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Benue APC explains sour relationship with Gov Alia

The elders of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Thursday explained its sour relationship with Governor Hyacinth Alia. Our correspondent reports that the…

The elders of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Thursday explained its sour relationship with Governor Hyacinth Alia.
Our correspondent reports that the elders, who referred to themselves as ‘three wise men’ and are the APC zonal chairmen of Zones A, B and C in the state Working Committee of the party, made the explanation at a press conference in Makurdi.
Bishop Pinot, the state Vice Chairman Zone C, who spoke on behalf of his Zone A counterpart, Barr. Vincent Uji and James Tor, the Vice Chairman of Zone B, recalled that the shaky relationship between Alia and his party started in June this year, during the inauguration of the state Assembly.
Pinot said that the governor had preference for a candidate for the position of Speaker but could not confer with the leadership of the party, rather he allowed the party to painstakingly sit, zone the position and annoint a candidate that was not his choice.
“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 elders said.
They added that despite the maltreatment, the Benue APC continued to support the governor, urging him to retrospectively check why this singular complaint of negligence of the party kept resonating in all their dealings with him.
The elders stated that contrary to allegations, the leader of the party in North Central zone, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, did not mount any pressure on the governor.
“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.
“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,” the APC maintained.

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