Following the refusal of the All Progressives Congress (APC’s) Headquarters to list Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as the Governorship candidate of APC for Benue due to the numerous irregularities in the primary elections held in the state, the Party’s leader Sen. George Akume has spent his entire weekend frantically trying to persuade aggrieved aspirants not to go to court.
The story of APC botched primary election in the state has been in the news since May 28, 2022 when later two appeal panels report surfaced. One signed by the Appeal Panel Committee Chairman, Barr Ozoama Onyaema and the Secretary Mr Gyang Dung Gyang, recommending outright cancellation of the exercise, and another signed by the same Secretary, Gyang Dung Gyang and one other member stating that the primary election was perfect.
Strangely, an order to repeat the election in only twelve local governments out of the twenty three was received on the day the so called rerun was supposed to take place on 9th June, 2022. This rerun produced more irregularities and controversies with Rev. Fr. Alia declared winner amid this confusion.
The list of APC Gubernatorial candidates as published is yet to carry the name of a Governorship candidate in Benue, fueling enormous speculations of none acceptance of the results of the rerun primaries.
Subsequent to the closure of the primary elections by INEC time table, aggrieved aspirants have already commenced going to courts to challenge the party on the outcome of Benue governorship primaries.
It has been learnt that so far, three aspirants have gone to court and more are on the way. Those known to have sued are; Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, Barr Mike Aondoakaa, SAN, Former House of Representatives Member for Jechira Constituency Prof. Terhemba Shija, and Former Minister of Works and Housing Sen. Barnabas Gemade.
It’s understood that Sen. George Akume has began looking for how to pursuade these aspirants (without success) and others that may want to challenge his choice of candidate for Benue governorship 2023.
The ruling party in the state has also gone to court to challenge the sham primaries held by the APC for the purpose of trying to disqualify their candidate.
The party will need to step in urgently to find a way out of this mess before it becomes too late now that they have a window of few weeks before submission of names to INEC.
It’s now clear that the party has no choice than to reject the entire sham primaries purported to have been held in Benue State, and take immediate steps to produce a consensus candidate for the party in the state, they will be saving themselves enormous embarrassment.
The APC leader in the state, Senator George Akume is hereby advised that he must learn to imbibe the sense of democracy and fair play, desist from future selfish practices, to avoid disastrous outings of the party in general elections as it was the case in 2019.
We fear that this sham primaries in the state have produced candidates in the other elections (Senate, Reps, and State Assemblies) that are not a match to the ruling party’s candidates in the state, and may not win at the polls.
We wonder if the said leader is not working for the interest of the PDP, so let us be warned.