The crisis brewing within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Monday got messier as leadership of the party and supporters of Governor Hyacinth Alia engaged in war words.
Our correspondent reports that both factions have in the past denied reported love lost among them since ascension of the APC government in the state, but at the weekend controversy over the senate decision to withhold local government allocation finally laid bare their grievances in public spaces.
One of the aides to the governor, Youth Mobilisation and Empowerment, Mkeenem Moses on Saturday called for the resignation of the APC state chairman, Austin Agada, after the party chairmen in all the 23 LGAs held meeting during which they distanced themselves from the appointment of the caretaker chairmen recently put in place by the governor.
The development further sparked name-calling between the party leadership alleged to be doing the bidding of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume and Alia’s men.
Consequently, the APC on Monday alleged a plot by some officials of the Benue State government to sponsor a protest against the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The State Publicity Secretary of APC, Daniel Ihomun, in a statement made available to journalists in Makurdi, said the planned protest was targeted at discouraging Tinubu from giving effect to the Senate’s resolution stopping release of funds to local government caretaker committees in Nigeria.
“This plot has been deeply hatched and their first experimental step was the call on the party chairman in the State, Comrade Austin Agada to resign without advancing any genuine reason.
“The party views this act of sabotage as portending grave danger to the unity of the state and the party, if people who claim APC membership and are working under an APC state government would undermine their President, the Senate President and the SGF in an open protest in their quest to stifle the hands of government on a matter of law,” Ihomun stated.
Meanwhile, elders of the party on Monday urged warring factions within the party to sheathe their swords for peace to prevail.
Rising from a concerned APC elders’ stakeholders meeting held at the Government House in Makurdi, a communique was issued and read to journalists by former Senate President, Ameh Ebute.
Ebute flanked by Senator Barnabas Gemade and Major General Lawrence Onoja (rtd) among others, noted that the concerned elders found it necessary to address the public and ask all concerned party members to desist from further public outings and stop any impending action that will further cause disunity in the party.
“The party chairmen and state executive committee are by this communiqué requested to desist from further actions and retreat to allow elders and major stakeholders to wade into the matter and seek appropriate answers to all issues.
“We are clearly not in support of the actions of the local government party chairmen and the party executive committee, particularly for their inability to explore all necessary avenues for proper engagements before resorting to unnecessary media outings that have further escalated what would have easily been managed internally by the party,” they said.
The elders further advised the governor to discountenance all distractions and continue his focus on developing the state with the diligence so far employed.