APC LGA Congress: Benue South Stakeholders Laud Akume For A Peaceful Congress Despite Some Misgivings
…….disassociates selves from a report that accused an aide to the minister’s wife and other leaders of the party of bribery and tampering with consensus list in Ado, Ogbadibo, Okpokwu and Otukpo LGAs
By Ocheidu Solomon
The just concluded APC LGA congresses in the Benue South Senatorial district of Benue state has continued to generate mixed reactions as stakeholders of the party across the zone, in separate interviews, lauded the leader of the party in the state, Senator Dr George Akume who also doubles as the Minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, for providing a conducive atmosphere for the emergence of widely acceptable candidates in the nine LGA areas of the zone.
A stakeholder who spoke to our correspondent in Oju LGA, commended the firm leadership of Senator Dr George Akume, noting that for the first time since he joined the party in 2014, he witnessed a congress that reflected the wishes of the majority of party members in the LGA. Another elder of the party from Okpokwu LGA, disclosed that Benue APC is now prepared to wrestle power from the PDP in the state, “with the success of the just concluded ward and LGA congress, and the caliber of men and women that emerged in the different leadership positions in Okpokwu LGA and the entire state. I can assure you that the party (APC) is now more than ever, prepared to take over the leadership of Benue state come 2023”, the satisfied party chieftain said.
In Otukpo/Ohimini LGAs, leaders of the party passed a vote of confidence on the Leadership of Senator Dr George Akume, noting that the party now has a purposeful leader in the Minister and equally expressed their satisfaction with the results of the congresses conducted in the two Local councils.
In Ogbadibo LGA, majority of the party stakeholders including two party chairmanship aspirants in the concluded LGA congress backed the outcome of the exercise which produced Hon.Aba Ugwu as the Chairman of the party in the LGA. However, a member of the party that spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, expressed his displeasure with the outcome of the congress and the emergence of an aspirant he said had protracted family disputes with him.
In Ado LGA, Hon. Ogbu Obande, Coordinator of APC Likeminds, a group of “patriotic APC members in Ado, Okpokwu and Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue state”, in a statement described George Akume as an “Indefatigable leader”, calling on Party faithfuls to disregard the report of financial inducement and tampering with consensus list against Mrs Anna Itodo and other leaders of the party. The group described the report earlier published by SaharaReporters news as “baseless and untrue”, insisting that Hon. Ikese Echo Benjamin who emerged as the chairman of Ado LGA APC is a grassroots politician and a committed party loyalist who contested and won election in Akpoge Ogblolo ward of Agila district from the time of ACN. “We never wanted to respond to the fake report because it was attributed to a ghost, but to set the record straight and avoid some elements against misleading the good people of Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Federal constituency”,
“This group views this allegation as smear campaign against the former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Seven Lawani OFR, Mrs Regina Akume, Miss Anna Itodo, a Governorship aspirant, Dr Mathias Byuan and other party stakeholders from Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Federal constituency”, part of the statement reads.
“We can say this without fear or Favour that the exercise in Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Federal constituency was peaceful without rancour”, the group noted in their concluding remark.
A stakeholder from Ado who also pleaded not to be mentioned, told our correspondent that some members of the APC in Ado, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo, Otukpo and Ohimini LGAs who were resisted from truncating the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the stakeholders of the party in their respective councils are currently hatching plans on how to cause disaffection in the party and embarrass the leader of APC in the state, Senator Dr George Akume. The source insisted that this renegade group has an insider in the Akume camp, “a self acclaimed aide” of the Minister from Ogbadibo LGA who is coordinating their activities and is bent on doing everything to have their way including blackmailing the minister,his family and other prominent party members in the state. He consequently advised the minister to be circumspect as the group would launch an attack any moment in an attempt to tear Benue APC apart with their selfish shenanigans and antics, and further cause a reverse on the gains the party have recorded in the just concluded ward and LGA congresses.