By Desmond Shagbaor, Makurdi
Benue state Governor Samuel, has taken a painful decision not to be identified as a political stooge to one-time governor of the state, and former Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume saying he is no longer his political godfather. “I have no political godfather in the state, only the Almighty God is my godfather”.
But Ortom while performing the foundation laying ceremony of Josanna College of Education, Agasha, in Guma local government area of the state recently, advised those planning to put him and Senator Akume asunder not to waste their time as the former governor would continue to be his leader and father, and also vowed to continue to follow his lifestyle of selflessness.
He said both him and Akume have been playing complimentary roles on how to shape the political activities in the state and noted that he, Ortom, would always respect Akume as his father and leader.
But speaking on a state radio programme recently entitled: “Issues of the Moment” where he elucidated on issues bothering on his administration and the appointment of new traditional rulers in the state, Governor Ortom said he has no political godfather insisting that he seeks direction on how to run the state from God Almighty and not from Akume.
“Akume is a political leader of the state and as a retired Permanent Secretary, Governor for eight years and three times Senator of the federal Republic, he remains a major stakeholder who cannot be pushed aside in the politics of the state”.
“I do relate so much with Senator Akume. He is a fair-minded person. He is a kind of person even to his enemies. He does not interfere with my government”.
Governor Ortom said for the mere fact that Senator Akume was instrumental to his emergence as governor during the 2015 general election should not be taken too far to look at him as a stooge by anyone.
On the alleged imposition of political appointees on him by the now estranged political godfather for consideration for appointment in his administration, Governor Ortom said some of such recommendations are considered while others are rejected.
Already, the governor has sacked his Senior Special Assistant on Administration, Mr. Japhet Gurgur, a perceived Akume’s loyalist over alleged insubordination.
He dispelled the widespread insinuation that Akume was planning to interfere with the selection of traditional rulers for which a three-day fasting and prayers have been declared by the state government and expressed optimism that the process would be free and fair.