State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue State has observed with humiliating disgust, the activities of People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the state which clearly point to a conscription of the Tiv Paramount Ruler, His Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Prof. James Iorzua Ortese Ayatse into membership of the PDP. Ever since unsubstantiated allegations popped up in some sections of the media a few weeks ago that the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Dr George Akume had made uncomplimentary remarks against the Tor Tiv, PDP ancillary groups have stepped into the battlefield in needless and uninvited defence of the Tiv Paramount Ruler, who by virtue of his occupation of a totally nonpartisan stool should be father to all and administer traditional leadership over all Tiv sons and daughters, not minding their political persuasions and leaning. Firing the first shot, calling on Senator Akume to apologise without giving him fair hearing was the Tiv Youth Organisation, TYO which has overtime functioned openly as the extended Youth Wing of PDP in the state, with evident track record of partisan affiliations, manifest in the authorship of a book by its President General, Mr. Timothy Hembaor entitled “The Search for Buhari’s Replacement: Atiku Right on Time”. As a responsible political party, Benue APC since the start of the crisis, stood aloof without throwing itself in the ring, in the hope that the Tor Tiv was capable of sorting out any misunderstanding between him and any of his children, no matter how highly placed, without depending on political promptings to determine his course of action, then, came the undignifying publication on Facebook and other media outlets of the expectedly secret resolutions of the “Ijirtamen”, the body saddled with salient decisions regarding happenings in Tiv Traditional Council which was widely distributed by official media handlers of the Benue State Governor, who is himself a member of PDP. While the “Ijirtamen” had resolved to invite Senator Akume as a fellow stakeholder to sort out the alleged feud, PDP’s Tiv Youth Organisation, an association without a dime in their account, purportedly acting a Government House script hurriedly staged an expensive protest and press conference to openly denigrate and tongue-lash our leader before the gullible public without at least hearing from him; an action we consider exuberant, terrorising and condemnable. Taking their desperation to its zenith, Benue PDP in their haste to crucify the Honourable Minister at the Benue political Golgotha rose from a mischievous meeting at Government House, Makurdi to hurl demeaning words on the person of Senator Akume over an allegation they poignantly claimed its hearsay status in their presentation. We find this act by the PDP in Benue, especially the so-called “Benue National Assembly Caucus” as needless meddlesomeness into a matter that should be the exclusive preserve of Tiv Area Traditional Council; this is akin to an attempt to quench fire with petrol. If the PDP National Assembly Caucus is truly interested in the development of Benue and that of the Tor Tiv as the Chairman of Benue Council of Chiefs, it is high time they be reminded that the Tor Tiv still swims practically in flames of dust as the short road that leads to the Tor Tiv palace is not constructed and his palace remains uncompleted, years after his coronation- they can extend their sympathy to the king in this regard. It is also important to remind the PDP National Assembly Caucus that senior citizens of the state(pensioners) also deserve to be respected but were recently left in the open cold for 7 days while making demands for their unpaid pension arrears of 25 months, while all other workers in Benue are being owed between 5 and 12 months salary arrears with untold hardship, without anyone speaking for them. Assuming without conceding that the Tor Tiv truly has a feud with his son, Senator George Akume, PDP’s unsolicited support and defence of the Tor Tiv’s cause at a time allegations are making the rounds of his involvement in politics have rather gone a long way in portraying our reverred paramount ruler as a PDP card carrying member with a partisan toga. Most unfortunately, of all days, PDP supporters after playing politics with the lives of Benue 73 “matyrs” who were given mass burial on January 11, 2018 have today forgotten to at least hold a simple memorial service to commemorate their two- year remembrance but offered to again bastardize the Tor Tiv stool by dragging it to full fledge politics, while internally displaced persons are still dwelling permanently in IDP camps. We wish to warn PDP supporters in the state to steer clear of all matters relating to the Tiv Area Traditional Council, as the Tor Tiv without any form of incitement would know how to settle scores with his children amicably, as no human society exists without disagreements. We equally plead with the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Prof. James Iorzua Ortese Ayatse not to allow politicians meddle into his affairs unnecessarily as allowing PDP to fight his cause rather than the established structures of his office is already putting on him a damaging toga, suggestive of glaring affinity with partisanship. James Ornguga, Acting State Publicity Secretary, APC, Benue State. Sunday 12th Dec, 2020.

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