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Alleged support for Fulani herdsmen: Benue youths give Akume 48 hours to apologise – Daily Post Nigeria

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Benue youths under the umbrella of Benue Youth Forum, BYF, have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, for allegedly speaking in favour of Fulani herdsmen who wreak havoc in the state.
In a statement on Tuesday by the group’s president, Terrence Kuanum , the former governor of the state was accused of mocking the state government for enacting the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
According to the statement, the former lawmaker also claimed that the state was free of security crises during his tenure between 1999 to 2017.
The group vowed that there would be a heavy sanction by the state council of chiefs against Senator Akume if he fails to apologize within the stipulated time.
The statement reads in full: “We watched with shock a viral video which the Hon Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume mocked the people of Benue State openly for enacting the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law and for complaining about the killing of our people by Fulani militia. Most shocking was the fact that it came from someone we are supposed to all look up to as a leader and statesman.
“Also in the video, the Hon Minister brazenly lied that there were no killings in Benue during his tenure as Governor of Benue State when in reality, our people were killed by these jihadists in 2024 and he watched helplessly without doing anything to protect his people who were left to their fate at the mercy of our enemies
“It is quite sad that at a time when the entire country is heading towards the ranching revolution that has come to stay in Nigeria, a son of Benue who represents the state in the Federal Executive Council as Minister is busy calling for continuation of open grazing. Akume should have known that we have gone past the era of dropping JS Tarka’s name to blackmail the people of Benue in order to satisfy his own selfish interest.
“The Fulani people that he so cherishes and wants to compel all Benue people to be their friends are rated the fourth most dangerous terrorist group in the world and yet the only message our Hon Minister could bring back to us as his people is to go and dine with our enemies.
“Just recently, his best political ally Ahmed Bola Tinubu who is the National Leader of APC expressed his strong support for the ranching revolution in Nigeria. Is Akume more APC than Tinubu?
“Was the Hon Minister not in the country when senior APC leaders in the South West rose up to defend their people when they were attacked by these same Fulani militia he is asking us to be their friend? The action exhibited by Yoruba leaders is what leaders and statesmen do.
“Just like his principal President Buhari who could only see the 1968 gazetted grazing routes as the solution to Fulani attacks in Nigeria, Minister Akume is sadly hell bent on handing over our lands to the violent nomads. But we cannot be blackmailed into allowing our enemies who have taken responsibility for the killings to be our friends.
“The Benue Youth Forum frowns at the outing of the Hon Minister and has come to the conclusion that he is truly the number one enemy of the Benue people, and as the saying goes, an enemy within is more dangerous than the enemy outside.
“We demand an unreserved apology from the Hon Minister to the people of Benue State within 48hrs, failure of which should attract a heavy sanction by the state council of chiefs.
“We will not accept sabotage from any son or daughter of this state in the struggle to liberate our people. The objective is clear that we will protect our people with any commiserate measure of action taken against us since no one including our very own working with our enemies have sadly become moles amongst us.
“With the open declaration by all southern Governors to embrace ranching, no federal government official from the south has made a comment to attack their people in the manner our own Minister Akume has done to us.
“We commend Governor Samuel Ortom for standing firmly and tall in defence of our people. He is the hero of our time. We pledge our unalloyed support to him and his administration.
“We call on all Benue people to be wary of our enemies who are within now that the heat is on them from Abuja to betray their people to be able to retain their loaf of bread. They are desperate traitors who have nothing to lose even if Benue is destroyed.
“We commend the efforts of security forces so far and we urge them to step up surveillance to protect Benue communities against killer herdsmen to enable our people who are living in IDP camps for over three years to return to their ancestral homes safely.
“The Federal Government should hasten to redeem its pledge that was made through The Vice President Prof Yemi Osibanjo to rebuild our destroyed communities.
“The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA should realize that the over one million displaced people living in several IDP camps in Benue are also citizens of Nigeria who also deserve to live. Adequate care should be extended to them in the same measure it is being done in the North East.
“Finally, we caution the Hon Minister who has received our mandate five times to serve as Governor and Senator to desist from making inflammatory statements against our state at public functions to please his pay masters”.
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