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Alia vs Akume: Agbese removes Governor Alia’s portrait from his office

The Deputy spokesman of the House of Representatives, Philip Agbese, has ordered the immediate removal of Governor Hyacinth Alia’s portrait from his office.

Agbese, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State in the House of Representatives, said Alia is not fit to be a leader.

The lawmaker, in a video posted online, entered his secretary’s office adorned with portraits of prominent federal leaders, notably including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, Benue Governor Alia, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas, and Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu.

He said, “Today, I’m removing the portrait of Alia from my office because he’s not fit to be our leader. He has no respect for democracy, no respect for the Constitution.”  

Pointing to the portrait of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Gorge Akume, in his office, Agbese said he is the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state. He described the SGF as a fair and just man.

“He (Akume) remains the party’s leader and the state’s father; he’s a man of fairness and equity, and that’s why we love him, and he has earned his respect,” Agbese said.

Why the fallout?

In context, Akume played a pivotal role in elevating Alia, a previously non-political figure, during Benue State’s recent gubernatorial elections. Alia’s surprising victory over the ruling party’s candidate marked a turning point.

However, he initiated his cabinet appointments without Akume’s influence. Notably, Alia went against Akume’s preference, Becky Orpin, for State House Speaker, backing and enabling Dajoh Aondona’s ascendancy to the position.

Following pro-Alia lawmakers’ actions in dissolving local government executive councils and empowering the governor to appoint a caretaker committee, Akume deemed this a disrespectful overreach. 

Agbese action of removing the governor’s portrait from his office can be seen in the ongoing rift between Akume and Alia, the incumbent governor of Benue state.

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