Presidency cancels Akume’s Harvest FM interview
By Hadiza Bello, Abuja (Nigerian Concord)
Facts have emerged on why the Presidency this morning cancelled today’s Harvest FM interview which was to feature the minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume.
A top media personnel to President Muhammadu u Buhari who spoke to Nigerian Concord’s FCT correspondent under a condition of anonymity hinted that the decision to stop the Harvest FM’s weekly programme Titled: “Democracy and The People” where Senator Akume was to be featured was taken very early this morning in order to avoid tension in Benue state.
According to the source, the Presidency was briefed yesterday evening that the programme which was slated for 10am this morning would further paint the APC-led federal government as the enemy of the Benue people it if was allowed to hold.
He stressed that the Presidency was also advised on the need to mend some fences before Senator Akume can appear in such Radio interview which will also serve as a way to launder the image of the Buhari-led government in the area of Fulani/Farmers clashes in Benue state.
Our source also said that the Presidency was also advised to stop the programme so as to prevent Benue APC media handlers from using it as an avenue to maliciously discredit the state governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
The programme was also stopped to prevent the public from asking questions about the alleged involvement of the federal government In Fulani killings in the state which had turned thousands of people to IDPs across the state.
It was gathered that some of the APC media handlers in the state had been mandated to call In during the programme and discredit the governor and his administration as a way of winning public sympathy for the opposition party (APC).
He said: It was this morning that the Presidency ordered that the minister should cancel the programme so that it wouldn’t be turned to another avenue to cause crisis in the state.
“You see, Benue is a very sensitive state which the Presidency is handling with caution as much as it can. Everyone is aware that the governor of the state was once an APC member but he parted ways because of the Fulani killings as well as his rift with our minister, Senator George Akume.
” And because of this, we are trying to be careful so we won’t be tagged the enemy of the state. The radio programme will be held but not until we have blocked all the areas which we can have problems with the public.
“Several things which will make the public to believe that the Federal government is against Governor Ortom because of the Fulani/Farmers crises would definitely be said at the interview if we allowed it to go on, and the Presidency doesn’t want further scandals from that state”
Although, the Minister’s media consultant, Dr. Mkor Aondona, issued a statement around 9am this morning to inform the public on the cancellation, he failed to explain the reason behind it action.
In his statement, Mkor Aondona said: “The Hon. Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs,Senator(Dr) George Akume,KSJI,fnim will this morning between 9-10 AM feature on the Radio Nigeria Harvest FM weekly Programme titled: “Democracy and the People”
“The Hon. Minister will throw light on some pertinent issues of democracy,good governance and service delivery in Nigeria. Listeners are kindly advised to stay tune to the broad presentation by the Hon. Minister on Harvest FM Station,Makurdi”