Benue: George Akume, APC ask Buhari to declare state of emergency
By Aisha Abass
President Mohammadu Buhari has been urged to declare a state of emergency in Benue State.
If the call comes to reality, it means the removal of the state Governor, Mr Samuel Ortum and replacing him with an unelected person picked by the President.
The former governor of Benue State George Akume and the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Benue State made the call for a state of emergency in Benue on Monday.
Benue State has been a theatre of killings which Ortum said were sponsored by Fulani people. The Governor once escaped assassination in the State of some 4million people dominated by Igala, Igede and Tiv. Ortum and Suswan are both Tiv, the largest ethnic group in Benue State.
Akume is the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs. He spoke under the aegis of Elders/Stakeholders All Progressives Congress, (APC).
Paul Unongo however frown at any attempt to politicise the situation in Benue State. He said Ortum has been faithful to his people in Benue State.
Ortum has been very critical of the central government for its attitude to the endless killings.
The group asked Ortom to tender an unreserved apology to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for using foul language and for operating outside the set rules of engagement between the State and the Federal Government.
It called on the EFCC and ICPC to thoroughly investigate the application of the total federal allocations to Benue State from May 29, 2015 to date.
The group urged the Federal Government as a matter of urgency to direct the disbandment of the Livestock Guards in Benue State for their involvements in nefarious and criminal activities leading to the breach of peace and massacre of innocent citizens of Benue State.
APC Benue state said there is a high level of proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Benue State. The federal government should thoroughly comb the State to recover those arms.
Akume argued that since Governor Ortom has consistently alleged that the security situation in Benue State has deteriorated in such a manner that lives of Benue people are not secured, we call on Mr. President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to declare a state of emergency in Benue State to bring the security situation in the state under control.
The Benue APC commended President Muhammadu Buhari for “his resilience and steadfastness in driving the development agenda of his administration nationally and especially in Benue State. The men and women of good conscience in Benue State are in full support of his administration and stand to condemn the ethnic profiling propagated by Governor Samuel Ortom. We are better than that as a people. We, the APC elders/stakeholders in Benue State pledge our total and unflinching support to Mr. President and his administration.”
The group condemned the senseless killings that have been going on in Benue State perpetrated by criminal groups, be they the Fulani herdsmen, militia groups and political mercenaries acting the scripts of so-called political leaders. Benue State should not be allowed to degenerate into a primitive and mindless killing field at a time other states are reaping bountiful dividends of democracy.
Akume said “Our hearts go out to all the families that have lost loved ones, some of who are presently mourning their unburied dead relatives. We pray that the Almighty God should grant them the fortitude to pass through thus trying times without losing hope in a one united and indivisible nation.”