• Youths protest planned installation of monarchs
Outgoing Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has cautioned the leadership and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to exercise decorum and desist from making inflammatory statements and threats capable of creating ill will and tension in the state.
Meanwhile, youths under the aegis of Benue Youth Forum, Friday, besieged a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Tiv people also known as Ijir Tamen in Gboko, to protest against plans by the Tiv Area Traditional Council, with the consent of the Benue State Government, to appoint first class chiefs in the state.
The governor-elect, Dr. Samuel Ortom represented by his duty, Engr. Benson Abounu had at a press briefing in Makurdi of Tuesday, warned Suswam to refrain from recruiting fresh workers, appointing new first class chiefs, as well as not to conduct local government elections.
But Suswam in a press statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Justin Amase, said he remains the governor of the state and would not tolerate reckless pronouncements from any person or persons on matters of government and governance in Benue State.
“I wishes to advise that they should wait until May 29, 2015 when the APC government will be officially inaugurated before they can take charge of governance in the state.
The APC and indeed the good people of Benue State are to note that I remains the Executive Governor and would not tolerate reckless pronouncements from any person or persons on matters of government and governance in Benue State,” the Governor warned.
But rumour has it that Suswam’s immediate elder brother Terkura Suswam, has allegedly been penciled down as Tor Sankera in the planned last minute installation, leading to a peaceful protest by the youths, who marched from View Point via Bristow Round-About to the Gboko Local Government Secretariat, venue of the meeting where they officially registered their grievances to the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Gboko Local Government Hon. Joseph Tseeka, who mediated talks between the youth and the Tiv Traditional Council. Leader of the protesters Comr.
Manasseh Aondohemba said that the group had come to the Tiv Chambers to inform traditional rulers that Benue Youth were opposed to the move to install first class chiefs owing to dwindling economic fortunes of the state under the present administration.
He noted that salaries of Civil Servants at all levels have not been paid, higher institutions of learning and primary schools in the state closed with the state government maintaining a debt profile running into billions of naira.
He therefore, insisted that it was insensitive for the state government to embark on ventures that are aimed at increasing the cost of governance when it cannot take care of the current workload.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Gboko Local Government council Hon. Joseph Tseeka commended the youth for conducting themselves orderly.
He stated that base on the issues raised by the leader of the forum, it was very clear that forum has a case, which he promised to forward to the appropriate channels for necessary actions.
It will be recalled that the State House of Assembly had passed an executive bill seeking amendments to the state’s chieftaincy law to pave way for the creation of additional first class chiefs.
The issue has generated concerns in the state leading to the suspension of the process by the Idoma Area Traditional Council with the Tiv Area Traditional Council being adamant on the installation of the first class chiefs.