A TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE ZONE A PEOPLES’ ASSEMBLY ZAPA HELD IN MAKURDI ON THE 14TH AUGUST, 2023.

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Your Royal Majesty Prof J. O Ayatse—Begha U Tiv Sir, we are addressing this Press Conference at this time, in order to make our firm and fervent demands that border on the peace and progress of the Tiv kingdom.

It is our earnest belief that providence crowned you King over Tiv people for you to serve and lead with dignity and honour and to bring progress and prosperity to the entire Tiv race.

We know and believe that in steering the ship of state and the Tiv nation, it is within your powers and graces as duly conferred to intervene when matters are going bad between or among communities and even personalities across Tiv land.

This we believe you have been doing and effectively so for the overall good and stability of the Tiv race.

It is on this note that we write to you in utmost awe and reverence to call the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Sen. George Akume to order. We pray it is time he is cautioned not to allow his personal interest to outstrip and override that of the entire Tiv race.

Let it be stated for the avoidance of doubt that Akume is an illustrious son of Tiv land who has done so much for Benue and for himself as an individual. But like Shakespeare said, “the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves”. So Akume, like every human being, has his faults. And it is not good for him to allow his faults to override the good and to abuse the grace that God has given him.

He should learn from history and avoid the mistakes of those who took this path which led to their early self-destruction.

We want to state clearly that Akume is not showing good leadership and statecraft in the moves he is making in the recent past. It is now crystal clear that he is consciously only concentrating his loyalties to Jemgbagh, the micro community where he comes from and not the larger Tiv race or even Benue state where he is the highest appointee of government as it were.

Some pointers to this fact clearly manifest in the skewed ministerial appointment he masterminded to his Jemgbagh clan in contradistinction to the age – long Tiv principle of ya na angbian. This principle ensures the spread of spoils and appointments to all sections of society to ensure equity. It is only appropriate that since Akume himself is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, micro-zoning or taking the ministerial slot still to his native Jemgbagh is, in good conscience, not the right thing to do, and it’s totally out of the way.

More saddening is the fact that this is the same Akume that throughout his tenure as Governor of Benue State, he saw no other section of Tivland worth the ministerial slot except Jemgbagh.

Furthermore, Akume in pursuit of his narrow Jemgbagh agenda ostensibly robbed the people of Lobi of what was due to one of their sons by out-scheming and setting aside merit to deny Dr. Stephen Hwande, a thorough-bred professional of the position of Chief Medical Director (CMD) in favour of his Jemgbagh clansman.

The most painful part of this unfortunate development is that Dr. Hwande had gone through the rigorous process as required by the laid down procedure. He came tops in the examination.

But to further display his mindset of nepotism, Akume, in utmost disregard to merit, authored a letter to the Ministry of Health recommending his Jemgbagh clansman Prof. Kortor who came a distant 3rd in the examination for the position of CMD.

He insisted and had Prof. Kortor appointed as CMD of the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi.

Already, he is scheming to have his cousin (still in Jemgbagh) Dr. Tyover Dajo (George Akume DAJO) as Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Wannune to replace Prof Joseph Utsev whom he recently nominated as minister.

Again, we have heard disturbing news from a grapevine that he is plotting a heavy opposition against the Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia. Alia’s singular sin is that he did not back Mrs. Becky Orpin as Speaker. Akume has more than a vested interest in Becky and desperately wanted her to occupy the number 3 seat in the state.

In addition, we fear for Barr. Emmanuel Jime because we have also heard from a grapevine that Akume’s next move is to fight and remove Emmanuel Jime as Executive Secretary of Shippers’ Council of Nigeria.

We wish to warn and make it abundantly clear that Akume should be held responsible if Alia is destabilized. Moreover, Akume should be held responsible if Jime loses his position at the Shippers’ Council.

We have no reason to disbelieve these feelers and stories from the grapevine because Akume has verifiable bona fides and credentials in fighting and destroying Tiv sons who have risen to stardom.

Finally, we call on your Royal Majesty to use your exalted office to act and pretty fast too to put out the spark of fire that has the potential of escalating into a wild conflagration that will bring down the whole house–Tiv race

Authors:

Mr. Fanen Mondo
Kula Ter Najime
Gabriel Suswam
Dr Annawa
Terkimbi Ikyange
Engr. Dan Ashiekaa
Hon. Saater Tiseer

 

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