Connect with us


Gov Alia, PDP trade words over killings in Benue



Gov Alia, PDP trade words over killings in Benue

The Benue chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Hyacinth Alia have engaged in a war of words over recent killings by suspected herdsmen in the state.

The PDP, in statement at the weekend by its State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, said it was concerned by the silence of Governor Alia over the recent armed herdsmen incursions in the state and the killings of innocent Benue farmers in parts of the state.

The party, while alleging that it amounted to the Governor aiding and abetting the crime, also specifically noted the attack on a bus belonging to the state-owned Benue Links Transport Company on Makurdi-Naka Road that led to the death of some victims and injury of several others. This, the PDP said, went unnoticed by the governor as in other similar incidents.

The PDP said: “Over 24 hours after reports emerged that suspected Fulani herdsmen laid siege on the Makurdi-Naka Road and killed scores of travellers, Governor Alia, is yet to react to the incident.

“This silence of the Governor follows a trend of his attitude regarding such incidents in the state since he came to office, with his media handlers suggesting his approach to tackling insecurity will be devoid of what they term as the “propaganda” deployed by immediate past Governor Samuel Ortom.

“PDP wonders how the Governor intends to root out terrorists without condemning their crimes publicly. Are Benue people not entitled to know, even if only for purpose or confidence building, what action plan Governor Alia has, to deal with the unending killings and kidnappings by Fulani herdsmen and bandits across the state?

“Is continuous public attention not needed to keep the crimes of those terrorists in the public glare and on the front burner of national discourse so as to speed up counter action from relevant authorities?

Read also: QuickRead: BBC report on Tinubu’s certificate saga. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter 

“It can be recalled that as governor Ortom was consistent in calling public attention to the scourge of herdsmen killings and destruction in the state, and while that may not have stopped the crimes for the known fact that the criminals enjoyed backing from very high quarters, it mitigated it considerably.

“PDP suspects that Governor Alia’s policy of silence over the atrocities of terrorists in Benue serves a politically convenient purpose for certain interests outside of the state, yet the party cautions him against continuing with the policy which is emboldening criminals and worsening insecurity in the state.”

However, in reaction to the allegation by the PDP, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Alia, Tersoo Kula, in a statement on Sunday, maintained that contrary to the claims by the PDP, the governor was determined to rid the state of criminal elements.

The CPS said: “Though the Governor was still out of the state when the incident on Makurdi-Naka road happened, he had directed one of his Advisers, Chief Joseph Har, who promptly visited Benue Links Limited headquarters to commiserate with the management and to get details of the incident.

“The Adviser thereafter proceeded to the scene of the attack where he had first-hand information from soldiers deployed in that axis, and who responded to the distress call. The soldiers are personnel of 72 Special Battalion Makurdi.

“Chief Har also visited the palace of HRH Daniel Abomtse, to pay homage and to also extend the Governor’s sincere sympathy and condemnation of the act. All these were done immediately the Governor got wind of the attack.

“Alia must not always come out to organize press conferences and cry on cameras before the party will accept that he is making efforts. You don’t talk or cry over security issues as was the case in the past eight years. A responsive leader acts proactively. This is what Governor Hyacinth Alia is busy doing at the moment.

“We must reemphasize that the administration of Rev. Fr. Alia will not toe the same line of media propaganda the PDP employed during its reign in the state, especially as the precious lives of the good people of Benue are involved. These people trusted the Governor with their votes, and he will not betray that trust.

“Let the party not use the lives of the people of the state as its only political selling point, except if there is anything they know about these attacks that the government doesn’t know of.

“The security of lives involves everybody and this is why Governor Alia is always drumming like a slogan, ‘If you see something, you say something.”

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now