The end seems not in sight in the crisis rocking the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
FIDELINFO reports that the party has been embroiled in a leadership crisis since the inception of the new government led by Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia.
Alia’s alleged cold war with the party’s state leader and the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, has caused a deep division within the party, with members taking sides.
While the state party chairman, Austine Agada, and majority of the members of the executive committee remain loyal to Akume, few others pitched their tents with Alia.
Agada, who is firmly with Akume, has been a fierce critic of the state governor, and this could be linked to his current ordeal.
Recently, Dan Onjeh, the APC senatorial candidate in the 2023 Benue South election, submitted a petition against Agada to the APC national leadership, accusing him of working against the party during the last election.
Consequently, the former Ward Chairman of Ehaje 1, Owukpa, who is now a Supervisory Councillor with Ogbadibo LGA, announced Agada’s suspension, but the national body quickly nullified the suspension, instructing the party to stay action pending a review.
However, in a dramatic turn of events on Thursday, Benjamin Omakolo, the State Welfare Secretary was purportedly announced as the acting chairman of the party in the state.
However, the party’s disciplinary committee in Apa LGA later suspended Omakolo, for alleged misappropriation of funds, gross insubordination and consistent non-payment of party dues.
FIDELINFO, however, gathered from reliable sources late Friday that the governor has aligned himself with Omakolo and is actively working to reverse his suspension.
According to sources, the governor no longer supports Agada as the party chairman, aiming to replace him with Omakolo, the State Welfare Secretary.
This became evident on Friday as a State High Court in Makurdi restrained Agada from parading himself as the chairman of the party.
This is in complete defiance of the National Working Committee’s position that Agada remains the “bonafide” State Chairman.
The source told our reporter, “Things have really fallen apart in the APC.
“The governor now sees Austine Agada as an obstacle to his goal of sidelining Senator George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and leader of Benue Politics.
“The agenda is to remove Agada and install Omakolo as the acting State Chairman.
“In fact, as we speak, there are alleged underground plans for the party executives in Igoro, Apa LGA, to openly deny authorising the suspension of the State Welfare Secretary, Omakolo.
“They are being lured to Government House to grant a press conference to deny that they authored the suspension.”
This is coming barely 24 hours after an attack on Agada at the party secretariat, during which he was whisked away by the police.
Joseph Akoh, a party member in Ogbadibo, expressed concern about the challenges facing Agada within the party.
He noted that certain elders from Benue South appear to have distanced themselves from Agada, describing it as regrettable.
Akoh lamented the potential consequences of removing Agada, emphasizing his pivotal role in securing the state for the APC and winning numerous seats in the recently concluded general elections.
“There are formidable forces working against Agada within our party, and it’s a matter of concern. The abandonment by some Benue South elders is truly regrettable.
“It’s disheartening to see Agada facing opposition from various quarters within the party.
“The fact that certain elders have abandoned him is a cause for concern,” he said.
However, another party source blamed Agada for his woes, accusing him of disrespecting the governor.
“Whether you like it or not, Alia is the governor of Benue State. But the party chairman has not hidden his disloyalty.
“If you are the governor, you won’t just sit by and watch the chairman of your own party show such a level of disrespect to you,” the concerned party member said in confidence