Senator Akume is Always against me

share on:

Senator AKUME HAS CONSISTENTLY WORKED AGAINST ME – DANIEL ONJEH

A former senatorial hopeful for the All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue South senatorial area, Comrade Daniel Onjeh has charged that Senator George Akume has been working reliably to guarantee his ruin in the party

Beyond your imagination, contrary to the widely propagated notion that Sen. George Akume sponsored me to contest the 2015 Senatorial Election and the subsequent rerun election against Sen. David Mark, I wish to put it on record that Sen. Akume has consistently worked against my ambition instead, my point is buttressed with the following narrative.

… I found myself between the devil and the deep blue sea during my Benue South Senatorial rerun election in 2015. If I had owned up to the falsehood being peddled around then, that I was being sponsored by Sen. George Akume, I certainly wouldn’t have garnered the 71, 621 votes I scored against David Mark’s 84, 192 votes at the rerun election, because my constituents would have been excusably opposed to my candidature. Conversely, if I had outrightly refuted the claims that Sen. Akume was my sponsor, he could have felt slighted; and obviously, a chunk of the elements controlling the APC hierarchy in the state would have considered me vulnerable to their suppressive machinations. For these reasons, I considered it most expedient politically, to maintain a golden silence on the matter throughout that period, and up till this very moment.

Actually, it’s not like I thought it was morally wrong or an aberration for Sen. Akume to support me in that election, because basically, we belong to the same political party and our objective, of wining all the elective offices available in the state in that election must be in congruence. After all, not in my wildest imagination do I see Sen. David Mark, a member of the PDP, supporting an APC candidate at any election in or outside Benue State. But the devious manner in which the tale of my sponsorship by Akume was concocted and deliberately being bandied by the camp of my opponent to paint a scenario of that I’ve mortgaged the collective interest of Benue South constituents to someone who doesn’t belong to the senatorial district, was what gave me cause for worry. After a rerun election was ordered, Sen. Mark was going to face a near impossible task running on his record against a fresher, thus, they figure out a smear campaign against me.

Consequently, I watched and listened with suppressed discontent over the last three years, as I was being vilified and heckled by a few gullible people, especially on the social media, via the numerous platforms where news and information on Benue State was mostly peddled. A lot of my critics on the subject matter, who were of the opinion that I’d sold out my loyalty to Sen. Akume in return for his sponsorship, had genuine intentions, but acting on limited or distorted information. I never bared my mind on the matter to anyone, not my political associates and supporters…not even my wife. But in light of recent developments, I consider it apt to finally let the cat out of the bag. After all, there’s an African adage that says when an agama Lizard falls from the top of an iroko tree, if no one praises it, it will nod its head in self adulation.

When I aspired for the Benue South Senatorial Seat in 2011, we were only two aspirants ( Young Alhaji and I) that picked the Nomination Forms under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Young Alhaji was tipped to be Prof. Steve Ugbah’s running mate as Deputy Governor. He accepted, and I became the sole Senatorial Candidate for the party. But Sen. George Akume frustrated my ambition, by using every arsenal at his disposal to compel me into relinquishing the ticket to Gen. Lawrence Onoja, who had just lost to Sen. David Mark in the then ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) primaries. I obliged in due deference to him and all the Idoma elites he assembled in a meeting at his instance at Chief Audu Ogbeh’s residence in Makurdi, and later contested for the Ado, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo Federal Constituency House of Reps seat.

Again, Sen. Akume attempted to stop me from contesting in 2015. He revealed to me that Sen. David Mark had pleaded with him to prevail on me to drop my Senatorial ambition for 2015, and advised that I gave it a thought. On listening to him, I retorted immediately and reminded him about how he prevented me from pursuing my ambition in 2011 under similar circumstance; and he withdrew at that point.

After my only contender in the 2014 APC Senatorial Primary Election, Ameh Madaki, played into the hands of some corrupt party officials who scammed him on the purchase of Nomination Form, the party’s Screening Committee declared me unopposed. This decision was vehemently, yet illegally, opposed by Sen. Akume’s stooges at the state party secretariat. Consequently, I was subjected to primaries with Madaki, in spite of the controversy surrounding the purchase of his Nomination Form. We gathered in Otukpo for the primaries and upon discovering that virtually all the delegates were rooting for me, the electoral official absconded to Makurdi with the election materials, claiming that he was carrying out orders “from above”. The reason for this machination would later be revealed. After the Appeal Panel Report favoured me as an unopposed candidate, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party ratified this appeal report and directed that my name be forwarded to INEC as the party’s Senatorial Candidate, but instead, a dummy name was sent to hold the space for the Benue former Deputy Governor, Chief Steve Lawani, who was expected to crossover from PDP to APC, after loosing his governorship primary election to Terhemen Tarzoor.

Unfortunately, Chief Lawani, who couldn’t take a leap in the dark, or gamble like Gov. Samuel Ortom did, declined; as he wasn’t convinced APC would form government at both the federal and state levels. Thus, my detractors were left with no other choice but to substitute the dummy name with my name on the last day for the withdrawal and substitution of candidates at INEC (Jan 2015), at which time, I was left with only one month to campaign for the Feb. 2015 general elections.

Now, ahead of 2019 elections, Sen. Akume appears to have started his plans much earlier than ever. The State Party Chairman, Mr. Abba Yaro, had last year, confided in someone that Sen. Akume ordered him to work for his old time friend and business partner, Chief Steve Lawani, to pick the 2019 Senatorial ticket of the APC. This was later confirmed by Yaro’s open declaration at another forum, of Chief Lawani, as the APC sole and unopposed Senatorial Candidate for 2019.

I sent Sen. Akume a text message to confirm the veracity of Yaro’s claim, which was linked to him, and to ask him if he would treat me that way, if I were his son, considering all I have gone through from contesting LG Chairman, House of Reps, Senate and my back to back appearances at the election petition tribunals and courts. He neither responded nor gave me the opportunity to discuss it.

These antecedents informed all the deportations and machinations witnessed in the conduct of the recent APC Congresses in Benue State; Benue South in particular, whose pre-congress meeting in Otukpo degenerated to the loss of several lives.

Chief Lawani was in PDP for 16 years, 8 of which he was a Deputy Governor of Benue State. In all those 16 years, I worked tirelessly with other ideological politicians, in defiance of hunger and other sundry needs, to shore up the fortunes of the opposition party, which metamorphosed into the current APC, in Benue State. Not once, did I ever veer near the corridors of power in all those 16 years, to seek any form of financial leverage from Lawani and his ilk in the PDP.

Chief Lawani and many of his co travelers eventually crossed over to the APC from the PDP in 2016, at the occasion of my declaration for the rerun election, ostensibly to support me and brighten my chances of clinching the Benue South Senatorial seat. Today, it is on record to my credit, that I have mustered the courage and goodwill to unseat the acclaimed giant, Sen. David Mark, from the Senate, for a period of about six months. Therefore it will be right to infer that Lawani has had his dues from the PDP, and there is actually no moral basis for him to come into the APC, a platform which I co-laboured diligently to nurture, and displace me.

Hence, I want the entire world, the heavens and posterity to bear me witness on account of the foregoing, as activities pertaining the forthcoming general elections gather momentum towards a denouement in 2019.
Read his press release below…

Beyond your imagination, contrary to the widely propagated notion that Sen. George Akume sponsored me to contest the 2015 Senatorial Election and the subsequent rerun election against Sen. David Mark, I wish to put it on record that Sen. Akume has consistently worked against my ambition instead, my point is buttressed with the following narrative.

… I found myself between the devil and the deep blue sea during my Benue South Senatorial rerun election in 2015. If I had owned up to the falsehood being peddled around then, that I was being sponsored by Sen. George Akume, I certainly wouldn’t have garnered the 71, 621 votes I scored against David Mark’s 84, 192 votes at the rerun election, because my constituents would have been excusably opposed to my candidature. Conversely, if I had outrightly refuted the claims that Sen. Akume was my sponsor, he could have felt slighted; and obviously, a chunk of the elements controlling the APC hierarchy in the state would have considered me vulnerable to their suppressive machinations. For these reasons, I considered it most expedient politically, to maintain a golden silence on the matter throughout that period, and up till this very moment.

Actually, it’s not like I thought it was morally wrong or an aberration for Sen. Akume to support me in that election, because basically, we belong to the same political party and our objective, of wining all the elective offices available in the state in that election must be in congruence. After all, not in my wildest imagination do I see Sen. David Mark, a member of the PDP, supporting an APC candidate at any election in or outside Benue State. But the devious manner in which the tale of my sponsorship by Akume was concocted and deliberately being bandied by the camp of my opponent to paint a scenario of that I’ve mortgaged the collective interest of Benue South constituents to someone who doesn’t belong to the senatorial district, was what gave me cause for worry. After a rerun election was ordered, Sen. Mark was going to face a near impossible task running on his record against a fresher, thus, they figure out a smear campaign against me.

Consequently, I watched and listened with suppressed discontent over the last three years, as I was being vilified and heckled by a few gullible people, especially on the social media, via the numerous platforms where news and information on Benue State was mostly peddled. A lot of my critics on the subject matter, who were of the opinion that I’d sold out my loyalty to Sen. Akume in return for his sponsorship, had genuine intentions, but acting on limited or distorted information. I never bared my mind on the matter to anyone, not my political associates and supporters…not even my wife. But in light of recent developments, I consider it apt to finally let the cat out of the bag. After all, there’s an African adage that says when an agama Lizard falls from the top of an iroko tree, if no one praises it, it will nod its head in self adulation.

When I aspired for the Benue South Senatorial Seat in 2011, we were only two aspirants ( Young Alhaji and I) that picked the Nomination Forms under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Young Alhaji was tipped to be Prof. Steve Ugbah’s running mate as Deputy Governor. He accepted, and I became the sole Senatorial Candidate for the party. But Sen. George Akume frustrated my ambition, by using every arsenal at his disposal to compel me into relinquishing the ticket to Gen. Lawrence Onoja, who had just lost to Sen. David Mark in the then ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) primaries. I obliged in due deference to him and all the Idoma elites he assembled in a meeting at his instance at Chief Audu Ogbeh’s residence in Makurdi, and later contested for the Ado, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo Federal Constituency House of Reps seat.

Again, Sen. Akume attempted to stop me from contesting in 2015. He revealed to me that Sen. David Mark had pleaded with him to prevail on me to drop my Senatorial ambition for 2015, and advised that I gave it a thought. On listening to him, I retorted immediately and reminded him about how he prevented me from pursuing my ambition in 2011 under similar circumstance; and he withdrew at that point.

After my only contender in the 2014 APC Senatorial Primary Election, Ameh Madaki, played into the hands of some corrupt party officials who scammed him on the purchase of Nomination Form, the party’s Screening Committee declared me unopposed. This decision was vehemently, yet illegally, opposed by Sen. Akume’s stooges at the state party secretariat. Consequently, I was subjected to primaries with Madaki, in spite of the controversy surrounding the purchase of his Nomination Form. We gathered in Otukpo for the primaries and upon discovering that virtually all the delegates were rooting for me, the electoral official absconded to Makurdi with the election materials, claiming that he was carrying out orders “from above”. The reason for this machination would later be revealed. After the Appeal Panel Report favoured me as an unopposed candidate, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party ratified this appeal report and directed that my name be forwarded to INEC as the party’s Senatorial Candidate, but instead, a dummy name was sent to hold the space for the Benue former Deputy Governor, Chief Steve Lawani, who was expected to crossover from PDP to APC, after loosing his governorship primary election to Terhemen Tarzoor.

Unfortunately, Chief Lawani, who couldn’t take a leap in the dark, or gamble like Gov. Samuel Ortom did, declined; as he wasn’t convinced APC would form government at both the federal and state levels. Thus, my detractors were left with no other choice but to substitute the dummy name with my name on the last day for the withdrawal and substitution of candidates at INEC (Jan 2015), at which time, I was left with only one month to campaign for the Feb. 2015 general elections.

Now, ahead of 2019 elections, Sen. Akume appears to have started his plans much earlier than ever. The State Party Chairman, Mr. Abba Yaro, had last year, confided in someone that Sen. Akume ordered him to work for his old time friend and business partner, Chief Steve Lawani, to pick the 2019 Senatorial ticket of the APC. This was later confirmed by Yaro’s open declaration at another forum, of Chief Lawani, as the APC sole and unopposed Senatorial Candidate for 2019.

I sent Sen. Akume a text message to confirm the veracity of Yaro’s claim, which was linked to him, and to ask him if he would treat me that way, if I were his son, considering all I have gone through from contesting LG Chairman, House of Reps, Senate and my back to back appearances at the election petition tribunals and courts. He neither responded nor gave me the opportunity to discuss it.

These antecedents informed all the deportations and machinations witnessed in the conduct of the recent APC Congresses in Benue State; Benue South in particular, whose pre-congress meeting in Otukpo degenerated to the loss of several lives.

Chief Lawani was in PDP for 16 years, 8 of which he was a Deputy Governor of Benue State. In all those 16 years, I worked tirelessly with other ideological politicians, in defiance of hunger and other sundry needs, to shore up the fortunes of the opposition party, which metamorphosed into the current APC, in Benue State. Not once, did I ever veer near the corridors of power in all those 16 years, to seek any form of financial leverage from Lawani and his ilk in the PDP.

Chief Lawani and many of his co travelers eventually crossed over to the APC from the PDP in 2016, at the occasion of my declaration for the rerun election, ostensibly to support me and brighten my chances of clinching the Benue South Senatorial seat. Today, it is on record to my credit, that I have mustered the courage and goodwill to unseat the acclaimed giant, Sen. David Mark, from the Senate, for a period of about six months. Therefore it will be right to infer that Lawani has had his dues from the PDP, and there is actually no moral basis for him to come into the APC, a platform which I co-laboured diligently to nurture, and displace me.

Hence, I want the entire world, the heavens and posterity to bear me witness on account of the foregoing, as activities pertaining the forthcoming general elections gather momentum towards a denouement in 2019.

Leave a Response