The Forum of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria on Thursday, August 10, spoke out against what they term “anti-democratic, malicious, and ill-informed posturings” by a group led by former Minister of Agriculture and National PDP Chairman, Hon. Innocent Audu Ogbeh.
The Ogbeh-led group had raised objections to the appointment of Senator George Akume as the Secretary to the Government (SGF) of the Federation.
Akume, 69, a former governor of Benue state, was appointed as the SGF on June 2, 2023, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
At a press conference in Abuja, representatives of the Forum, including its chairman, Comrade Friday Maduka, addressed the matter with a strong emphasis on accurately presenting the facts and setting the record straight.
Despite their initial reluctance to engage in what they consider as ”baseless claims,” the Forum’s leadership said they felt compelled to address the issue to provide clarity to the public.
The Forum revealed that their analysis of the political landscape in Benue State contradicts the assertions earlier made by the Ogbeh-led group.
The Forum also debunked the claims that the Tiv ethnic group has dominated federal appointments due to Benue State.
Comrade Maduka said:
”In reality, before Senator George Akume’s emergence, most federal appointments from Benue State were held by the Idoma ethnic group.’
”The Audu Ogbeh-led group has failed to draw lessons from historical instances of minority accommodation and unity.
”Senator George Akume, a fantastic, generous and thoroughly detribalised Nigerian leader, has played a significant role in fostering inclusivity and unity in his political career.”
The Forum also criticised the Ogbeh-led group for attempting to undermine Akume’s appointment based on what they labelled as “false narratives.”