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Benue APC crisis worsens as Agada, Omakolo factions rekindle rivalry

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There seems to be no end to the ongoing internal crisis tearing the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, apart.

This is as the Austin Agada-led faction and that of Benjamin Omakolo, rekindled their bitter battle of legitimacy and supremacy on Monday in Makurdi.

The free for all verbal war started after the Agada-led faction, backed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Dr George Akume, went to an unknown location in Makurdi and inaugurated members of an Ad Hoc Zoning Committee ahead of the local government election in the state.

The Publicity Secretary of the party in Benue State, Hon Daniel Ihonmu, in a press statement after the inauguration of the committee, said Agada in his address, mandated the committee to carry out a thorough job and make sure that party stakeholders are included in the Zoning process in each zone of the state.

He added that the State Working Committee of the party has also approved and begun sale of Expression of Interest and Nomination forms with Chairmanship forms going for N100,000 and N250,000, respectively, while that of Councillorship goes for N50,000 and N100,000, respectively

The statement also said women would obtain both forms free of charge, directing that all payments should be made through Zenith Bank account Number 1223095804.

But in a counter press statement a few minutes later, Hon Benjamin Omakolo-led faction, backed by the Executive Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia through the factional Organizing Secretary of the party, Hon James Ornguga, warned APC members in the state against what he called “Diaspora Yahoo Arrangements”.

He advised party members to disregard any notice concerning local government elections emanating from one Daniel Ihomun, saying all elections correspondences would always come from him as empowered by the constitution of the party.

“Do not be a victim of their Abuja Yahoo Yahoo arrangements cooked in a foreign wine bar, away from the state to hoodwink unsuspecting party members.

“The party cannot begin sale of forms without the due approval of the State Executive Council and His Excellency, Gov. Hyacinth Alia who is the State Leader of the party.

“Therefore, all guidelines regarding the forthcoming elections would be originally unveiled at the appropriate time.

“Anyone who pays money into any account made available by the Benue APC diaspora group does so at their personal risk”, Ornguga said.

Recall that Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, few months ago, ordered security agencies to lock up the state Secretariat of APC.

He banned all party activities in the state, citing worsening insecurity.

But a month later, the Governor directed Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) to prepare and conduct local Government elections.

The ongoing wrangling is a battle of supremacy between the SGF, Sen. Akume and Gov Alia over who should be the leader of the party and control its structures in the state.

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Labour Party sacks Edo excos, inaugurates caretaker committee

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The crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the Labour Party ahead of the September 21, 2024, governorship election remains unabated as the Julius Abure-led national leadership of the party sacked the state executive led by Kelly Ogbaloi.

The national leadership then appointed Elizabeth Ativie, the former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, as the head of a 17-man caretaker committee.

The deputy national chairman of the party, Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, inaugurated the committee on Monday in a hotel in Benin City.

Olorunfemi, also named Ken Omusi, the suspended state youth leader of the party, who had earlier in the month purportedly sacked the state executives and appointed himself the acting chairman, a member of the committee.

While inaugurating the committee, Olorunfemi said the new leadership of the party in the state came on board due to the expiration of the tenure of the Ogbaloi-led executive council, which ended in April 2024.

He said the caretaker committee is expected to take charge of the affairs of the party until a fresh congress is conducted to elect a new executive.

He said Mrs Elizabeth Ativie was appointed as chairman of the committee due to her positive and result-oriented track records so far in all her political positions.

He called for unity in the party and assured that the party would be more united in Edo State with the Ativie-led committee.

In her acceptance remarks, the acting chairman of the party, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, who commended the national leadership of the party for finding her worthy of the position, promised to move the party to a higher level in the state.

Ativie, who also promised to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party, added that a reconciliation team would be set up to resolve all pending issues.

When contacted, the embattled Kelly Ogbaloi, the sacked chairman of the party, said his executives are not aware of any changes in leadership in the state.

According to him: “We are not aware that the Edo State Labour Party executive has been dissolved because there is a process to all of these. No one man can just wake up one day and remove a structure that has been in existence.

“The National Working Committee of the party, led then by Julius Abure, reached an agreement that there would be no congress in Edo State until after the governorship election slated for September 21, 2024.

“It was agreed that the exco should be allowed to prosecute the state election, after which Congress can follow.”

Last Friday, the Kelly Ogbaloi-led state executive suspended Julius Abure as the national chairman of the party.

Meanwhile, a letter signed by Julius Abure said the new executives of the party are expected to work in conjunction with the party’s governorship candidate, Olumide Akapata, towards ensuring victory at the governorship election.

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Imo guber: Gov Uzodinma reacts as tribunal upholds his election

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Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has reacted to the judgement of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which validated his election for a second term in office.

The tribunal, in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay’s three-man panel, held that Uzodimma’s election as the state governor complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

The tribunal thereby dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party and its governorship candidate, Athan Achonu.

Reacting at the weekend in an interview with newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Governor Uzodinma said the judgment is not just a personal victory but a resounding triumph for all Imolites, reaffirming the trust and confidence they have placed in his leadership.

He assured that the mandate entrusted to him will translate into meaningful development and prosperity for the people, adding that the present administration in Imo State will continue to build on progress and promote growth, unity, and a brighter future for all.

He thanked Ndi Imo for their unwavering support and belief in the government’s shared vision.

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Edo Excos Have No Power To Suspend Abure, Says LP

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Hours after the suspension of Julius Abure as the Labour Party’s National Chairman, the party said the executives in Edo State lack the power to carry out such action.

LP in a statement by its spokesman, Obiora Ifoh, on Saturday described the purported suspension of Abure by the the ward executive of Ward 3, Arue, Utomi, Esan North East of Edo as fake.

“The ward, LG or even the state have no powers under the constitution to suspend the National Chairman,” the statement read.

“In the Labour Party’s constitution, Article 17 subsection 1 (2019) is emphatic that only the National Convention convened solely for the purpose of removal or suspension of the National Chairman with two third majority can suspend or remove him.

“Court of Appeal, Benin Division on the 14 day of August , 2023 under the Presiding Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua in a case brought before it by Lucky Shaibu and others against Julius Abure and others corroborated with the judgement of the lower court in their ruling that the National Chairman of the Labour Party cannot be suspended or removed by the Ward executive.”

Ifoh, the LP’s National Publicity Secretary, said the party’s national leadership is investigating the letter emanating from Edo on Abure’s suspension.

He said the party won’t hesitate to discipline any member found guity of flouting the Labour Party’s rules.

“The leadership of the party is however investigating the source of the purported letter of suspension and will summarily act by the party rules in disciplining any officer of the party found guilty of contravening the rules of the party,” he stated.

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