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APC Accuses Ortom Of Putting Benue Under Siege

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Benue State, yesterday, accused their state governor, Samuel Ortom, and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of putting the state under siege.

The Benue APC leadership, which called on the federal government to investigate alleged stockpiling of fire arms by the governor in preparation for the 2019 general election, also asked the Federal Ministry of Finance to urgently cease the release of Federation Allocation to Benue State as it affects 12 defected local governments and three councils whose chairmen have been suspended totaling 15 out of 23 local government councils in the state.

The Benue APC stakeholders made the demand at the residence of the former governor of the state and senator representing Benue East, George Akume who is the leader.

Speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, Sen Akume, accused Ortom of instigating and orchestrating the unlawful removal of the leadership of the Benue State House of Assembly led by Rt Hon Terkimbi Ikyange, despite a court order against it.

Accusing the governor of security threat, Akume said, “governor Samuel Ortom, apart from recruiting and arming militia in order to cause mayhem in the 2019 general elections, has continued to use his Livestock Guards and Vigilante Group to harass and intimidate APC supporters across the state, particularly those who have refused to defect with him to the PDP.

“Nigerians may wish to recall that in January 2018, soldiers of the 93 Battalion in Takum Area of Taraba State, had arrested nine members of the Benue State Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) which was later renamed Livestock Guards with AK-47 riffles. The arrested members of the group are still in custody of the security agencies. We therefore call on security agencies to check the activities of these groups as we gear up for the 2019 general elections.

“Also, the governor is pressuring the police authorities in Abuja to post a notorious police officer who had worked in Benue State Command, was indicted and transferred to Imo State Command, as his chief security officer (CSO). The whole idea is for the CSO to recruit and train “bad boys” against 2019. Many of the area boys, who vanished when the governor was still in the APC, have resurfaced now that he has gone back to his own vomit, the PDP.”

Reacting however, Governor Ortom likened the allegations by the APC stakeholders as the kick of a dying horse.

Ortom, who responded through his media aide, Tahav Agerzua, refuted the claims saying “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 purported arrest of any individual or group of people with or without weapons or any accusation does not amount to a conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction and cannot therefore be used as proof that the governor has a militia.

“In any case, anyone out to do justice about the incessant violence that has rocked communities in Benue State should first arrest and prosecute leaders of various Fulani groups including those of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore. Otherwise, any other arrest is suspect.”



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