The people of Benue North-East senatorial district under the aegis of Zone “A” Peoples’ Assembly (ZAPA) have warned the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, to desist from pulling down leaders of the zone or they would resist him.
ZAPA, at a press conference on Wednesday in Makurdi, said the warning became necessary as any further insult directed at anyone from the zone by the minister would be responded to in the same language and tone used.
President General of the group, Fannen Mondo, General Secretary, Sir. Joseph Ornguga and Legal Adviser, Terseer Anongo Esq, said the “unbecoming verbal attacks” against their leaders from the zone by Akume necessitated the news conference.
The group made reference to “some leaked telephone conversations, especially the one Akume had with Alhaji Usman Abubakar (aka Young Alhaji) years back and the recently circulated one he had with His Excellency, Samuel Ortom.
“We at ZAPA have carefully reviewed and analyzed the two conversations, and it is very clear that, Sen. George Akume has taken it as his pastime to ensure nobody from that part of the state progressed to a reasonable status, or is counted amongst critical leaders both in the state and at the central government.”
Mondo had at the press conference said the minister, in a recently leaked audio telephone conversation with Governor Ortom, verbally attacked the paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse and Senator Gabriel Suswam.
But, in a reaction to ZAPA, the president of Benue Patriotic Front (BPF), Dan-Morgan Ihomun, noted that as a son of the land, “Senator Akume has utmost respect for the Tor Tiv and other leaders, adding that those banking on the leaked audio clip to make political capital are living in an eroded past.”
Ihomun stressed the need for Benue people to disregard the divisive tantrums by some groups and come together to forge unity and togetherness for the development of the state.