…Rejects his position to retrieve weapons in local communities.
…Faults him for defending his pay masters instead of Benue
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
As part of Middle-Belt solidarity, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has accused former Governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume, of supporting the genocide and ethnic cleansing being perpetrated against the peace-loving people of the State and other ethnic nationalities across the Middle-Belt and other parts of the country.
SOKAPU made the accusation in a statement issued and signed by its President, Hon Jonathan Asake, in Kaduna this Thursday.
The Union lamented that the call by the former Governor of Benue State on federal authorities to comb and retrieve dane guns, bows and arrows, kitchen knives and other weapons often used by the local communities to defend themselves against the attackers and bandits 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.
“The Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) is constrained to observe with total dismay and disappointment the insensitivity and utter recklessness with which some highly-placed persons of the Middle-Belt extraction continue to treat issues of insecurity affecting the Middle-Belt Region with levity.
“Of a particular reference is the recent embarrassing outing by a one-time governor of Benue State, Sen George Akume, who is now the Minister of Special Duties under this current administration.
“In his press conference held in Abuja, as if under a spell or influence of some illicit substances, 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,” SOKAPU stated.
The release stressed that, “Instead of using his good offices 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, he 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 on the ground.
“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 Friday in defence and promotion of a well-orchestrated agenda of Fulanisation, which will ultimately consume everybody, including himself, if not checkmated.”
On why it’s interested in happenings in Benue State, SOKAPU explained that “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.”
It further stated that, “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 as if he is playing the character of a useful idiot.
“It is strange that Sen Akume in his press conference was more interested in defending his pay masters 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, a typical situation also being faced by the Southern Kaduna people. So, we feel the pain.
“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,” it stated.
The Union called on 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,” they stated.