From Austine Tule, Makurdi
A group known as Benue Patriotic Front ( BPF), has called on governor Samuel Ortom to show leadership by tackling headlong issues bedeviling the state most especially as they regarded to insecurity.
The group noted with dismay what it termed was a blame game playing out between the governor and the federal government insisting the Benue governor had failed to live up to his duties as an elected Chief Excecutive of the state.
Reacting to a statement credited to Ortom’s Senior Special Assistant on Social Media which alluded that the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Gorge Akume was aloof over killings by herdsmen in Benue, President of the group Dan- Morgan Ihumon, said the statement was most unfortunate .
Ihomun in a press statement made available to newsmen in Makurdi said the write up was miscellaneously concocted to poure invectives on the person of the Honourable Minister over what he said was a clear lack of direction on the part of the Benue state government towards handlings of affairs in the state
” We read a provoking and mischievously concocted write-up from a Benue state government vuvuzela named Jimin Geoffrey where he poured needless invective on the person of the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Dr George Akume.
“In the said statement, the SSA to the Benue State Governor ignorantly accused Sen. Akume of “silence of convenience “on the farmers-herders crisis in Benue, alleging further that Akume’s silence is due to the fact that he is enjoying privileges as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Jimmin should know that Sen. Akume is an illustrious son of Benue has been contributing his quota in finding a solution to these crisis, without resorting to the red microphone always. Sen. Akume doesn’t suffer from RED MICROPHONE SYNDROME. “
According to Ihomun, the former Benue state governor (Akume) is also a great son of Nigeria and must seek overall peace of the nation rather than brewing sentiments in crisis time; he is a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and should not be reduced by local champions whose stock in trade is propaganda and lies.
He wondered why Jimin would lay the blames of the worsening security situation at the doorstep of Sen. Akume as according to him, the APC leader had “chosen to back every step taken by the Presidency against his people “, as if Benue state was at war with the Presidency.
“It is therefore pertinent to ask Jimin and the Benue State Government which he represents some fundamental questions?
” When has Akume become so powerful such that a word from him could restore peace in Benue? Is this not the same man that they claimed to have retired from politics recently?. Is the retired Akume one of the security chiefs in Nigeria?
Is Akume the chief security officer of Benue state now or the governor has hinted plans to hand over to the minister?
” Did he blame any Benue son when he was facing similar security challenges in Benue as Governor without taking proactive actions”?
The group asked Why won’t the Ortom administration, like others before it equip the Benue state police command to police our communities with the humongous security votes at his disposal?
” How much is the security vote of Benue and how is the money appropriated monthly? the Akume and Suswam administrations in Benue had provided vehicles and equipment, including 6 Amoured ersonnel carrier’s (APCs) for the Benue state police command when the security challenge in the state was even better, how come we have police patrol vans standing on stones in Benue now that our security situation has worsened to an alarming rate?
” How will the police who are first responders during security breaches react swiftly when our communities are under attack, now that we hardly see functional police vans in Benue?
” Can the Ortom administration explain to Benue people how Livestock Guards are able to penetrate communities to arrest trespassing cattle from Fulani herdsmen carrying AK47, RPGs and GPMGs but cannot protect the communities they pass through to make these arrest?”
It wondered further Why the governor would not take tutorials from his neighbouring counterpart, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state who has applied wisdom and tact to bring peace in Kogi state?
According to Ihomun, it seemed the had no governor saying already, His Excellency had left the people to their fate by asking the Benue people to protect themselves against their enemies using weapons that are not prohibited by law.
Concluding the group said” It is on record that the Ortom administration has blamed the federal government, blamed President Buhari, blamed his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, blamed Senator Akume for its failures, blamed evil spirits and we know, next to be fingered for blames is God Almighty.”