The Benue State Governor on Wednesday described the Association of Igede Media Professionals, AIMP, as a faceless media group seeking to undermine his administration.
Ortom was reacting to a publication by AIMP, which alleged that he failed to take decisive action in putting an end to the crisis between Bonta and Ukpute communities of Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas of the state.
AIMP had accused the Ortom-led state government of “deliberate silence and conspiracy” in the crisis.
However, Ortom, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Tever Akase described the group as “irresponsible, mischievous and reckless.”
In a statement signed and sent to DAILY POST, Akase insisted that the governor has taken steps to resolve the crisis, contrary to claims by the group.
According to Akase: “We read statements in a section of the media credited to a faceless group which calls itself “Association of Igede Media Professionals (AIMP)”. In the said publication, the group blamed Governor Samuel Ortom for ‘not taking any action to end the crisis between Bonta and Ukpute communities of Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas of Benue State’.
“We find the statement highly irresponsible, mischievous, and reckless.
Journalists owe the society a duty to be objective and fair in their reports as well as analysis of events. They are not expected to rely on beer parlour gossips to create fear and inflame acrimony among the people”.
“If the so-called Association of Igede Media Professionals were not a mere busy body group which has lost touch with home, they would have known that Governor Ortom has since taken steps to stop the crisis between Bonta and Ukpute communities.”
Commenting on the step taken, Akase disclosed that the military has been deployed to the conflict-ridden area.
He stated that the deployment of the military has brought peace to the area.
Akase added: “Military personnel and police have been deployed to the area and the violence has since been brought under control.
“Since the matter is a boundary dispute, the Benue State Government is taking far-reaching decisions to find a lasting solution. Today being 1st of July, 2020, the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu who is the Chairman, Boundary Committee in the State is meeting with Council Chairmen of Konshisha and Oju and all other stakeholders including youths from the affected areas.
“In addition, the Benue State Emergency Management Agency is collaborating with the two local governments to cater to the displaced persons.
“It is clear that members of the Association of Igede Media Professionals are among those behind the crisis in the area who have vowed to see that the violence persists so they could turn round and blame the Government. That explains why the group’s statement was not signed by any of its officials.
“Violence does no one any good. Those who take advantage of every dispute to fan embers of war for political and selfish reasons do unimaginable damage to the society. What is important is for all good spirited individuals to join hands with the government to end violence and guarantee the peace and security of lives and property.”