Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Aondona Dajoh has denied media reports that he publicly assaulted the office and person of the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Joseph Alakali at the Cabinet Office on Monday.
The speaker’s reactions were contained in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Akume Raphael this evening.
Recall that media handlers of the SSG had this morning accused the Speaker of raining abusive words on Professor Joseph Alakali during a hit argument on Monday.
The SSG’s media handlers also accused the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Paul Biam of wanting to slap Alakali during an argument about the leadership of the state chapter of the NURTW.
But in his reactions, Speaker Dajoh who said therr was no way he could insult or assault Prof. Alakali accused the governor’s special adviser on Union Matters, Mr. Iyoo Gbondu of bringing another faction of the union after receiving Financial gratification from one Comrade Boga Abuul.
The Statement reads:
The Honorable Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly has viewed with utmost dismay, the report credited to the media handler of the Secretary to the state government (SSG) publicly discrediting and putting the Honorable Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly before the public for ridicule.
The Speaker finds it bothersome, why the media handler of the SSG will prefer to be economical with facts.
In the absence of this dispute being resorted to an internal dispute mechanism for an amicable resolution, rather than a public display on the social media; and for the benefit of the unsuspecting and innocent members of the public, we have no choice than to implore same in setting the records straight.
The meeting in issue between the NURTW and the State Government was held in the absence of the Speaker who was unavoidably absent due to other pressing engagements. He was, however represented by the majority leader of the state Assembly and the Majority chief whip where far-reaching decisions were arrived at.
The SSG asked the Special Adviser to the Governor on union matters to take the Chairman of NURTW to the state police command to brief them on the outcome of the meeting and it’s resolutions. On getting there, he was arrested by the Police.
The speaker upon knowledge of this ugly development the next day, proceeded to enquire from the state Command; who denied knowledge of any arrest.
He then went to the office of the SSG only to discover that, Hon. Iyoo Gbondu who is the Adviser on Union and Labor matters had brought another faction of the union after receiving Financial gratification from one Comrade Boga Abuul.
The speaker requested to know the where-abouts of the Chairman, Comrade Jerome Ukor from the SSG and Iyoo who took the Chairman to the state police command and they denied knowing anything about his movements.
Sources at the SSG’s office on conditions of anonymity, informed the speaker that the Chairman, Jerome Ukor was still in detention.
The speaker returned to the State Police command and through the help of the Commissioner, CP. Adesina he was able to get the Chairman but with a report that Chairman of the union was arrested at the state CID because he was owing someone money and was on the run for over two years and when the person saw him he ordered for his arrest.
The questions begging for answers are; who told the person the chairman owed that he was at the state CID for him to have rushed there and have him arrested when he was acting on the directives of SSG?
At the same time, why will the Adviser to the Governor on labor matters, Hon. Iyoo Gbondu acting under financial inducement from Comrade Boga Abuul, the erstwhile chairman of the union secretly bring another faction of the union to the office of the SSG the following day when he was part of the previous meeting held with the Union and other stakeholders?
The Speaker finds it hard to believe that, a person who is the state chairman of a union as reputable as NURTW, who is responsible for the running of the unions day to day activities will be on the run from someone for over two years only to be arrested when he was taken to the police on the directive of the SSG?
The Honorable Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly does not want to believe that the SSG, Prof. Alkali Joseph has given directives to his media aide to falsify such lies against the speaker of the Assembly.
The speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Aondona Dajoh holds esteemed regards for the office of the SSG and will not for any reason or reasons haul insults on its occupant.
The Speaker simply attempted to mediate on the issues raised with a view to proffering a lasting solution upon his invitation and harbors no ill will or feelings, neither would he contribute to any rancor, or matters degenerating to a fractious level between the government and the union.
The Honorable Speaker is a humble, respectful and down to earth individual, an advocate of peace and would not in any way be found, consciously or otherwise; actions or by word of mouth, disrespectful to persons or constituted authorities.
Lastly, the Speaker views the said publication emanating from the office of the Secretary to the Benue State Government as provocative, insulting and an affront on the person and office of the Speaker and will in consultation with the Assembly direct the relevant Committee of the House to carry out a full investigation into his public embarrassment for necessary legislative actions.