Iyorchia AyuFormer Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, and some other prominent indigenes have chided Senator George Akume over his recent comment on the mass killings in Benue State.
Akume, representing Benue North West and Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, came under attack over a statement credited to him during his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari alleging that the Benue State government and not armed Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the mass killings.
The former senate president described Akume’s statement as unfortunate, irresponsible and embarrassing to the state, considering the position he occupies in the society.
Ayu, who spoke yesterday at a reception organized by Jima Ya community of Ipav in honour of the Executive Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Mr. Terzungwe Atser at Akaajime in Gboko, expressed regret that Akume as the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Army has failed woefully to prevail on the Federal Government to end the killing of hundreds of innocent people in the state, and only turned to make such a spurious allegation.
“For me, I would continue to support Governor Samuel Ortom who has courageously stood firm in defence of human lives and property of the people of Benue State.
“It is high time the people of Benue speak with one voice against those who want to cause disaffection between them and the government of Ortom,” Ayu stated.
Also, the Secretary to the Benue State Government, Prof. Anthony Ijohor, (SAN), expressed disgust at Akume’s utterances and urged the people to be vigilant to resist, at any level, the senator’s antics which, he said, had characterised his recent public outings both in the state and at the national level.
“It is unthinkable for a man like Akume who is from Benue to go public to allege that the Benue State government is responsible for the killing of its people. The implication of his unfortunate outing in Abuja is that we have a big problem on our hands. They are now changing the narrative to blame the victim,” Ijohor lamented.
The Special Adviser to Governor Ortom on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, described Akume’s visit to Buhari last Friday as an obvious show of embarrassment and an ill wind that would ultimately blow no one any good.
Agerzua said Akume’s desire to impress the Federal Government at the expense of the people of the state would soon expose him as someone that has no positive value. He noted that the infamous jamboree of the senator came a day after he (Akume) was allegedly rebuked by the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Abdullahi Danbaba, at the plenary, for dereliction of duty as committee chairman.
“That Akume was not even present at the Senate when the massive loss of Nigerian soldiers, including many Benue indigenes, to Boko Haram in Borno State a few days back, was being discussed was unfortunate. Rather, he led a delegation of political jobbers in a groveling visit to the Villa and not concern himself with unraveling the circumstances surrounding the massacre of the Nigerian troops.
“We are not surprised that his vice chairman came to the floor of the Senate to say his committee was suffering from a leadership deficit due to the perpetual absence and lack of commitment from the chairman of the committee, Akume.
“It is now apparent that the changing narrative on the Benue massacre as well as conquest and occupation agenda is the fabrication of Akume who is also its chief marker and promoter,” Agerzua insisted.
Another illustrious son of the state, Dr. Philip Tachin, urged the people to stand firm in support of Governor Ortom’s re-election, describing Akume’s comments in Abuja as shameful.