Alia warns Akume: Stop controlling me like you controlled Ortom because you won’t have Benue once again

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The governor of Benue state, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia has warned his estranged political godfather and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume to stop interfering in his administration so he can he govern the state in the best interest of the people that voted him as governor.

A close government house source who spoke to Nigeria Concord over the bad blood between the governor and the SGF disclosed that Alia sounded the warning today while receiving some leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress at the Benue People’s House in Makurdi.

Alia reportedly stated at the meeting that he rejected the nomination of Professor Steve Ugbah by Senator George Akume as the Secretary to the State Government so as to avoid his administration being controlled by some people he jokingly described as “the Kilometer 4 Cabals”

The governor said he also rejected Akume’s advice against making Hon. Paul Biam his Chief of Staff because he had sensed a political war between the duo (Akume and Biam).

Alia said he had known Biam for over a decade and he believes that he can perform very well as his Chief of Staff despite the rejection by Senator George Akume. “Akume wanted someone from the Benue Northwest to be my Chief of Staff and I considered it an insult and unnecessary imposition from a self-acclaimed godfather to choose my chief of staff for me” Alia angrily added according to the source who is a member of the State Working Committee of the Benue state chapter of All Progressive Congress.

According to Alia, he won’t allow the SGF to control his administration like he did to his predecessor, Chief Samuel Ortom PhD in his first term in office as governor of Benue state.

At the meeting, Alia reportedly expressed his displeasure over how the SGF also wanted to impose his stooge, Becky Orpin on the Benue State House of Assembly as Speaker when there were other qualified members for the top Assembly job.

Sources said Alia had to meet with the PDP legislators over the weekend and begged them to nominate and vote for Aondona Dajoh during the speakership voting this afternoon.

The source added that Akume had instructed the State Working Committee of the APC to endorse Becki Orpin as the speaker of the House yesterday. He also instructed all the APC lawmakers to vote for her at the first session today.

“But immediately His Excellency (Alia) got hint of that development and endorsement of Orpin by Akume, he approached some of the APC lawmakers as well as all thier PDP counterparts who agreed to back his choice, Aondona Dajoh as Speaker of the 10th Assembly” one of the sources stated.

Recall the both Orpin and Dajoh polled 16 votes each at the first round of the election with Alia, Zam Titus, Tehermen Tarzoor and some loyalists of the SGF in attendance.

“It was during the break that Alia was able to hijack one APC lawmakers (Name withheld) who left Orpin and voted for Dajoh in the second round of the poll and this made Dajoh to have 17 votes over Becky who had 15 votes” another source said.

It was gathered that it was the Clerk of the House of Assembly who advised the governor to leave the Chambers when the senator-elect for Benue Northwest, Titus Zam started raining abusive words on him and calling him “an ingrate who is biting the finger that fed him” in the presence of all the lawmakers and officials of the State House of Assembly.

But speaking further at the meeting this evening, Father Hyacinth Alia said he worked hard to ensure that Dajoh emerged as the Speaker so as to avoid the treatment which the 8th Assembly gave to Chief Samuel Ortom on the order of Senator George Akume.

Alia reportedly stressed that he was aware of how the SGF tried to use the speaker of the 8th Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange to impeach the then governor just because he was no longer listening to him (Akume) on how to run the administration of the state.

The governor said he would be doing himself and the entire Benue people a lot of damage if he allowed an Akume’s stooge (Orpin) to emerge as speaker.

The governor told his audiences that he was elected to serve Benue people and not Senator Akume or any godfather in the Benue APC. He added that he will be ready to return back to his job as a Catholic priest at the end of four years but with no blemish.

Meanwhile, the governor said at the meeting that he withdrew the sack letter he issued to the chairman of the BIRS, Mimi Orubibi last week just to pacify his estranged political godfather (Akume) when his wife, Mrs Regina Akume who is an aunt to the embattled BIRS chairman came to beg him for her to be allowed to keep the tax job.

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