POLICE BOSS VICTIM OF POLITICAL WHIRLWIND?

By James Ibechi

The late hours of Thursday, July 26, 2018 ended with the news of the recall of Fatai Owoseni, to Abuja.

Owoseni took over from Bashir Makama in January 2018 as Benue State Police Commissioner.

Makama was involved in the controversial farmer and herdsmen conflict in the state to warrant his sudden replacement.

He reportedly disagreed with Governor Samuel Ortom on the order to send Fulani herdsmen packing from the state, an order Makama faulted arguing that it was against the constitution to sack the nomadic tribe from the state.

Fatai-Owoseni Owoseni

Owoseni may have been caught in a similar web as a troubling political drama is staged in the Food basket state and he was probably caught in crossfire.

While Owoseni’s Abuja recall is said to be connected with his near retirement, analysts fault the coincidence with the recent political development in the state involving Governor Samuel Ortom and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Recently, Governor Ortom dropped all but four commissioners in his cabinet in what is reported an emerging feud with the Senator representing Benue North West in the National Assembly, George Akume.

The national leadership of APC intervened and the governor’s grievances were reportedly receiving attention when Ortom suddenly announced the withdrawal of his membership of the party in a meeting with local government chairmen and councilors in the state.

He headed to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) his former political party.

 

All but ten of the council chairmen reportedly agreed to follow the governor to PDP. Conscious of ominous signs on the wall, council chairmen believed to be Akume’s loyalists feared Ortom would dissolve the councils and headed to the court to restrain him.

They lost in a verdict delivered by the presiding Judge of the Benue High Court, Justice Itodo.

In a comment, the Benue State Commissioner for Justice, Mike Gusa, observed that the fear of the governor’s sledge hammer of dissolution was unfounded as the chairmen were democratically elected.

He, however, did not foreclose the impeachment of deviants which may refer to council chairmen who remain loyal to Akume.

Analysts believe that retaining two captains in a ship is tantamount to inviting confusion that might cause the imminent ramming of the ship against the rock, therefore, Ortom as the Chief Executive of the state deserves the loyalty of the council chairmen, especially in a democratic setting that the third tier of government is a mere appendage of the state.

This is believed to be the conviction of Police Commissioner, Owoseni who probably acted in tandem but got his fingers burnt.

Senator Akume fuming from Governor Ortom’s onslaught is believed to have influenced Owoseni’s recall from Benue State.

Akume who is the adjudged leader of APC in the state counted it humiliation as Ortom turned against him. Among Akume’s losses in the unfolding face off with Ortom was the impeachment of the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange and his later suspension from parliamentary functions by his colleagues for six months for alleged unpaliamentary conduct.

He was replaced by Titus Uba.

Last week, Ikyange was reportedly considering the impeachment of the governor, an allegation he denied.

His impeachment is therefore, seen by the governor’s loyalists as a decision against the unforeseen.

Both the governor and his deputy, Benson Abounu were loyalists of Akume until things went awry and both leaders parted ways.

As election draws near, Ortom wants only his loyalists in his cabinet to enhance his victory at the 2019 polls.

Whoever is therefore, retained in his cabinet is his presumed loyalist until the future unfolds more drama

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