The Benue State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives has been alerted to a disturbing Press Conference held by the Minister for Special Duties, Sen. George Akume, on Monday, August 30, 2023, in Abuja.
The former Governor of Benue State, in a press conference filled with expletives and demeaning adjectives unbecoming of a person of his status, unequivocally called for an EMERGENCY RULE in Benue State, citing His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom’s perceived inability to contain the herdsmen killings in the state.
We wish to respond to the issues raised in the press conference by Sen. George Akume who has never lent his voice to the clarion call for the cessation of incessant killings in Benue, despite his assumed closeness to the president, rather chose to attack the person of the Governor, called for the disbandment of the livestock guards so as to bring further hardship on the displaced people of Benue State with over a million people in IDP camps.
It is pathetic that the person of Akume who has benefited greatly from the Benue People can call for emergency rule in Benue State and invite soldiers to further rape and maim our people.
The Governor, as far as members of this caucus are aware, has called ad infinitum, on the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to intervene and arrest the protracted bloodletting in the state, with little or in very many instances, no response from the Federal government. We will not dwell on the allegations of a lack of accountability against Gov. Ortom, on a plethora of issues, as raised by Sen. George Akume, but we leave him to the legal dictum that says: “He who claims, must prove”.
1. The Caucus is however, displeased with the improper language deployed by the Minister, in addressing His Excellency Governor Samuel Ioraer Ortom, the Defender of the Benue Valley.
2. The Caucus, calls on the Leader of the All Progressives Congress in Benue, and indeed all stakeholders behind his onslaught against the government and people of Benue State, to retract the CALL FOR EMERGENCY RULE in the state, for the interest of democracy and explore other means of resolving the nagging insecurity in the State.
3. The Caucus calls on President Muhammadu Buhari, to embrace his conscience, rise up and end the bloodletting caused by his kith and kin in Benue State, now.
4. The Caucus calls on the former Governor of our State, Dr. George Akume, to retrace his steps and employ dialogue and amity with the Governor of the State, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
5. The Caucus wishes to state clearly that, all Gov. Ortom as the Benue leader has been saying on the insecurity in Benue are the collective opinion of the Benue people and not the personal opinion of the Governor and shouldn’t be personalized.
6. The Caucus also rejects Sen. Akume’s call for the disbandment of the livestock guards in the implementation of the anti-open grazing Act.
7. The Caucus also wishes to caution the presidential spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu to stop trivializing and misconstruing Gov. Ortom’s outspokenness for an attack on the President Muhammadu Buhari. Gov. Ortom has the highest regards for the president and will not do or say anything to drag the presidency in the mud. The Gov. however, will never sacrifice the lives of his people on the altar of the presidency.
8. The Caucus also calls on the Federal Government to urgently redeem her promise of N10 billion to resettle the internally displaced persons in Benue.
9. Appeals to the former Governor and one of our leaders in Benue State, Sen. Akume, to eschew his disagreement with the incumbent Governor and embrace efforts to end attacks on innocent citizens/indigenes of our dear state.
10. The Caucus also call on all traditional, political and neutral persons, with the interest of Benue at heart, to intervene and foster unity for the common good of our entire state.
11. We also call on the Leadership of the National Assembly, to intervene and nip in the bud, the calls for the breach of the democratic structure in Benue, through the instrument of a disruptive EMERGENCY RULE.
12. As Benue PDP Caucus in the National Assembly, we hereby pass a vote of confidence on the leadership of our Governor, His excellency, Dr. Samuel I. Ortom.
Signed: Hon Samson Okwu
Obi/Oju Federal Constituency Hon. Mark T. Gbillah
GwerEast/Gwer west Federal Constituency Hon. Bob Tyough
(Kwande/Ushongo Federal Constituency) Hon. Mzondu Benjamin Bem
Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency Hon. Fracis Ottah AGbo
Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Hon. Kpam Jimin Sokpo
Bururku Federal Constituency
Hon. Richard Gbande
Katsina ala/ukum/logo Federal Constituency