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Benue APC Crisis Worsens As Two State Chairmen Emerge

…Alia appoints Omakolo as the new party chair

…You have no powers to inaugurate state officials -APC

The crisis is rocking the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the suspended Chairman of the party, Austin Agada, and interim Chairman, Benjamin Omakolo launched a fresh battle to control the party’s coveted seat.

Governor Hyacinth Alia and some members of the State Executive Council on Thursday upheld the suspension of Mr. Austin Agada of Ehaje Ward 1 in Owukpa, Ogbadibo local government area suspended over allegations of anti-party activities.

Agada’s suspension was earlier, upheld by a High Court in the state which also stopped him (Agada) from parading himself as the party’s chairman.

But the battle over who occupies the party’s seat of power reached the zenith on Wednesday night when Governor Alia accepted the APC Ogbadibo’s stakeholder’s choice of Mr Benjamin Omakolo, former welfare secretary of the party as interim chairman of the pending the determination of the court case against Agada’s alleged anti-party activities and gross corruption.

Alia who spoke at the event, called on the party’s supporters in the state to continue rooting for the party, saying it is the only platform that has good plans to change the fortunes of the state and Nigeria as a whole.

He regretted the suspension of Comrade Austin Agada by his Ehaje ward 1 exco which was later followed by a court injunction, restraining him from parading as the state chairman, said he had faced so much pressure from the stakeholders of the party in Zone C (where Agada hails from) who have recommended a replacement for the vacant position to keep the party going.

He maintained that in order to reduce the pressure on him and stop the party from facing further troubles, the governor explained that he was left with no choice but to direct Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, the Welfare Secretary of the party in the state to step in as the acting party chairman, pending the outcome of the court case instituted against Hon Agada.

The governor described the APC as the best party anyone could associate with, insisting that a lot of effort and sacrifices were put in by many, which ensured the victory the party currently enjoys in the state, saying the party cannot be left in the hands of a few individuals for them to destroy it because of their selfish interest.

But hours later, a faction that claims loyalty to Agada in a statement by the APC state publicity scribe, Mr. Dan Morgan said the party ‘remains solid under Austin Agada’.

Ihomun in a statement said the party has acknowledged
another failed attempt to undermine its leadership and Constitution by anti-democratic agents bent on confusing within the ranks of the party in the state.

He said “APC in the state has observed that the suspended State Welfare Secretary, Benjamin Omakolo has been inaugurated by Governor Hyacinth Alia as acting chairman of the party in the state, stressing that “the action of the governor has no bearing whatsoever in the Constitution and precedence of the party and is, therefore null and void, not affect whatsoever on the party”.

The statement urged members of the APC at all levels and indeed the people of Benue State, to totally disregard this comedy and its actors.

“The National Secretariat of our great party has since restored the status of Comrade Austin Agada as a member and state chairman of the APC in Benue state and all well-meaning members of the party have returned to the status quo”.

“The executives of our party in Ehaje Ward 1 have since unearthed the mischief that shamelessly played out leading to reports of the purported suspension of the state chairman which have no place in the party’s Constitution.

“The office of the governor of a state has so many powers but this does not include appointment or inauguration of party officials.

“We urge those working with the Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia to always guide him properly to avoid embarrassing outings, especially on issues concerning party administration.

“This desperate attempt to cause disunity, division, and chaos in the party in Benue state will be resisted.

“Members of our party at all levels in the state are to remain calm. This kangaroo inauguration is of no consequence whatsoever as it is alien to our party.

“The State Executive Committee of the APC remains united, untouched, strong, and legitimately in charge”, said Ihomun.

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