By Nicholas Dechi
Gov. Samuel Ortom has said that he will report Sen. George Akume to the Supreme Assembly of the Tiv Traditional Council following comments credited to the senator that Benue Government was behind violence in the state.
Akume, a former governor of the North-Central state, was recently quoted as telling President Muhammadu Buhari, when he led Benue APC leaders on a visit to Abuja, that the state government was behind the protracted violence in Benue.
He was also quoted as alleging that the state government was not committed to ending the violence.
But Ortom, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, and issued to newsmen on Monday in Makurdi, accused Akume of refusing to tell the president the truth about the security situation.
The statement quoted Ortom as expressing shock that Akume had chosen to exonerate militia herdsmen from the continued attacks on Benue rural communities.
According to the statement, Ortom spoke at Tyulen in Guma Local Government, during the funeral ceremony of Mrs. Rose Adzuu, mother of Mr Terseer Adzuu, a member of the Benue House of Assembly, and Frank Adzuu, Ortom’s Senior Special Assistant on Administration.
“Since the senator has chosen to tell the President that militia herdsmen are not behind the violence, it implies that he has adequate knowledge about the killings and should explain the details to the traditional council.
“The comments are shocking and unfortunate; Akume appears ready to sacrifice his people,” Ortom was further quoted as saying.
The statement quoted Ortom as wondering why a man, who was expected to provide leadership to the younger generation, had chosen to take sides with “those who have vowed to deprive Benue people of their ancestral lands”.
Ortom, at the funeral, reaffirmed his commitment to implementing the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, noting that it had been adjudged as the best solution to the frequent crises arising from animal husbandry.
The governor, while consoling the deceased family, stated that their mother lived a fulfilled life and died in Christ.
Former governor of the State, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, also consoled the family and prayed God to grant their mother eternal rest.