The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State on Sunday expressed concern over the intractable silence of Governor Hyacinth Alia over the recalcitrant attacks and gruesome murder of innocent people of the state by suspected invading Fulani militants.
The party said the governor’s continued silence makes it believe that he is allegedly “aiding and abating terror” in the state against citizens of the state he swore to protect by the constitution.
But the governor, in a swift response said he does not need to “always come out to organize press conferences and cry on cameras before the party will accept that he is making efforts”.
Spokesman of the party, Mr Bemgba Iortyom, in a statement reacting to the weekend’s hijack of a fully loaded Benue Links bus by the armed terrorists along Makurdi-Naka road that saw the death of a passenger gruesomely murdered, others allegedly kidnapped and injured, said it “views the policy of silence by Governor Hyacinth Alia over the activities of terrorists in the state as aiding and abetting crime”.
“This silence of the governor follows a trend of his attitude regarding such incidents in the state since he came to office, with his media handlers suggesting his approach to tackling insecurity will be devoid of what they term as the “propaganda” deployed by immediate past Governor Samuel Ortom.
“PDP wonders how the governor intends to root out terrorists without condemning their crimes publicly.
“Are Benue people not entitled to know, even if only for purpose or confidence building, what action plan Governor Alia has to deal with the unending killings and kidnappings by Fulani herdsmen and bandits across the state?
“Is continuous public attention not needed to keep the crimes of those terrorists in the public glare and on the front burner of national discourse so as to speed up counter-action from relevant authorities?
“It can be recalled that as governor, Ortom was consistent in calling public attention to the scourge of herdsmen killings and destruction in the state, and while that may not have stopped the crimes for the known fact that the criminals enjoyed backing from very high quarters, it mitigated it considerably.
“PDP suspects that Governor Alia’s policy of silence over the atrocities of terrorists in Benue serves a politically convenient purpose for certain interests outside of the state, yet the party cautions him against continuing with the policy which is emboldening criminals and worsening insecurity in the state”.
But Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Tersoo Kula, in a statement acknowledged the efforts being made by the governor to quell the rising insecurity situation in the state including the launching of a joint security outfit code named: “Exercise Enduring Peace III” aimed at addressing the various security challenges confronting the state.
“Alia must not always come out to organize press conferences and cry on cameras before the party will accept that he is making efforts. You don’t talk or cry over security issues as was the case in the past 8 years. A responsive leader acts proactively. This is what Governor Hyacinth Alia is busy doing at the moment”.