Leaders of the Benue North-East senatorial district under the aegis of Zone A People’s Assembly, ZAPA, have accused the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume of fanning the embers of crisis and disunity in Benue state.
Addressing the media yesterday in Makurdi, President General of ZAPA, Fannen Mondo, flanked by the General Secretary, Sir. Joseph Ornguga and Legal Adviser, Terseer Anongo also accused the former governor of deliberately undermining political leaders from the senatorial zone for personal gains.
He said, “we are talking about the continuous conspiracy by Senator George Akume to pull down all aspiring leaders from the part of the state in question.
“It is rather disheartening to now find out how the former Governor has hatched a systematic plot against our part of the state and has been carefully executing same for quite some time now destroying and pulling down emerging leaders from the area.
The above assertions confidently stated are certainly not assumptions or speculations. Some leaked telephone conversations, especially the one Senator Akume had with Alhaji Usman Abubakar (aka Young Alhaji) in 2014 and the recently circulated one he had with Governor Samuel Ortom.
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“We at ZAPA have carefully reviewed and analyzed the two conversations, and it is very clear that Sen. George Akume has taken it as his pastime to ensure nobody from that part of the state progresses to a reasonable status or is counted amongst critical leaders both in the state and at the central government.
“In the latest leaked audio conversation with Governor Ortom, the Minister went berserk, threatened and in unprintable words, rained abuses on our illustrious sons including our revered Begha U Tiv, Orcivirigh Prof. James Ayatse and the leader of our zone, Sen. Gabriel Suswam.
“In the same telephone conversation, the Minister clearly depicted in his voice sadness and frustration that Governor Ortom and Senator Suswam are working together.
He desperately tried bypassing inciting messages he said he received from Senator Gabriel Suswam. The intention was very clear to any discerning mind that he wanted to ignite another wave of a dirty fight between the duo,” he added.
But in a swift reaction, the Media Adviser to Senator Akume, Dr. Aondona Mkor denied the allegations against the Minister saying “I want to say that the Minister in his capacity as a leader cannot and has never at any time attempted to bring down anybody.
“The Minister speaks wisdom, he has not at any point made any 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 wants 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 speaks on the strength of what he knows and on the conviction of what he has actually experienced and witnessed.
“He is entitled to such views. He did not make any uncharitable comments about anybody. Maybe some persons may not be down with his comments but the truth is that he has not said anything that is unrealistic,” the Adviser said.