Some prominent political stakeholders in Benue State have expressed their displeasure over the recent media attacks on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, by some Benue indigenes.
They said the attacks were unwarranted, condemnable, and aimed at pulling down the SGF.
The stakeholders, who are elder statesmen from different parts of the state, held a media briefing on Wednesday in Makurdi, the state capital, to voice their concerns.
They said they were disturbed by the series of allegations and insults hurled at the SGF by some youthful Benue indigenes, who accused him of trying to hijack governance in Benue state and undermine the administration of Governor Hyacinth Alia.
The stakeholders, in a text read by Mr. Shimataver Atim-Atedze, said they felt insulted that such an illustrious son of Benue, who had served humanity and rendered productive service to the state and the nation, would be castigated, maligned, and blackmailed by very young persons who did not understand the dynamics of politics and leadership.
They said they suspected that the attackers had a hidden agenda to pitch President Bola Tinubu against the SGF and insinuate that he was contesting for president. They said this was a ploy to frustrate and distract the SGF from carrying out his national assignments meritoriously.
They cautioned the attackers and their sponsors to desist from their actions and redirect their energies and resources to more productive ventures. They also called on all traditional institutions, religious leaders, the state government, and all notable stakeholders across party lines to stand up against the unwarranted onslaught against the SGF.
They said they craved a cordial and peaceful coexistence across the political divide in Benue state and urged all supporting hands and complimenting spirits to give the SGF unwavering and unflinching support.
The stakeholders’ outcry came on the heels of recent media briefing by some groups in the state, such as Benue Youth Forum and Benue Concerned Citizens, who in separate briefings alleged that the SGF was bent on hijacking governance in Benue state and also undermining the government of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.
The groups accused the SGF of being behind some court cases challenging the legitimacy of Governor Alia’s election. They also alleged that he was sponsoring some APC members to defect to PDP in order to destabilize the ruling party in the state. They further alleged that he was plotting to impose his loyalists as candidates for various elective positions in 2027.
The SGF has not responded to these allegations as of the time of writing this report. However, some of his supporters have dismissed them as baseless and unfounded. They said the SGF was a man of integrity and honour who had no interest in contesting for president or interfering in Benue politics. They said he was focused on delivering his mandate as the SGF and assisting President Tinubu in achieving his vision for Nigeria.
Senator George Akume is a former governor of Benue State and a former senator representing Benue North-West Senatorial District. He was appointed as the SGF by President Bola Tinubu on June 7, 2023. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and powerful politicians in Benue State and Nigeria at large. He is also seen as a potential candidate for the 2027 presidential election.