One of the most significant events of disloyalty in history is the Bible Story of Judas betraying Jesus (the Christian Messiah) as recorded in each of the four canonical Gospels. The Gospels narrate how avarice and prejudice drove Judas Iscariot to sell his kinsman and master, Jesus of Nazareth for thirty shekels of silver like a piece of cake.
Sadly, there are still “judases” among us.
If not, how do one explain the ludicrous press conference convened by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, and Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Senator George Akume, on Wednesday (30 August 2021) in Abuja, where he was blustering odious, acerbic and venomous vituperation against his own people and home-state of Benue where he was a former governor?
The mediasphere has been awash with the prevaricated statement and the hantle reactions that had trailed the mediocre press conference.
Akume at his press conference, asserted that Benue people have stockpiled arms to attack Fulani herdsmen, and called on President Muhammadu Buhari (a Fulani) to order the recovery of the stockpiled arms with almost religious discipline. He further called for the disbandment of the Livestock Guards – an organization saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the anti-open grazing law in Benue State.
Worse still, the minister urged the Federal Government to declare State of Emergency in Benue and remove Governor Samuel Ortom from power.
According to Akume; “The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency direct the disbandment of the Livestock Guards in Benue State for their involvements in nefarious and criminal activities leading to the breach of peace and massacre of innocent citizens of Benue State.
“There is a high level of proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Benue State. The federal government should thoroughly comb the State to recover those arms.
“Since Governor Ortom has consistently alleged that the security situation in Benue State has deteriorated in such a manner that lives of Benue people are not secured, we call on Mr. President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to declare a state of emergency in Benue State to bring the security situation in the state under control.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his resilience and steadfastness in driving the development agenda of his administration nationally and especially in Benue State.
“The men and women of good conscience in Benue State are in full support of his administration and stand to condemn the ethnic profiling propagated by Governor Samuel Ortom”.
At best, Akume’s statement can be described as unstatesman.
It is a shame that Akume and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State boycotted the peace meeting convened by Governor Ortom at the Benue People’s House in Makurdi, on Wednesday ((30 August 2021), and held one in Abuja that same Wednesday to defame Benue people and ridicule Governor Ortom’s peace keeping efforts.
It is sui generis for elder statesman to castigate his own people and clime in the manner Akume did. But, what is not new is traitors selling out their own people for selfish interests.
Pundits are of the opinion that the minister’s endless and meaningless bickerings and attacks on Benue State Government and Governor Ortom who has become the face of resistance against Fulani bellicosity in Nigeria were just to curry more favours from the Fulani oligarchy, especially since he is nursing an ambition to occupy the APC Chairmanship seat.
Even if that was the case, is Akume’s ambition worth the blood of hundreds and thousands of Benue indigenes that had been slain in the Fulani perennial sanguinary invasions?
Or, it’s because “Akume’s children and his immediate family members are not in Benue that is why he is defending terrorists and their sponsors”, like popular activist, Comrade Deji Adeyanju famously tweeted?
Recently, in a twist of irony, the minister who persistently downplays insecurity in Benue, stormed the state with heavy security with an armoured personnel carrier in tow. And instead of using the opportunity to apologize to millions of Benue people especially IDPs and victims of Fulani militia herdsmen attacks whom he downplayed their plights and demonized, Akume in a melodramatic display of power on Monday, 6 September, 2021, in Makurdi, emphatically restated his odious and prevaricated statement against Benue people at the Abuja press conference, and even held a mediocre solidarity match for Buhari in Benue.
No wonder his motorcade was reportedly pelted with rocks and rotten tomatoes by some angry IDPs at Agan.
Whatever is the reason for this his unsympathetic acrobatic ‘Shaku Shaku’ around the graves of Benue slain farmers, Akume should ‘ronu’ on the African adage that says, “If you sell your brother, even the buyer will never trust you again”.
(Sunny Green Itodo, a Public Affairs Analyst, can be reached on email@example.com.)