The embattled governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, is in for bigger problems as his estranged god father, Senator George Akume, has threatened to expose the governor’s massive looting and as well set the EFCC after his accomplices that had earlier been interrogated for stealing by the anti graft agency.
The whole incident happened at about 1am today during a meeting which was arranged at the Presidential Lodge of the Benue government house in Makurdi by a former permanent secretary (Establishment), Mr. Akange Audu, to broker peace between Governor Ortom and Senator Akume.
At the meeting, Akange Audu, whose wife is presently the chairperson of Makurdi Local Government, said that it became imperative for him to invite the duo of Ortom and Akume in order to find a lasting solution to the internal crisis which has been going on between the two of them.
Specifically, Akange Audu mentioned the issue of replacing Ortom with Emmanuel Jime as the APC flag bearer in 2019 among other issues that must be resolved at the meeting.
Just as Audu who was to be a mediator at the meeting had finished, Governor Samuel Ortom signified his intention to talk, and said that he was ready to leave the APC for Akume and his people if that would give him back his peace.
According to Ortom, he could no longer tolerate all the public insults which he said Akume had been giving to him since the issue of salary crisis started.
Immediately Ortom had finished, a visibly angry Akume raised his voice and tongue lashed the governor by saying several derogatory words to him in the presence of Akange Audu who sat down helplessly.
Akume said:”You (Ortom) are a bastard. You this idiot that I picked from the gutter. You are an ordinary criminal that was disgraced in 2014 but I made sure you became governor on a platter of gold.
“I have been hearing that you said you want to leave the APC just because I have found a better candidate. Jime is going to represent APC at the election and I dare you to leave the party. If you are sure that you can leave the party peacefully, then try it and see what I will do to you and your brother-in-law (Oliver Mtom)
“You are a thief. You eat all the monies meant for salaries payment and yet you will go about and lie that I, Akume, is the reason you cannot pay salaries. Leave the party and see if I will not expose you.
“I also heard that you go about telling people that I use to insult you anytime I drink alcohol and get drunk. You that call yourself a man of God and someone who doesn’t drink, aren’t you fetish? You call yourself a holy man but you are into cultism and fetish stuffs. A man of God who has been stealing, stealing and stealing. I shall expose you, you just try and leave the party first.
“The last time, you, your permanent secretary and brother-in-law stole N22 billion and you lied to me that it was N18 billion when you needed me to intervene so that the EFCC could drop their investigations. You forget that it was during the EFCC investigation that they discovered all the N22 billion from the bank accounts of your wife’s brother and other two people. You just try and…..”
While Akume was saying all these, Ortom stood up angrily and said: “I agree that I am a thief. I agree that I steal. I agree that I am a common criminal like you have said but I want you to know that I use to give you your own share from the stolen funds. You have been getting your own fair share”
In his response, Akume asked the governor to mention any money he had given him from the stolen funds since he became governor.
While reacting to that, Ortom said: “I have been eating the stolen funds with you and your family. Your wife (Regina Akume) who is presently in Germany now, I gave her N8 million when she wanted to go on the trip. Where did I get that N8 million from or do I earn N8 million as my salary? I am ready to leave your party for you if that will make you happy”
On his own, Akume said: “You forgot how you ran to me recently that your permanent secretary had been arrested by the EFCC over the N22 billion which some people including your brother-in-law helped you to withdraw from the state government bank accounts even though you lied to me that it was N18 billion.
“You forget that it was me that helped you talk to the Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo) who asked the EFCC to release your permanent secretary on bail and also suspend their investigations. You forget that it was when the vice president invited the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to plead with him that the EFCC boss revealed that the money was actually N22 billion and not the N18 billion that you mentioned to me”
Realising that he couldn’t broker peace between the governor and Senator Akume, the mediator, Akange Audu, advised that they should go to the larger waiting room of the lodge where some other party stakeholders were waiting for them so they could throw the matter open.
Waiting for the trio at the larger waiting room were a former deputy governor of the state, Mr. Steven Lawani, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Terkimbir Ikyange, Chief Mike Iyortye and some others.
On getting to the larger stakeholders meeting, Akume stood up and said that he would never sit down with ” this criminal” (pointing to Ortom) in his life again.
He pressed further that he is ready to sacrifice his return to the Senate rather that sit down with the governor or even allow him to fly the party’s flag in 2019. He then walked out of the meeting.