightened to the elementary fact that there is no legacy anywhere in Benue today as stands to the name of the Akume era worth mentioning: He may go ahead and point to just single kilometer of road built by his leader while he was governor anywhere in the state.
“If today the audits have found it needful to call that era to account, it is for the reason that such colossal waste of public resources as took place under it must of necessity be addressed and this is a fact which cannot be vitiated by tagging it a witch-hunt.
“The fact that Akume is nursing ambition to run for any office anywhere in the world does not confer on him immunity from accounting for his stewardship at previous offices he held or the one he is presently occupying.”