From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has criticized Senator George Akume for making “disparaging remarks” against Governor Samuel Ortom over payment of slaries describing it as an act of desperation.

Senator Akume had reportedly “expressed concerns about continued non-payment of salaries in Benue State by the current governor Ortom, who he said he brought to power.”

The party said the above statement represents a desperate attempt to smear Governor Ortom with deliberate falsehood even as it sadly reflects the fact that the defeated Senator remains unwilling to heed the increasing calls for peace and unity of purpose among political leaders in the state.

In a press statement signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, the PDP expressed shock that Akume, again, could not resist the urge to attack the Governor

Mr Iortyom reminded that in case Akume has forgotten, salary payment was worse when the state was under the leadership of the APC where he (Akume) held sway and as such lack the moral standing to criticize the governor.

“To refresh the facts about the salary situation in the state, while the Governor Ortom administration was under the sponsorship of the APC where Senator Akume held sway as Leader, the worst case scenario was the combining of two months of federal allocation to pay one month salary as a result of shortage of funds.

He noted that the above situation led to salary arrears being owed workers for some months, particularly in 2017, saying “this was a situation Senator Akume himself appreciated and on several occasions took out time to explain to Benue people, pleading with them for understanding and patience.

He explained that since January, 2018, when the Ortom administration came under the sponsorship of the PDP, payment of salaries to all categories of workers in the state has been regular to date, whereas in the case of Benue State University, payments have been regular right from the inception of the administration in 2015.

The party observed that Senator Akume’s latest remarks about ‘non payment of salaries’ is indicative that he indeed has lost touch with reality in the state and may well explain his landslide defeat in his Senatorial re-election bid against Senator Emmanuel Orker Jev at the last elections.

The PDP also criticized Akume over his comment that he brought Governor Ortom to power, saying “this only betrays the latent undemocratic tendencies of the Buhari Ministerial appointee as no human can make another Governor without God’s approval and the support of majority of the people of a state.

“Such a claim by the defeated Senator is ‘nudum pactum’ being that it is lacking in basic consideration of political reality, for if Senator Akume could indeed make governors, then his combination with the fabled “Federal Might” ought to have stopped Governor Ortom from winning re-election.”

According to the PDP, Senator Akume’s media attack on Governor Ortom is a worse start to his ministerial tenure.

The party called on Senator Akume to give peace a chance as it is the desire of all; the PDP in Benue, the Tor Tiv and the Och’Idoma, that there should be peace and unity of purpose among political leaders for progress and development to thrive.

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