By Amos Aar
A FACTION of the AllProgressives Congress (APC) in Benue State has kicked against the appointment of Hon. Benjamin Omakolo as Acting Chairman of the party in the state.
National Record had reported how Benue State governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, last Wednesday appointed Hon. Omakolo as Ag. Chairman on the recommendation of some members of the APC State Working Committee (SWC) to replace Comrade Austin Agada who was alleged to have been suspended by the party’s leadership in his ward, Owukpa Ehaje 1, over alleged anti-party activities.
But the APC State Publicity Secretary, Comrade Dan-Morgan Ihomun, in a statement last Friday, urged members of the party and Benue people at large to disregard the announcement of Omakolo as acting chairman, alleging that the Welfare Secretary who made the announcement was suspended by his council ward.
Ihomun added that a state governor lacks constitutional powers to appoint a party chairman, insisting that Agada remains the authentic state chairman of the party.
The statement entitled: “Benue APC Exco Remains Solid Under Austine Agada“, reads: “The All Progressives Congress in Benue State has noted another failed attempt to undermine the party leadership and Constitution by anti-democratic agents bent on causing confusion within the ranks of the APC in the state.
“This is noticed in social media reports to the effect that suspended state Welfare Secretary of the party, Benjamin Omakolo, has been inaugurated by Governor Hyacinth Alia as acting chairman of the party in the state. This action has no bearing whatsoever in the Constitution and precedence of the party and is therefore null and void, having no effect whatsoever on the party.
“Members of the APC at all levels and indeed the people of Benue State are to totally disregard this comedy and it’s actors.
“The National Secretariat of our great party has since restored the status of Comr. Austine Agada as member and state chairman of the APC in Benue state and all well meaning members of the party have returned to 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 much 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”.
A stakeholder of the party confided in National Record on Saturday that the party’s secretariat is under lock and key these days and it’s being guarded by soldiers deployed from Abuja by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume. The source said unless Alia’s faction builds another APC state secretariat, Akume is claiming that the land on which the secretariat is built is his own hence he cannot be taken for granted by his supposed godson, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.