The move by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to take over the governorship position from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State is currently facing a threat due to irreconcilable differences among major ethnic and interest groups in the state.
The fresh crisis centres on the alleged scheming of Benue South (Zone C Senatorial District) from the composition of the Gubernatorial Campaign Council, the main body billed to campaign for the governorship candidate of the party, Rev Father Hyacinth Alia.
Sources confided in our correspondent on Wednesday, that unless the internal crises in the party are effectively managed, especially, the national leaders calling the state APC leaders to order, the political fortunes of the party might nose dive and the party might as well forget its dreams.
Already, positions considered to be unbefittingly allocated to leaders of the party in Benue South in the Governorship Campaign Council have been outrightly rejected on account of injustice and unfairness to Zone C.
For instance, a group under the aegis of G-9 Benue South Progressive Forum has reaffirmed its readiness to work for the success of the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2023 general election but has reservations for the governorship candidate.
Aside from the alleged unbefitting positions in the State Campaign Council, the APC gubernatorial candidate was said to not have conceded any key position to the Zone in the event of his victory.
Chairman of the group, having the backing of former Senate President, former Federal and State lawmakers, and former military officers among others, Chief Johnson Agada, told journalists at an emergency meeting in Abuja that his group would resist injustice and unfair treatment in the 2023 political dispensation in Benue.
Agada said the group’s attention was drawn to some posts making the rounds in some media sources purporting the withdrawal of the group from supporting the APC and its presidential candidate in the 2023 election.
Agada explained that those making such news were those expelled from the group as a result of their alleged questionable characters and unbearable social behaviour.
However, speaking on why members of the group rejected appointments into the State’s Campaign Council, Agada said the governorship candidate undermined the Benue South (Idoma) people by not showing up for negatioation as agreed during his first visit to the group.
“We’re not fools. We had a meeting with the APC’s governorship candidate, Rv. Father Hyacinth Alia where we gave him conditions on behalf of the people of Zone C and he promised to return to us after going through the conditions.
“But he never came; then we suddenly saw some of our names on a skewed statement as members of the State’s Campaign Council.
“We had to write immediately to reject and counter such appointments. He undermined our strength and our quest for unity and cohesion.”
Also in his reaction, a senior stakeholder of the group and Chieftain of the party, Prof Dickson Akoh said the group is solidly behind the candidacy of Asiwaju, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and would work for the success of his election.
Akoh who was recently appointed to the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council as its Assistant Director (North Central), Support Group Coordination, maintained that those expelled were the ones making such negative comments about the group.
He warned that since the group is duly registered with the relevant authorities and has its documents intact, including patent rights to the name and logo of the group, anyone caught impersonating the group in any way would be dealt with in accordance with the laws.
On his part, the Publicity Secretary of the group, Oche Emmanuel, during the briefing advised those impersonating G-9 and making derogatory statements about the group to desist from such or get ready to face the laws, stressing that the G-9 would not hesitate to unravel anyone behind any dubious activity carried out in the name of G-9.
In their separate goodwill messages, former Senate President and APC Chieftain, Senator Ameh Ebute and former Secretary of Okpokwu Local Government Council, Mrs Theresa Ikwue reiterated their commitment to the G-9 and urged members to remain steadfast in the struggle for the Zone C people.
Those in attendance at the crucial Abuja meeting were immediate past APC State Chairman, Comrade Abba Yaro, immediate past Nigeria’s Ambassador to Algeria, Ambassador Mabdul Mohammed, former House of Representatives member, Hon Bennard Ochepa and former State House Assembly member, Hon Adams Okloho.
Others are former Chairman, Okpokwu Local Government, Anne Itodo, former ACN Women Leader, FCT, Mrs Kate Ijogi, a former Manager with Shell Petroleum, Engr Austin Oleho and immediate past Benue State APC Legal Adviser, Omale Omale and Oche Emmanuel who is the Publicity Secretary of the Group and a Chieftain of the party, Amb Dickson Akoh, amongst others.
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