By George Okoh
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume, has stated that his press briefing last week was to call out the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to provide answers to disturbing issues affecting the state and not to demonise anybody.
He also called on people of the state to have faith in the All Progressives Congress (APC) towards the 2023 election.
The minister stated these yesterday at a mega rally in Makurdi, the state capital, to brief APC party faithful on the party’s affairs.
The former governor, who is also contesting for the position of the national chairman of the party, said: “If we ask the government to pay salary of workers, which is their right, are we making a mistake? If we ask our poor parents, who have toiled and sweated to train us, to be paid their pension, are we making a mistake? Is that too much to ask? Gratuities are pending and have continued to be pending.
‘So, we just invited the government to act on that. Instead of answering the queries raised, it rather generated a lot of insults in press conferences.
“Insulting is that is not the answer to questions we raised. I have never called myself an angel, and I am not one. But in this world, demons become saints and saints are demonised. Such is life!”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had frowned at Akume entering Makurdi yesterday, being escorted by heavy security detail backed by military armour.
The party said the action of the minister is not only shameful and insensitive, but raises a lot of questions.
The PDP state Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, described as insensitive the action by Akume to have rolled into Makurdi chaperoned by military armour.
According to him, “What was the need for such heavy security cover to escort Akume to Benue State where he is supposed to be at home having served previously for two terms as governor and three terms as a senator?
“Was this his manner of coming to the state designed to give fillip to his calls for declaration of a state of emergency in the state on account of insecurity?
“Or was this martial mode of entry into Makurdi a reflection of the state of fear the Buhari minister has foisted upon himself by his stand against the people of the state in defence of his paymaster in Abuja, who has failed on the constitutional duty to defend lives and property in the state?
“Moreover, did the Buhari minister spare even a moment to stop by at just one of the numerous camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) found on the road from Abuja to Benue State, which he travelled on?
“How much more could Akume be shameless in pursuit of his personal cum pecuniary interests in shocking negation of the plight of his people, the very ones who through sweat, tears and blood vaunted him to the privileged position he occupies today?”
Iortyom stated that Benue PDP condemn as utterly insensitive the action by Akume in Makurdi chaperoned by military armour, travelling across swathes of Benue land laid waste from herdsmen terror.