From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom has described Sen. George Akume’s latest diatribes accusing him of recruiting and arming militia for 2019 election as a case of a ‘dying horse’ expected to kick the hardest at the point of its death.
Reacting to the world press conference addressed by Akume in Abuja last weekend, the Governor, in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, said the accusation is yet another futile attempt to resurrect a diminished platform which has lost touch with the people.
The Governor reminded Akume that his tenure as Governor between 1999 and 2003 was characterized by bloodshed when his militia perpetrated mayhem and electoral violence in Tarka, Kwande and Gwer East local government areas.
He posited that as Governor, he is poles apart and he has no need of militia, expressing fears that there is cause for Benue people to worry as Senator Akume, who is reviving his old militia structures is pointing fingers in the opposite direction.
He noted that even if Akume was inebriated in consonance with his nature and spoke under some influence, this particular allegation defies logic especially against the background of Governor Ortom’s internationally acclaimed decision to mop up small arms in the state through a well-articulated Amnesty Programme.
‘If the Governor had the intention of arming citizens, the cruel invasion and wanton killings by armed Fulani militia provided an ample opportunity to do so. He has on the contrary resisted the temptation to do so and turn the state into a theatre of bloodbath.
If the Governor disarmed hoodlums in the face of concerted attacks against his people, why does he need to re-arm them for an election he is confident of winning?
“In 2015 Governor Ortom won election popularly and overwhelmingly without the aid of any militia and there is no need whatsoever for him to resort to any illegal means to win reelection in 2019”, the statement said.