From Chris Gaga, Makurdi
A group that goes by the name “Tiv Youths Council”,( TYC ) has taken exceptions to what it sees as ‘character assassination’ against its grand patron and leader of the Tiv Kingdom, Wantaregh Paul Unongo by Governor Samuel Ortom.
The youth, led by its president, Mike Msuaan expressed this during a press briefing, yesterday in Makurdi. It quoted the governor to had referred to Unongo as a ‘liability’, when youths from Turan District of Kwande Local Government Area paid the governor a courtesy visit recently.
It could be recalled that Unongo was part of Benue APC’s delegation that recently paid President Muhammadu Buhari a visit at the Presidential Villa, where leader of the delegation, Sen George Akume was reported to have alleged that Benue State government was responsible for the killings in the state.
According to the group, “The action of our governor at this point is indeed condemnable and totally against our ways of life, which guarantees respect for the elderly. We demand an immediate apology from the governor to our leader Paul Unongo.
“This is even more worrisome that such insults were meted in presence of his grandsons and grand daughters from the same community during their courtesy visit on him. It is sad for a governor to describe our Leader, Paul Onongo as a liability.
“Rendering of assistance to major stakeholders in every state is normal tradition. It is not a sin to accept any form of gratification from state governments, after all such monies belong to the state at large not a personal account of the governor.
“But it makes mockery of one to hear that he is a burden and such benefits will seize to follow, simply because he did not share his vision of re-election.
“This act is not acceptable as it is not only seen as betrayal and disrespectful to elders but very dangerous to peaceful coexistence in our dear state, as it is capable of igniting a bad blood among the people.”
The TYC president maintained that Unongo is not only a leader and role model in Benue State and Nigeria but the whole world.
“This leader has sacrificed enough to the Benue project. It is therefore, godly that such a personality be accorded great respect and worship. He is our pride and as such, we adore him. We shall always protect, defend and appreciate him for being there for us; he nurtured, taught and counseled most of the political leaders we have today in Benue State,” they stated.