Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The cold war between Senator George Akume and his estranged political godson, Governor Hyacinth Alia can no longer be hidden as APC stakeholders loyal to the SGF have reportedly drawn a battle line with the governor.
Although both the SGF and Governor Alia have been pretending during public events to prove that there is no crisis between them, observers said that there is a heavy war between the two men.
The Crisis between the duo became noticeable yesterday some APC stakeholders loyal to Akume shunned the Thanksgiving service held in honour of the governor in Daudu.
Even though , the SGF was the Special Guest of Honour at the Thanksgiving ceremony, he didn’t attend and also didn’t send a representative.
The crisis between Akume and Alia can be traced to the selection of the Secretary to the State Government as well as the Chief of Staff to the governor.
Akume had nominated Professor Steve Ugbah from Logo local government as the SSG but the governor rejected the nomination and went for his old associate who is very unknown in the political terrain of Benue state.
Also, the SGF kicked against the choice of Alia in a former member of the Benue state House of Assembly, Mr. Paul Biam as the Chief of Staff owing to the internal issues between them but the governor insisted on Biam and appointed him as his Chief of Staff despite Akume’s resistance.
Another thing that led the the premature war between Akume and Alia is the governor’s role to stop the SGF’s candidate, Becky Orpin, from being the Speaker of the State House of Assembly. Rather, Alia worked the way of his own candidate, Aondona Dajoh who became the speaker after the second voting on the floor of the House.
To show their loyalty to Akume and anger towards Alia, tye Benue APC State Deputy Chairman, Stephen Tsav, and the party’s Chairman for Guma Local Government Area of the state, Lazarus Asema who both hail from Mbawa District where the Thanksgiving Mass was held yesterday were conspicuously absent at the occasion. Their absence has raised a lot of questions.
Apart from Tsav and Asema who didn’t attend the Thanksgiving service, there wasn’t also any stakeholders of the Benue state chapter of the APC at the event.
According to those close to Akume, the governor’s attitudes in the selection of the SSG and the Speaker of the House of Assembly was an act of someone biting the finger that fed him.
Some of them who described Alia as an ingrate boasted that he will be first governor to be impeached in Benue state despite that he had tried to have the majority of the lawmakers in his side..
Meanwhile, a group known as Defenders of Democracy (DoD) has showered praises on the Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia for ending the problem of godfatherism in the state within just a week after taking over the mantle of leadership.
In a statement signed by its Coordinator in Benue State, Comrade Amos Achiv, the group described Governor Alia as a courageous man who took the bull by the horn and gave a notorious godfather (referring to Senator George Akume) what it called “a bloody nose”.
Citing the recent drama at the Benue State House of Assembly where governor Alia snubbed the choice of his former godfather George Akume for the position of speaker, Mrs Becky Orpin, DoD said Alia has shown that he is indeed a stronger man.
“We are very happy to see that our governor has ended the era when one man appointed himself as god over our state and insisted that a sitting governor must do only his bidding. The bloody nose that Governor Alia gave him is very well deserved and it is appreciated”, it said.
The group further noted with admiration and joy that it took Alia just one week to give the godfather an uppercut punch, unlike former Governor Suswam who took a year to part ways with the godfather and Governor Ortom who spent three whole years respecting and obeying the godfather.