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Akume loyalist tackle Zone A group over press

Published by The Nation on Sun, 10 Jan 2021

By Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi Loyalists of Senator George Akume, the All Progress Congress (APC) leader in the North-Central and Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, have decried media attacks on the former governor by a group known as ZAPA.Last week, a group called Zone A Peoples Assembly (ZAPA) led by Fannen Frank launched a media attack against Senator Akume, accusing him of attempts to run down prominent sons of the zone politically.However, loyalists of Senator Akume led by Pastor Terngu Shawon and Barrister Jacob Obande, countered the group through a press statement which they signed and made available to The Nation on Saturday.The duo of Pastor Shawon and Barr Ajene said rather than destroy, Senator Akume had given juicy appointments to the people of Benue North-East Senatorial District (zone A), more than any other political leader in Benue.Read Also: How I aided Benue robbery kingpin, Gana, with charms made from human partsChief priestThey said it was during Akumes time as governor of Benue State that many sons and daughters of Zone A rose to limelight politically.They said the group may have rather been sponsored to distract Senator Dr George Akume with the allegation that he (Akume) removed the former PDP National Chairman, Chief Barnabas Gemade from office; stating that this is completely unfounded, as Senator Akume was rather a major contributor to Gemades emergence as PDP National Chairman until the Presidency at the time instigated his removal.As a founding member of APC and the partys leader in Benue State, Senator Akume has worked assiduously in developing other leaders of the party without discrimination. Accusing him of frustrating APC leaders from Zone A out of the party is an uncharitable accusation against a man who has given his all to the party and does not forget his own people, Shawon and Anene said.They mention those from Zone A who Akume appointed into positions of authority and said It was during his tenure as governor that Zone A controlled both the Legislative arm of government and the Judiciary. Let ZAPA be reminded that Hon. Mrs Margaret Icheen, (the first female Speaker in Africa) and later Hon. Mzenda Iho were Speakers of the Benue State House of Assembly while Justice Terna Ufefa Puusu was the Chief Judge of Benue State as well as Mrs. Margaret Gom, a Commissioner with Federal Character Commission from same Zone A. It was also during the Akume administration that both Chief Abu King Shuluwa and Pastor Terngu Shawon were nominated and appointed Federal Commissioner, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and State Director, National Orientation Agency respectively.Finally, they advised ZAPA not to distract Senator Akume as he is busy delivering on the mandate of President Mohammadu Buhari and the APC manifesto.
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