By George Okoh in Makurdi
The friction between the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and Senator George Akume, has continued unabated as the governor has accused Akume of plotting to destabilise the state.
Ortom alleged in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, that there were intelligence reports that Akume held a meeting in China where plans were perfected to make Benue State ungovernable.
“We also have intelligence reports that meetings were held recently in China where plans were perfected to make Benue State ungovernable.
“As a government we are also prepared to tackle all threats to peace within the ambit of the law. The so-called world press conference addressed by Senator Akume and his co-travellers to political retirement in Abuja yesterday, is yet another futile attempt to resurrect a diminished platform which has lost touch with the people,” the statement said.
The statement added that since Governor Ortom and other patriots in Benue State took the wise decision to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Akume and his small band have found it difficult to recover from this political uppercut which left their floundering and sinking party in total confusion.
“They have consequently resorted to Ortom bashing as a favorite pastime and lamentation as if that will bring their discredited party back to life,” the party added.
“We understand that the mass movement of Benue’s most potent politicians into the PDP will naturally cause sleepless nights, especially to individuals and groups who have held down the state in a suffocating manner since 1999. Their reactions are therefore expected just like a dying horse is expected to kick the hardest at the point of its death”
The statement accused Akume of making grievous, unsubstantiated and indeed seditious allegations against the person and administration of Governor Ortom.
They mentioned issues like “Governor Ortom recruiting and arming militia in order to cause mayhem in 2019”.
“Even if Senator Akume was inebriated in consonance this particular allegation defies logic especially against the background of Governor Ortom’s internationally acclaimed decision to mop up small arms in the state through a well articulated Amnesty Programme. If the Governor had the intention of arming citizens, the cruel invasion and wanton killings by armed Fulani militia provided an ample opportunity to do so. He has on the contrary resisted the temptation to do so and turn the state into a theatre of bloodbath. If the governor disarmed hoodlums in the face of concerted attacks against his people, why does he need to re-arm them for an election he is confident of winning? In 2015, Governor Ortom won election popularly and overwhelmingly without the aid of any militia and there is no need whatsoever for him to resort to any illegal means to win reelection in 2019,” the statement explained.