Benue Killings: Investigate Akume, PDP Tells DSS

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to invite the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs and former Governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume, for questioning over his alleged role in the killings in Benue.

In a statement, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PDP’s position was predicated on Akume’s recent attempt at rationalising the killings and acts of violence in Benue as well as his attack on the governor of Benue state, Mr. Samuel Ortom.

The PDP also asked the former Benue Governor to come clean in his alleged role in the violence ravaging the state.

In the same vein, the party has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately commence investigation into the alleged siphoning of billions of naira under Akume’s watch as governor, especially, given public apprehensions on the source of funds being used by terrorist elements to prosecute their assault on Benue state.

According to the PDP. “This attack on Governor Ortom is an unpardonable assault on the generality of Benue people, particularly, the victims of the bloody attacks in the state.”

The PDP described Akume’s call for a state of emergency in Benue as thoughtless, reckless and absolutely reprehensible.

The party noted that the call exposed Akume’s desperation to destabilise the state having become frustrated that despite the travails they face, the people of Benue had remained united and refused to break their ranks under Governor Ortom.

The PDP added: “Such sinister call can only come from an individual who is desperate to perpetuate and draw political capital from the bloodletting in the state, as a means to further subjugate and erode the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the Benue people.”

The PDP urged Nigerians to note that despite the killings, bloodletting and wanton destruction of property, in which eminent citizens of the state have lost their lives, Akume has never condemned the killings or sought any form of redress or succour for the people.

“Instead, he is seeking ways to further subjugate the people and foist a siege mentality on them with his call for a state of emergency, at the time other leaders in the state and across Nigerians are seeking for solutions,” it added.

By his action, the PDP stated, “Senator Akume has spat on the graves of the victims of the killings as well as dealt a huge slap on the sensibilities of the Benue people and history will always remember him on this score.

“Our party, standing with the people of Benue State, demands that Senator Akume should be made to come clean as his schemes have been further validated by his unwarranted vicious attack on Governor Ortom.

“If Akume meant well for Benue state, he would have been on the side of Governor Ortom and the people of the state in asking President Muhammadu Buhari to address the pall of insecurity and put an end to the killings and acts of violence instead of seeking to further trample on the rights of the people”, the PDP stated.

The party also charged Ortom not to be deterred, but to remain focused in standing for his people at this critical time.

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