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Akume, Benue differ on storming of Makurdi streets


[File] President Muhammadu Buhari (left); Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; erstwhile state Governor, George Akume and former Katsina Military Governor, Brig,-Gen. Lawrence Onoja during the president’s visit to Benue State…March 12, 2018  <br />

The senator representing Benue North West in the National Assembly, George Akume, yesterday stormed the streets of Makurdi to protest his defeat by the member of Buruku federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev.

The former two-term governor and three-time senator since 2007 was beaten by Jev of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 157,726 votes against his 115,422 tally on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A day after the announcement, he reportedly mobilised his supporters to forcefully access the
Government House before being repelled by security men. It was also said his sympathisers went about tearing posters of the opposition party.


But one of Akume’s aides, who craved anonymity, said his principal was only celebrating President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the polls.

He denied the allegation that the supporters were tearing posters in the city.

In a swift move, the state government directed security agents to rein in the erstwhile governor and his apologists.

In a statement, the media adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom, Tahav Agerzua, alleged that Akume instigated supporters in his hometown of Wannune to block the road and harass passers-by and PDP members in the locality.

He said: “What one expected from Akume for the patronage from the public is to show gratitude to the people of the state in general and zone ‘B’ in particular for elevating him to various leadership positions, including governor and senator.

“However, in his usual pride and megalomania that led to his fall, Akume has chosen to deprecate the democratic process of which he has been a major beneficiary for 20 long years.”

The aide claimed that the government was in possession of intelligence reports indicating that the defeated lawmaker and his followers had concluded plans to recruit militias for the prosecution of the remaining elections in the state.

He warned that such act would not be tolerated, as the conventional security apparatus would be deployed to contain the challenge.

Also yesterday, one-time Senate Minority Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, his party, APC, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) rejected the outcome of the central senatorial polls in Cross River State

In a statement by the Director for Media and Communication of Ndoma-Egba Campaign Organisation, Sunny Udeh, the immediate past chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contested the declaration of Dr. Sandy Onor of the PDP as winner of the exercise.

The campaign team argued that the results should not have been declared in view of cancellations in Etung and Obubra council areas.

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