Elders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State have shed light on their strained relationship with Governor Hyacinth Alia during a press conference in Makurdi.
Representing the party’s zonal chairmen from Zones A, B, and C, Bishop Pinot, along with his counterparts, Barr. Vincent Uji and James Tor, discussed the origin of the discord.
The tension reportedly began in June during the state Assembly’s inauguration.
Pinot explained that Governor Alia had a preferred candidate for Speaker but did not consult with the party leadership, leading to a conflict over the nomination.
The statement reads, “The end result was an embarrassing situation where stalwarts of the party were enmeshed in a shameful altercation that clearly lowered them and the party in the chamber of the Benue State House of Assembly.
“In picking his commissioners, His Excellency exercised his sole discretion without the usual tradition of directing jocal governments to make nominations taking cognizance of zonings and necessary political permutations, he rather made his independent choices as he found soothing but the party did not oppose him; we rather gave our full support to his action since that was his own State Executive and Security Council and he needed people he could trust.
“When it was time for the nomination of caretaker committees to administer the local government councils, Gov. Alia threw it back to party members during the second stakeholders meeting by demanding an immediate nomination of three candidates each for the positions of Council Caretaker Chairman, Deputy and Secretary as well as Supervisory Councillors across the 23 local governments, demanding two slots of supervisory councillors from each of the local governments.
“This was the first time a Governor would demand such from the caretaker council formation as against the usual one slot per local government. The party jubilantly agreed and obeyed the directive by holding meetings, and painstakingly nominating and submitting their various lists with a relieving sense of belonging.
“But quite shockingly, when the nominations were finally announced, the party was bewildered that 80 percent of the names were outside the actual nominees that were sent to the governor on his directive. It can safely be said that members of opposition parties and alien faces made the lists in a higher proportion than members of APC, the govemor’s party.
“In all this misgiving and dissatisfaction, the announcement of caretaker committees marked the pinnacle of a noticeably sour relationship between Gov. Hyacinth Alia and the APC in Benue State and this snowballing anger by all standards is justifiable.
“Facing series of maltreatment from our own governor has been a bitter experience that some party members could not stomach anymore; but even at that, the State Chairman and the Working Committec did everything humanly possible to stop protests and other uprisings that may have embarrassed both the government and the party.
“The party too has not asked His Excellency for money yet, except his monthly dues to the party which he has not obliged to us since he became Governor. What is needed now is strategic partnership between the governor and the SGF for the good of the state.
“The condition of Benue APC can best be likened to a helpless husband with a very beautiful wife that sleeps around with only his neighbours and enemies while he, the lawful husband is deprived of his conjugal rights. Gov. Alia seems to have more confidence in patronising people outside APC, majority of whom had opposed him tenaciously during the electioneering and voting days than his partymen and women who ideally should have a cordial working relationship with him.
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“In the final analysis, we wish to state that the crisis rocking our party is not an Alia versus Akume fight, neither is it an Alia versus Agada fight. This is purely a fight for the survival and recognition of the party that has provided a convenient platform for his emergence as the Governor of Benue State.”
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