…Media aide denies the allegation
A group operating under the aegis of Zone A Peoples Assembly, ZAPA, has accused the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, of consistently pulling down leaders in Benue State.
“Akume is discovered to have taken it upon himself to consistently malign, undermine and pull down sons and daughters of Benue North-East called Zone ‘A’ who have worked so hard to meritoriously earn certain heights in the society,” ZAPA said.
But the media consultant to the minister, Dr. Aondona Mkor, during a telephone chat yesterday, said that his principal in his capacity as a leader cannot and has never at any time attempted to bring down anybody.
However, Fannen Mondo, Joseph Ornguga, and Terseer Anongo, president-general, general secretary and legal adviser of ZAPA respectively, at a media briefing in Makurdi yesterday, sited the ouster of former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade, who was Akume’s benefactor but was removed immediately Akume assumed office as governor in 1999.
“Akume used taxpayers money and sponsored the removal and humiliation of Gemade as national chairman of the then ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). As a sitting Governor with state resources, he also made sure Gemade was replaced by Chief Audu Ogbeh from Zone C.
“…no sooner was he sworn in as Governor in 1999 that Akume carefully hatched and started executing plans to pull down and whittle the growing political profile of his benefactor, the man who, safe for notable contributions from very few stakeholders at the time, almost singlehandedly made him Governor.
“It was the same Akume who, while presiding over the affairs of the state as Governor, conspired with his ruling sect made up of his brothers to smear, sponsored and cause the removal of Prof. Terna Yawe, a Zone ‘A’ son of Jerchira extraction as Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi.
“Yawe’s was crucified for allegedly employing 47 persons at the federal government facility. Akume and his conspirators were particularly angered that of those employed by Yawe, 70% were from Zone ‘’A’’. He was removed and a Yoruba lady was appointed in his place.
“We also vividly recalled how in a very deep conspiracy with his cabal, Akume wittingly declined to protect but rather in connivance with his then godfather worked purposely to ensure both Abraham Akpesue and Prof. Tseaa Shambe all from Zone ‘A’ and Jerchira were both removed as Comptroller General of Prisons and Director General, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) respectively.
“As usual, these two positions were no longer given to Tiv people, and to worsen it, persons from other parts of the country were appointed to replace our own.
“Akume’s use of state powers and resources to permanently undercut, slur, and stampede illustrious sons of the zone further took a ridiculous dimension when he directed the renaming of Abubakar Tsav Road after former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie.
“Coomassie’s qualifying feature for a street to be named after him in Makurdi, the state capital was that the late Tsav, who retired as Commissioner of Police and returned to Benue state was believed to be an arch-enemy of the former IG. Tsav’s house is also located on that same street.
ZAPA also lamented the derogatory language and invectives hauled at the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, and Senator Gabriel Suswam by Akume, in leaked audio between him and Governor Samuel Ortom and urged him to desist from acting God forthwith.
“Zone ‘A’ Peoples’ Assembly hereby send this as a warning that anytime Sir George Akume is suffering from diarrhea of the mouth, he should direct his diatribes elsewhere. Any insult directed at anyone from our zone will be responded to by him in the same vulgar language and tone used.
“Nobody has a monopoly of rascality if Akume purchased his vulgar language from a supermarket; we have ours from the Shoprite. We are equal to the task. A word is enough.
But Dr. Mkor insisted that his principal has nothing to do with the allegations leveled against him.
“The minister speaks wisdom, he has not at any point made by the statement that is injurious to anybody. He speaks in the strength of wisdom and on the strength of what he knows. And if at anytime anybody what’s to politicize the Minister’s remarks about what he feels about Benue politics, then it is mischievous.
“The minister has not said anything that is inimical to anybody. He feels and believes in the fact that he is a builder and developer of humans. He speaks on the strength of what he knows and speaks on the conviction of what he has actually experienced and witnessed.
“To the best of his abilities he has been able to put in office successive governors in the office including Suswam and Ortom at very critical times in the political history of Benue state and at no time has he made any attempt to bring down those people.
“If at any time the minister expresses his views, he is entitled to such views on why the right things should be done.
“The telephone conversation between the Governor and the Minister was a private conversation and it was an infringement on anybody’s right if it was leaked. And if at any point the minister expressed his views, he is entitled to his views which is that the right thing should be done.
“He did not make any uncharitable comment about anybody. Maybe some persons may not be down with his comments
“The truth of the matter is that he has not said anything that is unrealistic,” Mkor said.
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