Benue Concerned Friends Initiative (BENCOFI), a coalition of social cultural groups in Benue State, has described as “mischievous” the call by Coalition of Idoma Professionals for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to sack the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume.
The Idoma group, led by Hon. Inalegwu Adaje, had come out to oppose Prof. Joseph Utsev’s ministerial nomination, accusing the SGF of nepotism and calling for his sack.
But BENCOFI, during a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, by its national president, Hon. Norgba Orvave, said Sen. Akume’s appointment was the discretion of the President, in recognition and appreciation of the SGF’s contributions to the victory of the APC in the state and at the national level.
He said, “It, therefore, amounts to total mischief and undermining of the discretion of Mr. President, who in his wisdom and understanding found our leader and mentor, His Excellency, Senator Dr. George Akume CON, worthy to occupy this exalted and challenging position in his government.”
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The group said while Akume led the Tiv people to vote for Tinubu/Shettima ticket, the Idoma people voted for the other candidates and so they should not expect to reap where they did not sow.
Meanwhile, another group, Tiv Youth Organisation Worldwide has written to the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Maj-Gen J.O Ochai, urging him to address the lopsided admission from the state.
The Tiv youth in a separate press conference, in Abuja, appealed to the NDA boss to use his position and ensure the two main ethnic groups in the state are fairly admitted.
The President-General of the organisation, Andy Anzah, said: “In the 2021 admission into the 73 Regular Combatant Course of the NDA, out of 12 slots for Benue, the Tiv who have 14 LGAs got two slots, with one in reserve, while the Idoma with nine LGAs got 10 slots. At various levels, this has been happening for years.
“It will only grow worse now that their son is in charge of the military academy. While we do not demand the dismissal of Maj.-Gen. J.O Ochai, we do ask him to address the unfairness in the admission of Tiv children to the institution in order to represent the genuine spirit of federal character.
“The recent one is the admission into the 75 Regular Combatant Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy, 2023, where the Idoma generals and their political collaborators have made it a duty to deprive Tiv youths of admission into that prestigious military school.”