PDP Blasts APC over Benue Volunteer Guards

George Okoh in Makurdi

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has blasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) for allegedly attacking the newly launched Benue State Community Volunteer Guard, (BSCVG).

Briefing journalists in Makurdi yesterday, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom, said the opposition party has failed in its bid to desperately de-market the state and win power in 2023.

He said as the 2023 elections draw closer, APC in Benue State has not only deployed various strategies towards enhancing their attractiveness to the electorate, and “currently, have adopted what may be termed a scorched earth strategy which is a military concept deployed in war whereby every resource available to the enemy, including the very soil on which he stands, is considered as legitimate target which must be destroyed.

“Today, APC has mobilised attacks within and outside Benue State against the recently established Ethanol Production Industry in Makurdi, and the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, which the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, unveiled recently.”

According to him, “The establishment of the Ethanol Plant established by a Chinese consortium as a direct foreign investment is a significant gain from the concerted efforts of Ortom to market the state to the international community with a view to wooing foreign investors to the state.

“The industry represents a major boost to the agriculture sector of the state which runs a predominantly agrarian economic structure, and this is evident in the impact on the production of cassava in the state as the main raw material for the industry, with the attendant multiplier effects on the economy in multiple areas of related activities.

“With the prevailing insecurity across the country and with the widely known situation of Fulani herdsmen armed attacks on Benue State in particular, it was a feat of no mean proportions that the Chinese investors were attracted to the state to cite that particular industry here, and this is a feat which must be appreciated by all who mean well for Benue as a state regardless of what their objectives might be.

“But unfortunately, that the APC has over the past few days, launched a campaign of calumny against the plant, labelling it first as a private business concern of the governor and as well as an outlet for the production and marketing of illicit gin popularity known in local parlance as ‘Ogogoro’.”

The party, which noted that the recently launched BSCVG is the last resort to self-preservation by the Benue people, since it has become clear that the regular security apparatus of the country under President Muhammadu Buhari will not be able to protect the people from wanton killings and their displacement from their lands, wondered why the APC will kick against it.

The PDP said: “This initiative has been under attack from APC since its launch, with the opposition party deriding it as more or a collection of thugs by the governor, and even alluding criminal characterisation of the outfit while at the same time calling on security agencies to put it under watch.”

He called on the APC in Benue State to desist from campaign of calumny, saying targeting to destroy everything Benue with the aim of weakening Governor Ortom and his party, PDP, from going into elections is not only unpatriotic but makes them an enemy of the state.

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