Benue State APC crisis deepens as police shut secretariat


Benue State APC crisis deepens as police shut secretariat

Akume and Alia

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress in Benue State has assumed dangerous dimensions as the party opened a factional secretariat on Thursday.


The party is in turmoil, with the state governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, and his cabinet and supporters pitted against the APC structure led by state Chairman, Austin Agada.


The Agada-led state working committee is loyal to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume.


Saturday FIRSTCLASSGISTS had reported that Agada was purportedly removed as the party chairman by his Ehaje council ward and subsequently restrained from parading himself as party chairman.

Following the court injunctions, the state executive committee of the party led by the governor thereafter appointed Benjamin Omakolo as the acting party chairman.


But Omakolo was later sacked by the Chief Judge, Justice Maurice Ikpampese, after vacating the order restraining Agada.


While the party secretariat located at J.S. Tarka Road is being occupied by the Agada-led state working committee, the factional office was opened on Thursday by Omakolo-led team located close to the government house, Makurdi.

Our correspondent who monitored the situation on Friday observed stern-looking security men drawn from police officers, personnel of the state Community Volunteer Guard, members of the Peace Corps and political touts condoned by the Agada-led secretariat.

Vehicles and motorcycles as well as people passing through the area were thoroughly scrutinised and diverted to other routes.


The sealing of the secretariat may not be unconnected with the meeting of the APC stakeholders earlier conveyed by the state party chairman.


The notice of the meeting was announced by the state party publicity secretary, Daniel Ihomun, in a notice titled, ‘Notice of Executive Interface with Dr Mathias Byuan and APC stakeholders meeting’ at the state party secretariat on Friday.


Shortly after the announcement of the meeting, the state government placed a ban on political meetings in the state and hinged the reason for insecurity.


A letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the governor, Paul Biam, and addressed to the state Commissioner of Police partly read, “I write to inform you that his Excellency, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia has banned all political gatherings in any form, be it intra or inter-party or groups in Benue State till further notice.


“This has become necessary following intelligence on the volatility of the security atmosphere in the state.”


In response to the letter banning political gatherings, the CP, Emmanuel Adesina, through his deputy, Samuel Gimba, wrote a letter to the APC state chairman, Agada, and asked him to suspend the proposed meeting.


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