Sen. George Akume: A human resource manager under a reinvented APC


Born on the 27th December 1953, Senator George Akume, former Executive Governor of Benue State, is a successful career Civil Servant, an accomplished Administrator, astute politician and a member of the Great Tender Hall of Fame, University of Ibadan.

He hails from Wannune Tarka Council Area of Benue State, a local government named after the famous minority right crusader, Late Senator Joseph Sarwuan Tarka.

His education background is impeccable where he started his elementary at the then Native Authority (NA) Primary School, Wannune (1960 -1966) and the former Government Secondary School, Otobi now Model Science School, Otukpo, Benue State (1967 – 1971) for his Secondary Education. George was at St. Louis College for his Advanced Level (1973), and thereafter proceeded to the Premier University, the University of Ibadan for his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology (1978).

He also obtained a Masters Degree in Industrial and Labour Relations (MILR) from the same Department and University (1986). He was at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) where he obtained a Certificate in Management (1988).

He was at the Oxford University, United Kingdom in 2010 for a Certificate in Leadership as well as the Queens University, Ontario, Canada in 2012 for yet another Certificate in Leadership.

Sen. Akume commenced his working career as a Land Officer with the Benue State Civil Service in 1979, after his successful completion of the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, 1978 – 1979 service year, during which he taught at the Advanced Teachers College, Jos (now College of Education) Akwanga, Nassarawa State.

He had a steady progression in his career as a seasoned Administrator. He held several positions at various times; Assistant Secretary, Research and Policy Analysis (REPA) in the Governor’s office, Principal Secretary, under Secretary and Director of Personnel Management in 1994, he also handled several special assignments including Secretary/Chairman, white paper drafting committee, Secretary, Gboko Local Government Council,(1988-1989); Sole Administrator of Idah Local Government Council (now in Kogi State) (1989-1990). George was also the Sole Administrator of Gboko Local Government Council (1991). He was the Director of Protocol, Government House, Makurdi, Benue State (1992).

Between 1994–1995, he was on secondment at the Federal Ministry of Education, Lagos as Deputy Director. George became the Director-General (1996) and later, Permanent Secretary (Establishments and Management Services), a position he held until 1998, when he voluntarily retired from Public Service to participate fully in partisan politics.

On entry into politics, Senator Akume registered as a member of the defunct Congress for National Consensus (CNC), one of the five registered political parties during the Sani Abacha’s transition to civilian rule programme, he sought the governorship ticket on that party’s platform.

At inception of General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s regime, after the sudden demise of General Abacha on June 8, 1998, the new helmsman dismantled all political structures set up by the Late General and ordered the formation of new political parties.

The new dispensation afforded Senator Akume the opportunity to further realize his ambition in partisan politics. He actively participated in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and contested election on the party’s platform, a victory that made him become the fourth Executive Governor of Benue State in 1999. He was re-elected for a second term in 2003.

By 2007, Senator George Akume was elected into the National Assembly as a Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial District under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In 2011, Senator Akume moved to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to join hands with other progressive minds to change the socio-political and economic face of the nation; and was re-elected as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He was subsequently elected Senate Minority Leader by the minority Caucus of the Senate. In 2015, Senator Akume was for the third term, elected as Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial District and was subsequently appointed Senate Committee Chairman on Army.

Senator George Akume was appointed Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, a position he holds till date.

Senator George Akume has been honoured with many awards including – Most Distinguished Alumnus (MDA) of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association. Honour Awards by the Benue State and Rivers State branches of the UIA, and a life member UIAA, distinguished Humanist Award, Best Performing Governor of PDP Governors from the North Central Zone, Patron of the Institute of Public Relations, Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Management (fnim), Fellow of the Sociological Association of Nigeria, and Ambassador of Peace among others. George is also a recipient of the key to the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.

Senator Akume is a widely travelled man. He has visited the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Cuba. He has been to Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica, Israel, India, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Mexico, Switzerland and Jamaica etc.

He enjoys reading, humanitarian services, Lawn Tennis, watching focumentaries. George is a happily married Senator with children.