Benue Governor denies rift with Akume

Contrary to open disagreement among political gladiators in Benue State,  Gov. Hyacinth Alia on Saturday said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Sen. George Akume remains a leader and he does not have any problem with him.

Alia, at his maiden media interaction with journalists at Government House in Makurdi, said Akume remains his leader despite speculations that there was crisis between the two because of the Governor’s choice of Chief of Staff and SSG.

He said there was no single problem or crisis between him and the SGF, adding that Akume is his leader and leader of the All Progressives Congress in the North Central.

“I don’t have any crisis with the SGF. He is my leader and the leader of the APC in the State and the Zone. People are creating their perceived crisis where there is no crisis.

“As a State, we made plans to welcome him home but the entire North Central Zone, including the FCT, said they want to be part of it so the plans are on the way,” he said.

The Governor also expressed shock that some people in the State accused him of choosing the leadership of the State Assembly explaining that he did not know anything about it.

“I’m amazed that you said I chose the leadership of the State Assembly. I did not. I’m a Catholic Priest and we are trained to be at least trusted.”

He said since assumption of office, he has started the renovation of the State House of Assembly and the State Secretariat which were all in very bad shape.

NAN reports that the State Secretariat was built during the adminstration of late Gov. Aper Aku between 1979-1983.

Alia said he discovered 2,500 ghost workers in the first phase of staff verification and payroll audit for teachers and staff of local governments which has saved the State N1.2 billion.

He also said his administration was committed to peace building and the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the State.

He said that upon assumption of office he has stopped all forms of illegal mining, multiple taxation among others for efficient and effective business environment.

Alia disclosed that few minutes after taking his oath of office he froze all State accounts because people wanted to short change the State, adding that some of them are still frozen because he is yet to go through them.

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