The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, (SOKAPU) has said that Buhari’s Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume want to pull down Governor Samuel Ortom and the entire people of Benue State who have for the past six years been under severe attacks by herdsmen militia groups.
According to SOKAPU, the recent comment of Akume on happenings in Benue State depicted he is against the people of the state, acting like someone who is under a spell or influence of some illicit substances.
Recall that Akume, former governor of Benue State, alongside other members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) from the state had on Monday called for a state of emergency in Benue following Governor Samuel Ortom’s consistent outcry of killings in the state.
Also, during the press conference in Abuja, Senator Akume urged Governor Ortom to apologize to President Muhammadu Buhari for criticising him over his inability to tackle the security crisis in Benue and other parts of the country.
But while reacting to Akume’s comment in a statement issued on Thursday, SOKAPU President, Hon Jonathan Asake said: “the former governor could not hide his desperation in pulling down Governor Samuel Ortom and indeed the entire people of Benue State who have for the past six years been under severe attacks by Fulani herdsmen militia.
According to the group instead of the Minister to use his good office and closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari to tell Mr President the naked truth about the atrocities being perpetrated by invading Fulani herdsmen militia against the Benue people, Akume rather chose to play the role of an errand boy desperate to change the narrative and misinform or mislead the Nigerian people on the true situation.
“Nothing can be more unfortunate and pathetic than a situation where a man who is looked up to by the Benue people as a father and patriot has chosen to stoop so low as to play the role of a man in defence and promotion of a well-orchestrated agenda of Fulanisation which will ultimately consume everybody, including himself, if not checkmated.
“One may ask: why is SOKAPU interested in what is happening in Benue State? For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to stress here that we are interested in what is happening not only in Benue but also in Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa and, indeed, all other states of the Middle Belt, South-South, South-East, South-West, North-West and the North-East where these mindless Fulani militia has visited its terror on peaceful and defenceless communities leaving in its trail blood and devastation.
“Considering the fact that Southern Kaduna is one of the areas that has suffered the worst of these atrocious attacks by these terrorist, it beats our imagination that a man like Sen Akume who should, not only be heard but be seen supporting Governor Ortom in his unrelenting and resilient fight against the agenda of supplanting indigenous communities by sponsors of these terror attacks is regrettably not only keeping quiet, but also being used to attack his brother,” Asake said, explaining that it is strange that Sen Akume in his press conference was more interested in defending his pay masters rather than speaking out in defence of the Benue people who are being terrorised, supplanted and their ancestral lands being taken over by the Fulani herdsmen invaders.
“It is a typical situation also being faced by the Southern Kaduna people. So, we feel the pain,” Asake said adding that the unfortunate call by the former governor on federal authorities to comb and retrieve dane guns, bows and arrows, kitchen knives, etc, with which the local communities have often used to defend themselves against the attackers shows directly that Sen Akume supports the genocide and ethnic cleansing being perpetrated against the Benue people and other ethnic nationalities across the Middle Belt and elsewhere in the country.
“We, the people of Southern Kaduna, being one of the main victims of these terror attacks, vehemently reject and oppose Sen Akume’s position and we hereby declare our solidarity and confidence in Governor Ortom who has taken a decisive stand for his people and the rest of humanity.
“Another issue raised by Akume is that Governor Ortom uses provocative language to insult his slave master but did not realise how he threw away decorum and insulted his own governor for committing no offence, other than standing firm in defence of the Benue people.
“It is laughable that Akume would accuse Governor Ortom of establishing Forest Guards as duly provided by a law enacted by the Benue House of Assembly, but chose to ignore the presence of Hisbah in Kano state, for instance, which enforces Sharia practices in line with the wishes of the people of the state. What a double standard of a leader!
“SOKAPU wishes to note here that if every governor remains resolutely committed in providing security and wellbeing of their citizens as Governor Ortom and a few other governors are doing, the present security challenges would have been a thing of the past.
SOKAPU advised President Buhari to heed to the voice of reason by Governor Ortom and other governors that have raised concerns on the present dangers facing the Nigerian state occasioned by the atrocious activities of these Fulani herdsmen invaders.
“The President can redeem his good name by supporting and partnering with state governors and other leaders who have seen existential threats posed by these attackers in order to stave off the imminent disintegration of the country under his watch, ” the statement added.