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Benue PDP reps accuse security operatives of colluding with gunmen

The house of representatives members from Benue — elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform — have accused security operatives of colluding with those behind killings in the state.

Communities in Benue have been targeted by gunmen in recent times.

At a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, the lawmakers also tackled George Akume, minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs, for asking President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Benue.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Mark Gbillah, member representing Gwer east/Gwer west federal constituency, said Akume, a former governor of the state, has “never lent his voice to the clarion call for the cessation of incessant killings in Benue”.

“We wish to respond to the issues raised in the press conference by senator George Akume who has never lent his voice to the clarion call for the cessation of incessant killings in Benue, despite his assumed closeness to the president, rather chose to attack the person of the governor, called for the disbandment of the livestock guards so as to bring further hardship on the displaced people of Benue state with over a million people in IDP camps,” he said.

“The governor, as far as members of this caucus are aware, has called ad infinitum, on the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to intervene and arrest the protracted bloodletting in the state, with little or in very many instances, no response from the federal government.”

The lawmakers asked Akume to “retract the call for emergency rule in the state, for the interest of democracy and explore other means of resolving the nagging insecurity in the state”.

They called on the federal government “to urgently redeem her promise of N10 billion to resettle the internally displaced persons in Benue”.

Also speaking, Francis Ottah Agbo, member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu, said the governor and the state are overwhelmed by insecurity.

He said: “Let’s look for how we will push for the presidency to do the needful in Benue because as it is today Benue is overwhelmed, the governor cannot do more than what he is doing, the salary wage bill is bloated and infact, the allocation to Benue State is not enough to even pay salaries. That is the truth of the matter. I want us to look at this matter from a very objective point of view.

“As I speak before you, my colleagues are aware, they saw me move a motion in the floor of the house. In one fell swoop, 130 Izzi people in my district were killed by this killer men and how do they go about it? They do that very seamlessly because the security apparatus collude with them, give them protection. Can Ortom stop them? Ortom cannot stop them.”

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