• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Benue APC inaugurates gubernatorial campaign council despite deepening crisis

The crisis rocking the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), arising from its governorship primaries is assuming a worrisome dimension as a group under the aegis of G-9 shunned the just concluded unveiling of governorship running mate and inauguration of campaign council in Makurdi over the weekend.

Checks revealed that at the moment, some APC governorship aspirants in the state, Barnabas Gemade, Michael Aondoakaa, Terhemba Shija and other groups have dragged APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Hyacinth Alia, the governorship candidate, to court over non-compliance with the party’s guidelines in conducting the election that produced Alia as a candidate for 2023 general election.

The litigants are praying the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and Makurdi divisions to nullify the said party primaries and order for fresh ones, even as Austin Agada, the state chairman of the party, insists due process was followed during the exercises.

Coming under the aegis of G-9, the group said their decision to opt out of the governorship campaign council was borne out of conviction and defending the pride and integrity of the Benue South and Idoma nation in particular. Ikoche, leader of the group noted that their action does not in any way means withdrawal of support for the APC or its candidate.

“We consider it immoral to accept any appointment under the current state leadership which has no respect for APC stakeholders in Idoma land when it comes to running the affairs. The G-9 in several agitations demanded that the Tiv- controlled state leadership of APC allow the Idoma people to decide their political affairs by themselves and not by imposition by the Tiv leaders. All our outcry meant nothing to the state leadership of the party,” the group said.

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Ikoche emphasised that it would amount to greater insults on the Idoma people if the Idoma leaders accept responsibility under a leadership that does not accord Idoma people an iota of dignity or fair share.

“The G-9 has therefore, rejected appointments and withdrawn 13 of their members from the APC gubernatorial campaign council including former House of representatives member, Nelson Alapa, Abba Yaro, former state chairman of APC, Morgan Okoche, Theresa Ikwe Adachi, Austin Iheno, Bernard Ochekpa, Michael Oglepa, Oche Ikoche, Dickson Akor, Johnson Agada, Sunday Adache and Ann Itodo,” he said.

However, performing the unavailing of the governorship running mate, Sam Ode and inauguration of campaign council at the IBB square, Makurdi, Austin Agada, the state APC chairman, called on Benue electorates to vote for the party’s candidates at the state and national levels so as to deliver good governance to them. Agada said, the PDP government has failed to manage resources to the advantage of Benue people hence the need to vote PDP out next year.

Hyacinth Alia, the governorship candidate who spoke at the occasion, promised to place premium on the welfare of citizens, infrastructural development, healthcare services if elected as governor next year. “I will boost the economy and create jobs for the teeming Benue youths to address restiveness as well as prioritize other critical sectors to add value to lives of the citizenry.”

Sam Ode, governorship running mate in a response, expressed appreciation to George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, leadership of the party for nominating him as running mate, promising not to take such an opportunity for granted.

He pledged loyalty to the governorship candidate and the party, while Frederick Ikyaan, Director General of the Campaign Council, appealed to all to cooperate so as to wrestle power from PDP led government in Benue state and beyond.