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15 May 2016

Akume Vs. Suswam: The Unending Grudge Battle (MUST READ)

SOLOMON AYADO writes on the unsettling but prolonged  face-off between former Benue State governors, Sen. George Akume and his immediate successor, Gabriel Suswam.

It all began like a cold war between former Senate minority leader in the 7th Assembly, Senator George Akume and former Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state. The majority of Benue people felt it was a mere predecessor-successor disagreement that would be easily resolved without much media attention.

But the political fracas between Akume and Suswam has spanned several years now and it become  prolonged, assuming a dangerous dimension such that it seems there is no solution insight on how to save the intensely soured political relationship.

Whenever it appeared like  the face off is being quenched, the ember smoldered all over again.

Akume and Suswam whose cordial relationship had once existed in the mould of father and son, has now become like that of cat and dog. By the day, the frontline politicians in the agrarian Benue State are far from being political buddies. Their followers have since caught the rivalry bug and have been desirous to unleash  verbal abuses in a bid to establish superiority just as the rivalry has naturally been accentuated by their political parties, the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The recent outburst by former minority leader, George Akume that he was full of regret for ensuring that former Governor Gabriel Suswam became governor of the agrarian state, sparked this new phase of exchange.

Akume served as Benue governor between 1999 and 2007 under the platform of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was succeeded by Suswam (PDP), who until 2007 represented, Ukum, Katsina-Ala and Logo federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

He made the statement during the official distribution of tricycles to the constituents of the Benue North West senatorial district. According to him,  he personally coerced and insisted that Suswam should be made governor, even as it was against the many wishes of the generality of the Benue people.

Akume stated that his insistence that Suswam become governor was to impact the desired development to the poverty stricken state. He further, noted that he (Akume) had no premonition that his successor would allegedly swindle the state’s funds. He said the agricultural state was broke and thrown into deficit with an empty treasury because of the alleged corrupt practices of the immediate past administration of Suswam.

His words: “I was among the people that formed the PDP in 1999 and as governor, I personally insisted that Suswam was made governor of Benue. Of course I didn’t know he would become  highly criminal and swindle the entire state funds. The whole state is broke and this was caused by Suswam’s siphoning,”

But Suswam in a swift reaction described the claim as unfounded and  insisted that the people of Benue State made him governorn and not Senator Akume. He acknowledged Akume’s contributions to his emergence as governor in 2007 but maintained that it was the people of Benue State and not Akume that made him governor.

Suswam added that it was wrong of Akume to arrogate to himself the authority of God almighty who alone elevates those he choses to positions of power and authority.

His words: “Senator Akume is not God and therefore, he cannot claim to be the only person who solely determines what happens politically in Benue State.I am not a criminal. Senator Akume should note that I delivered on my mandate as Governor of Benue State by serving Benue people who voted me into office.”

challenging the people of the state to compare the achievements of his tenure with that of his predeccessor, Suswam challenged Sen. Akume to list his achievements in office as governor so that the people of Benue State can contrast between the two. He stated unequivocally that Senator Akume was being haunted by his poor performance while
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Item Reviewed: Akume Vs. Suswam: The Unending Grudge Battle (MUST READ) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Link Naija