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Published On: Mon, Sep 17th, 2018

2019: Ortom recruiting, arming militia in Benue, Akume alleges

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From Uche Nnorom Makurdi

Former Governor of Benue State and a serving senator, George Akume has accused Governor Samuel Ortom of aggravating the security situation in the State.
“Governor Ortom apart from recruiting and arming militia in order to cause mayhem in the 2019 elections has continued to use Livestock Guards and Vigilante Group to harass and intimidate All Progressives Congress, APC supporters across the State, particularly those who have refused to defect with him to Peoples Democratic Party,PDP.
“Nigerians may wish to recall that in January 2018, soldiers of the 93 Battalion in Takum Area of Taraba State arrested nine members of the Benue Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) which was later renamed Livestock Guards with AK-47 riffles. The arrested members are still with the security agencies”, Senator Akume revealed at a press conference in Abuja last weekend.
He further accused the Governor of putting pressure on the Police authorities in Abuja to post a notorious Police officer who had worked in Benue Police Command and who was indicted and transferred to Imo back to Benue as his Chief Security Officer.
“The whole idea is for the CSO to recruit and train “bad boys” against 2019. Many of the area boys who had vanished when the Governor was in the APC have surfaced now that he has gone back to his vomit, the PDP,” Akume further alleged.
On the situation in the Benue State House Assembly, he said the Governor instigated and orchestrated the unlawful removal from office of the House leadership led by Rt. Hon. Terkimbi Kyange.
He argued that the House had adjourned on July 10 2018 and was still on recess on 24th July when the Governor illegally caused an emergency sitting of the House to effect a change of leadership.
He argued that according to the standing rules of the House, it could only reconvene in case an urgent matter of national importance came up and even then it is only if the Speaker or Deputy Speaker acting on the instructions of the Speaker the House gave an order for the reopening.
Senator Akume said despite an order of a Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche, restraining the purported new leadership of the House led by Hon Titus Uba from carrying out any legislative business pending the determination of a motion brought before the court by Hon Terkimbi Kyenge, Governor Ortom has continued to violate the directive by patronizing the Hon Titus Uba led faction of the House.
“They sit in Government House and carry out legislative business in Government House, Makurdi”, he stated.
He further accused the governor of a plot to dissolve the democratically elected local government councils in the State.
According to him, 13 out of the 23 local government chairmen elected on the ticket of the APC have been coerced into following him into PDP.
Those who have refused joining him in the PDP are being harassed and victimized. He cited the example of the three Chairmen from Ogbadibo, Gwer East and Vandeikya who have been suspended from office on trumped up charges of “misconduct and embezzlement” of local government funds.
He said all these actions taken by Governor Ortom are a threat to peace and security in the state.
“We urge Mr. President to take necessary actions to forestall the total breakdown of law and order in Benue State,” Senator Akume pleaded.

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