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No rift between Akume and I, says Benue gov, Alia

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Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has said there is no rift between him and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume.

Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume

Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has said there is no rift between him and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume.

While celebrating Akume for his 70th birthday, Alia described him as the father of Benue, adding that those carrying rumours of a fracas between them were “merchants of mischief.”

Alia said, “I want to unambiguously debunk the circulating rumours of discord between the SGF and myself. These speculations exist solely in the imaginative realm of opportunists, instigators of turmoil, and merchants of mischief who thrive on chaos. The said fracas is only a figment of the imagination crafted by those who seek to profit from crisis.

“For pockets of disenchanted members of our party here in the state, we are already in talks to address various areas of discontent. However, while we try to do so, we shall ensure that the will of the masses who voted us into office, prevails. This is because we are determined not to distort the organic relationship between the people and our government.

“I therefore enjoin each and every one of us to dismiss such baseless notions and focus on the shared commitment to truth, unity, and progress that defines our collective journey.”

At a symposium in Makurdi, the state capital, to mark the birthday, the governor described the SGF as a political colossus, a democratic patriarch, and a man who upon the birthing of the Fourth Republic in Nigeria, laid the foundation for successive leadership in Benue.

He said: “We are gathered here today not merely to acknowledge the passage of time, but to celebrate a leader—the state pillar of our great party; a man who has over the years, risen steadily from being a political creation to a creator in our political landscape.”

Represented by his deputy, Dr. Sam Ode, the governor said Akume’s birthday has become a platform for discussing good governance and national cohesion.

Alia added, “While some may regard that as foolishness or a weakness, I personally regard it as the greatest virtue of a true democrat who is open-minded and flexible in the marketplace of ideas.

“In Nigeria, only few individuals dedicate their political missions to the advancement of common good. Among these rare individuals stands the Retired Permanent Secretary, a two-term governor of Benue State, a three-term Senator of the Federal Republic, a former Honourable Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, and presently the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“For over two decades, Sen. Akume has exemplified, both in rhetoric and action, a steadfast commitment to Social Compassion and Welfare Advocacy.

“This political philosophy, deeply entrenched in the essence of well-being and a profound reverence for human dignity, has served as a guiding principle throughout his tenure in public service, from his days as Permanent Secretary through to date as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“His enduring commitment to these ideals underscores an uncompromising belief in politics that places the welfare and dignity of every individual at the forefront. It is this principled approach that shapes his legacy, marking him as a leader dedicated to the enhancement of our society.”

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