DAILY FILE – Benue State governor,Samuel Ortom, has on Tuesday declared his ex- godfather, Senator George Akume will soon be invited to give his stewardship between 1999 and 2007 when he governed the state.
In a statement by governor Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary,Terver Akase, declared:”While the Governor does not intend to join issues with Senator Akume, it is pertinent to state that at the appropriate time, the former Benue State Governor will be invited to give account of his stewardship between 1999 and 2007″
The statement reads:”We read a statement by the media aide to the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, in which the said aide sought to drag Governor Samuel Ortom into his combative response to the Benue State Caucus in the National Assembly who recently condemned the Minister’s verbal assault on the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Professor James Ayatse”
“The media aide went on to blame Governor Ortom for the barrage of condemnations trailing his principal’s insults on the Tiv paramount ruler who doubles as Chairman, Benue State Council of Chiefs. He
suggested that Governor Ortom should have been invited by the Tiv Area Traditional Council to give explanations on his performance, issues of salaries and pensions as well as the construction of a new palace for Tor Tiv.
We state that Governor Ortom did not advise Senator Akume to insult the Tor Tiv. It therefore amounts to misplaced aggression for Senator Akume’s media aide to blame the Governor over the negative reactions from Benue people regarding his derogatory comments against the Tor Tiv.
The Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs Minister ought to face the consequences of his public conduct and spare Governor Ortom of any blame. As a prominent son of Benue who has occupied top positions including that of Governor, Senator Akume didn’t need anyone to counsel him on the etiquettes of showing respect for the royal fathers.
Akume is visibly angry with every Benue person since he lost the 2019 senatorial election and has raised a red flag against his imaginary adversaries. The Minister goes berserk at any public function to rain insults on political opponents in a manner not befitting a man of his standing. He has on several occasions called Governor Ortom unprintable names but the Governor has chosen not to join the Minister to dance naked. Akume’s recent attack on the Tor Tiv which has justifiably drawn the ire of the people only took his plane of insults to a higher altitude.
The Minister is expected to be busy with his new role and do less of the blame game. It was an insult on members of the Benue State Caucus in National Assembly which comprises a former Governor, former Minister and reputed legislators when Akume insinuated that the lawmakers were sponsored by the Governor to condemn his uncomplimentary statements on the Chairman, Benue State Council of Chiefs.
In his eight years as Governor, Akume did not think of constructing a befitting palace for the Tor Tiv. He therefore lacks the moral right to criticize Governor Ortom on the issue. Construction of a state-of-the-art palace is almost completed in Gboko under Governor Ortom. When completed, the Tor Tiv palace will be among the best royal palaces in the country. Days before the installation of Tor Tiv, the Ortom administration reconstructed the government guest house in Gboko to match the status of the King.
“When the present administration had challenges of salary payment in 2017, Senator Akume used almost every public gathering to explain to Benue people the economic realities which made regular payment of salaries difficult. It is therefore contradictory that the same man would turn round today to criticize the Governor on the issue of arrears of salaries and pensions.
Since January 2018, salary payment has been regular in Benue State and the Governor has assured workers that payment of their wages will remain a priority of his administration and the arrears of their entitlements will also be paid.
“We advise Senator Akume to respond to Benue people who have taken exception to his verbal attack on the Tor Tiv and are demanding that he tenders a public apology to the paramount ruler.
We join the people in condemning the Minister’s disdainful comments against the Tor Tiv and equally ask him to apologize to the King.
Akume has vowed to make Benue State ungovernable and has recruited foot soldiers to help him accomplish the “mission”. Governor Ortom will not be distracted by antics of the Minister and his band of supporters” Ortom said.
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