John Shiaondo, Makurdi
The immediate past Governor of Benue state, Dr. Gabriel Suswam has said he almost paid with his life in effort to bring an end to the invasion of Fulani herdsmen when he was in the crisis torn area in Guma to do the on the spot assessment.
Suswam who was reacting yesterday to the statement credited to his predecessor George Akume while addressing the crowd came to celebrate chrismas with governor Samuel Ortom in Gbajimba said he was attacked by Fulani mercineries when he was traveling to Gbajimba and other parts to assess the damage done by the crisis.
He said that except for Sen. Akume and his likes nursing grudges against him, he did every legitimate thing within his powers as Governor to bring the herdsmen invasion of the state to an end.
Akume, while addressing a crowd at Gbajimba, the home country of Governor Samuel Ortom on Christmas Day lashed out at Suswam blaming him for the killings and devastation of the area by suspected fulani invaders, saying Suswam compromising on security as Governor.
According to him, Akume while serving as governor could not do anything for the state saying the former senate minority leader lacked the moral justification to speak on issues of security against him.
Akume lack any “moral justification to speak on issues of security and infrastructure especially as they relate to Benue state his days in charge of the state witnessed the peak of bloodshed the worse been the “pogrom” at Zaki-Biam that was necessitated by his “kindergarten and sheepish handling” of the situation as Governor in 2001.
In a rejoinder by Gabriel Torwua Suswam’s Media Team, made available to THE UNION he dismissed Akume saying he inherited torrent of devastating communal clashes and insecured state from Akume but tactically managed the situation.
When I took over leadership of the state, I tactifully managed the crises and the result was that both the clashes and criminality in the state was reduced to the barest minimum.
He wondered why Akume who, as a minority leader in the senate lost his voice even at the critical period when the greatest part of his constituency was lavaged now found his voice to ‘lash’ at him.
On the issue of the Gbajimba road, Suswam asked, “Was there any road in any part of the state that Akume constructed while in office for eight years as Governor? If he had none as we know, it rather add to yet another critical question that, what happened that for eight years, Akume would be looking for a scape-goat in Suswam on while he could not build a road for the people?”
He appeal to Akume to face his business adding, Let him tell the people why with enormous experience he has from the peak of state civil service, to presiding over a state for eight years and now third term parliamentarian, he could not sponsor a single bill to his credit while in the chambers for over nine years.
I Almost Lost My Life Trying To End Fulani Invasion – Suswam
John Shiaondo, Makurdi