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Benue PDP hits Akume for visiting state with ‘heavy security’

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state has slammed minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs, George Akume for visiting the state with heavy security detail backed by military armour.

The publicity secretary of the opposition party in Benue state, Bemgba Iortyom described the action as “insensitive and shameful”.

This was contained in a statement released on Tuesday and made available to newsmen by the opposition party.

According to the party, the minister visited the state on Monday under “heavy security cover” to “give a fillip to his calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state on account of insecurity”.

The party said Akume’s “reprehensible conduct amount to dancing on the graves of victims of herdsmen atrocities in Benue”.

“Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State frown at the entry into Makurdi yesterday by Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume, escorted by heavy security detail backed by military armour,” the statement reads.

“The action of the Minister is not only shameful and insensitive but raises a number of questions which include the following;

“What was the need for such heavy security cover escorting Akume into Benue where he is supposed to be at home having served previously for two terms as governor and three terms as Senator?

“Was this his manner of coming to Benue designed to give a fillip to his calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state on account of insecurity?

“Or was this martial mode of entry into Makurdi a reflection of the state of fear the Buhari Minister has foisted upon himself by his stand against the people of Benue in defence of his paymaster in Abuja who has failed on the constitutional duty to defend Benue lives and properties?

“Moreover, did the Buhari Minister spare even a moment to stop by at just one of the numerous camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to be found along the road from Abuja to Benue, which he travelled on?

“How much more could Akume be shameless in pursuit of his personal cum pecuniary interests in the shocking negation of the plight of his people, the very ones who through sweat, tears and blood vaunted him to the privileged position he occupies today?

“Benue PDP condemn as utterly insensitive the action by Akume to have rolled into Makurdi chaperoned by military armour, travelling across swathes of Benue land laid waste from herdsmen terror, as this reprehensible conduct amount to dancing on the graves of victims of herdsmen atrocities in Benue.”

Of late, Akume has been at loggerheads with Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue.

Their rift began when the governor accused President Muhammadu Buhari of trying to “Fulanise” the country while reacting to the president’s approval of the recommendations of a committee to review 368 grazing reserves in 25 states.

The minister subsequently described Ortom’s comments as “unwarranted and ill-motivated”

Ortom responded by suing the minister for libel, demanding N60 billion in damages.

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