Rose Ejembi, Makurdi and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Benue State Government has chided former governor of the state, Senator George Akume, for leading leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, last Friday.
In a statement titled “Senator Akume’s shameful naked dance at the Villa”, the state government said the visit was a clear indication that the changing narrative on the Benue massacre as well as conquest and occupation agenda is the fabrication of Akume, who, it said, is also its chief maker and promoter.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media and ICT) Tahav Agerzua, alleged that Akume’s pronouncements during the visit, “further reinforced the view that the senator, who leads the APC in Benue State, has become an obvious embarrasment as well as ill wind that will ultimately blow no one any good.
“Even those he seeks to impress at the expense of the people of the state will, no doubt, sooner than later, realise that he has no positive value.”
Agerzua recalled that the infamous jamboree came a day after Senator Akume’s rebuke by the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Abdullahi Danbaba, at plenary, for dereliction of duty as committee chairman.
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“That Senator Akume was not present when the massive loss of Nigerian soldiers a few days back, many of whom were Benue indigenes, including those from his constituency, to the Boko Haram terrorists, in Borno State, was being discussed, speaks volume about how he values his core mandate.
“He would rather lead a delegation of political jobbers in a groveling visit to the Villa, than concern himself with unraveling the circumstances surrounding the massacre of Nigerian troops.
“We are not surprised that his vice chairman came to the floor of the Senate to say his committee is suffering from a leadership deficit, due to the perpetual absence and lack of commitment from the chairman of the committee.”
Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has congratulated Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on his 72nd birthday, describing him as a charismatic, humble and experienced leader, who is committed to a greater Nigeria.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor said Atiku’s philanthropic and humane credentials stand him out as a man who believes in the development of fellow human beings.
He said: “The emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate of PDP and the nationwide enthusiasm Nigerians have shown in his candidacy confirms that the former vice president is, indeed, the preferred choice of the people in 2019.”
The governor expressed confidence in the ability of Atiku to tackle the myriad of problems facing the country, particularly in security and the economy.
In a related development, a group of northern youths, under the umbrella of Confidence Christian Youth of Northern Nigeria, have endorsed the candidature of Atiku.
The group described Atiku as a nationalist, whose popularity cuts across tribe and religion, adding that such personality will not leave the people in poverty and penury.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari’s fate was critically discussed by the concerned youths, who gave him (Buhari) red card during their end of year annual congress, held in Kaduna, at the weekend.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the group’s Coordinators of Northwest, Bala Isiyaku and North central, Adah Godwin, respectively.
The youths, who expressed disappointment with the APC government, under the leadership of President Buhari, said there was no basis for comparison with the immediate past administration, led by former President Goodluck Jonathan in all ramifications.
They recalled that prior to 2015 general elections, “APC had accused Jonathan government of corruption” with negative effects on the wellbeing of Nigerians and pledged to eradicate it.
“Even when there was corruption, there was food on our table. Little did we know that the worse was on the way when we voted for APC, a party that has subjected every home to hunger arising from abject poverty occasioned by unemployment, contrary to their promise.