Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has asked the Minister of Special Duties, Senator George Akume, to stop arrogating to himself the power to instate governors.
Ortom also warned the All Progressives Congress’ governorship candidate in the state in the 2019 general elections, Emmanuel Jime, to stop insulting him.
Faulting Akume’s recent utterances, the governor said it was God and the people of Benue State who chose him as governor first in 2015 and not him (Akume).
In a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Ortom said this while reacting to verbal attacks on him at a reception held in honour of Akume in Abuja on Wednesday after his appointment as minister.
The statement quoted Akume as saying, “I, not the Holy Spirit, made Ortom governor.”
Ortom faulted the minister for failing to tell the people what he would do as a minister in his speech that lasted for about 40 minutes at the reception.
The governor also faulted Jime’s claim that the 2019 governorship election in Benue State was rigged.
The statement said, “For a man who aspired to lead the state, Jime’s attacks on the person of the governor were not only unfortunate but also smacked of desperation and lack of respect for the same office he sought to occupy.
“Benue people know that the APC attempted to manipulate the 2019 elections in the state but could not match the overwhelming resolve of majority of the voters who said that Ortom must return for a second term.”
Furthermore, Ortom said he had chosen to no longer take issue with Akume as time for politics was over and now was time for governance.
Meanwhile, Akume, through his media adviser, Dr Aondona Mkor, on Friday asked Ortom to stop involving “the Holy Spirit to deceive the people of Benue State”.
“Why is it that this Holy Spirit of Ortom does not ask him to pay outstanding salary arrears of workers? Why is it that this Holy Spirit of Ortom only works only when it comes to rigging elections and manipulating votes?” Akume mockingly asked in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Tiv Area Traditional Council led by its Chairman, Prof James Ayatse, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Akume, who is a Tiv, as a minister into his cabinet.
The traditional rulers also hailed the President for immortalising the late Senator Joseph Tarka (1932-1980) by renaming the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, after the late political icon.
The council, according to a statement by the Media Assistant to the Tor Tiv, Freddie Adamgbe, said Buhari had gained the Tiv nation’s respect for his acts.