By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume has dismissed as untrue, a news report that he is having a running battle with Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, saying he has no baggage to impede his chances in the race for the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC.
Akume disclosed this on Tuesday in a letter to a national daily which had alleged declared that ahead of the APC National Convention, he might “face some challenges concerning his running battle with the anti-corruption agency.”
Chairman, Senator George Akume Contact Committee, Chief Simon Shango, who signed the letter on behalf of the former Benue state governor said; “The fact of the matter remains that, Distinguished Senator George Akume has no running battle with any anti-corruption agency”.
“As you are well aware, Senator George Akume served two terms (eight years) as elected Governor of Benue State, three terms (12 years) as Senator representing Benue North-West Senatorial District, during which he served as Senate Minority Leader.
“Since the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator George Akume has been the Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, a position for which he was screened and cleared by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, before assuming office.
“Over the span of more than 23 years, Senator George Akume has never been invited for questioning by any anti-corruption agency. In any case, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows even an accused person to be presumed innocent until found guilty, how much more of Senator George Akume who has not even been accused of any offense.
“We are aware that since our Principal started the race for National Chairmanship of APC, everything has been done by his opponents to find faults with him, but to no avail. This is because it has become very clear that Senator George Akume is the candidate to beat in the race for the National Chairmanship of our great party, APC”.
Chief Shango also welcomed what he described as the growing nation-wide consensus steadily building up in favour of Sen. Akume.
“There is the endorsement of Senator George Akume by the Northern APC National Front as signed by its Convener and Spokesperson Mallam Ayuba Hassan. Other vital endorsements are by the Igbo Youth Assembly signed by its National Chairman, Mr Nwaudunna; the Igbo Youth Assembly Worldwide, signed by its National Secretary Casmir Irekanba and the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Chidi Chilo. Other endorsements came from General Lawrence Anebi Onoja (rtd) former Military Governor of Katsina and Plateau States and the Benue Amazon Prime, a women group of the All Progressives Congress in Benue State.
“We are elated and encouraged by these endorsements. We urge our party members and leaders across Nigeria to embrace the aspiration of Senator George Akume by supporting his aspiration to become the National Chairmanship of our great party, APC. It is a well known fact based on research and investigation by the Senator George”, he stated.