Benue APC battles Alia over ‘illegal’ suspension of LG party Chairmen …PDP condemns action

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Stakeholders of the Benue state chapter of the All Progressive Congress have engaged in a fresh battle with the governor of the state, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia over what they termed ‘illegal’ suspension of some local government chairmen of the party.

Recall that the governor was accused three weeks ago by stakeholders of the APC of using his camp led one Iortyer Eric who is the media Aide to his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to perfect the suspension of the chairman of the party of Nigev Ward in Vandeikya local government, Simeon Yongu.

According to the stakeholders, Yongu’s sin was that he is a political loyalists to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume.

Just yesterday, the governor was also accused of being behind the Suspension of Tersoo Kenti, the chairman of the party in Kwande local government.

The party stakeholders in Kwande local government accused Governor Alia of using the caretaker chairman of the local government, Rev Fr Mark Teryila Hule, to carry out the suspension.

But in a reaction, the party through a statement by its state publicity Secretary, Daniel Ihomun condemned the suspension. He noted that the caretaker chairman of the local government is not known to the party as he is not a registered member of the party at any point.

“The Benue State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, wishes to significantly convey its strong disapproval of a purported indefinite suspension of the party’s chairman in Kwande Local Government, Hon. Terdoo Kenti and others by Rev Fr Mark Teryila Hule, the Caretaker chairman of Kwande who is unknown to the party and holds no membership identity with the APC.

“We wish to state that all organs of the party should continue to revert to our previous instructions on the subject of holding unauthorized meetings as conveyed in our previous official statements pursuant to the party’s constitution, meetings of polling unit committee and meetings at the ward level must be authorized and approved by the local government Chairmen respectively.

“From every indication, the meeting that brought about the suspension of the substantive party chairman of APC in Kwande was neither authorized by the state Exco or the chairman, Hon Kenti himself. We hereby call on all those who indulged in this illegality to desist from further destabilizing the APC in Kwande and be guided accordingly” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, this newspaper was reliably informed that the leadership of the Benue state APC is set for another showdown with Governor Alia for using his allies to illegally suspend chairmen of the party both at Ward and local government levels.

They accused the governor of trying to cripple the structure of Senator George Akume with the illegal suspension of party officials.

Recently, the state chairman of the party, Comrade Austin Agada while speaking with Nigerian Concord Newspaper rejected the suspension of the the party officials by Alia’s allies.

Austin Agada said that the people that suspended the Nigev Ward chairman have no constitutional power to do so, stressing that the action is null and void.

“What offence will they say he has committed to warrant the suspension” he queried.

Meanwhile, the Benue PDP has said that it was wrong for a local government caretaker chairman to suspend a validly elected local government chairman of a party.

Reacting to the suspension of the Kwande local government APC chairman by the caretaker chairman of the local government, the Benue PDP through its State Publicity Secretary, Chief Bemgba Iortyom in a press statement said: “It is a matter of grave concern the purported indefinite suspension order issued by the illegal Caretaker Chairman of Kwande Local Government Council of Benue State, Revd. Fr. Mark Teryila Hule, against the substantive Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the area, Hon. Terdoo Kenti, and other members of his Executive Committee.

“The suspension order which also extended to activities of the ruling party in the area is the very first of its kind known anywhere in the history of democracy in Nigeria, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state observes that it exposes the disdain for democratic norms and leadership incompetence of Governor Hyacinth Alia under whose watch such absurdity is unraveling.

“For good measure, the state chapter of the APC has promptly dismissed the action of the Catholic priest masquerading as a caretaker chairman describing it as “null and void”, hence of no consequence, even as the party stated that he is not their card-carrying member and unfit to dabble into the affairs of its administration at any level.

“Yet the bizarre incident adds to a series of shameful records being set under the administration of Governor Alia since his coming to power, such as increasingly indicate he is inclined to a suspension of constitutional order and imposition of a dictatorship in the manner of running a Catholic parish where the priest is not subject to censorship or opposition from the laity, but is entitled to a “Yes Father” compliance to all of his actions.

“PDP recalls the very caretaker committee under which Revd. Fr. Hule purports to derive power is the first in the history of Benue State to have been announced and inaugurated by a governor without a law enacted by the Legislature to give it name, mode/structure or tenure of office.

“This same caretaker committee was also declared as illegal by a series of orders of courts of competent jurisdiction and a resolution of the Senate of Nigeria which all upheld the tenure of the duly elected Executive Council administrations on seat and exercising lawfully mandated tenure of office.

“Our great party also recalls the manner of the running of government by Governor Alia without any regard to due process and rule of law, such as the award of contracts running into billions of naira without recourse to extant procurement laws and financial regulations.

“This is also a governor who has employed the “we die here” mode of resistance to calls for accountability over how much he has received into the state’s coffers and how he has expended same since his assumption of office.

“Such a policy of concealment extends even to keeping secret the contract sum for projects he is executing such as his 16 short streets and the various palliatives packages so far sent to the state by the federal government.

“PDP observes that while the bizarre suspension order by Revd. Fr. Hule in Kwande is shocking, it apes precisely the lawless style of his master, the governor, in Makurdi, and the party regrets that this serves to fuel the growing impression that Catholic priests by their command and authoritarian orientation are unsuitable to political leadership under our liberal democratic setting”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *