Akume’s corruption allegations against Ortom laughable, says group
The people of Tarka, Gboko, and Buruku local councils of Benue State under the aegis of Jemgbagh Unity Forum, yesterday, described the corruption allegations levelled against the Governor Samuel Ortom administration by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume as “most unfortunate and laughable.”
Addressing a press conference in Makurdi, yesterday, the group, led by Chief Yandev Amaa-Bai, also frowned at Akume’s allegation that the governor was stockpiling arms to kill his political opponents in the state.
Amaa-Bai asked: “When did Akume realise that Ortom and his government are corrupt? Is it before the governor left the All Progressives Congress (APC) or after he left the party? We the members of the forum have no issue over the invitation for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to probe Ortom’s administration.
“But we only wish to remind Akume that when you point one accusing finger at someone, four fingers are pointing at you. Already, some commentators are requesting that the probe should start from 1999 to 2021; and also the N2 billion take-off grant released for the Federal Polytechnic, Wannune. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.”
While expressing shock over Akume’s allegation that Ortom had created a personal army and stockpiled arms which he (Ortom) was used to harass and kill his opponents, the group said the governor was only using his constitutional powers to create additional security outfits to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Police as many other governors were doing.
“That is why you have AMOTEKUN in the South West, Vigilante Group in the North, among others. So, Benue’s case cannot be an exception,” he added.
He warned Akume that his recent remarks against the governor portrayed Jemgbagh people as traitors and those who hate the progress of others.
He further pointed out that Akume, who now mounts a moral podium to advise Ortom on the need to respect President Muhammadu Buhari on account of age, did not do the same during his era as governor, adding that he took then President Olusegun Obasanjo to the cleaners over some issues despite Obasanjo being far older than him.
“The maltreatment Akume meted out to his in-law and erstwhile political benefactor, Senator Barnabas Gemade, and some of his uncles in his native home of Tarka local council cannot be forgotten in a hurry. He sponsored media campaigns against Gabriel Suswam and moved to deny him a second term,” the group added.