Benue APC Crisis Deepens As Hyacinth Alia’s Camp Shuns NWC As Deadline Elapses

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The ongoing internal crisis within the Benue State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) shows no signs of abating, with the camp loyal to Governor Hyacinth Alia reportedly failing to adhere to the verdict of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

Naija News understands that despite the directive from the NWC to withdraw all legal actions initiated by party members within a specified timeframe, the camp loyal to Governor Alia has failed to comply.

Since the inauguration of the new government led by Alia, the leadership crisis has persisted without any visible resolution.

The strained relationship between Governor Alia and the party’s state leader, George Akume, has further deepened the divide within the Benue State APC.

While the State Party Chairman, Austin Agada, and the majority of the executive committee members remain loyal to Akume, a minority has aligned themselves with Governor Alia, exacerbating the internal strife.

The situation escalated when Dan Onjeh, the APC senatorial candidate in the 2023 Benue South election and a staunch supporter of Governor Alia, filed a petition against Agada before the APC national leadership, accusing him of undermining the party’s interests in the previous election.

In response to the political crisis, the former Ward Chairman of Ehaje 1, Owukpa, who now serves as a Supervisory Councillor with Ogbadibo LGA, announced the suspension of Agada.

However, the national body quickly overturned the suspension.

Following this, the State Welfare Secretary, Benjamin Omakolo, was reportedly appointed as the acting chairman of the party in the state.

Nevertheless, the party’s disciplinary committee in Apa LGA later suspended Omakolo due to allegations of fund misappropriation, gross insubordination, and persistent failure to pay party dues.

The faction aligned with the governor obtained a court order from the State High Court in Makurdi, restraining Agada from functioning as the party chairman.

However, a ruling by the Benue State High Court, led by Chief Judge Justice Maurice Ikpambese, reinstated Agada as the party chairman, citing legal timelines.

Justice Ikpambese highlighted that, according to Order 39, Rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the interim order’s seven-day duration had expired since its issuance on February 2, 2024.

One-Week Ultimatum Elapses

The ongoing legal dispute within the Benue State APC has caused significant turmoil, leading the national APC to take action.

The national APC has issued a one-week ultimatum for members to resolve their internal conflicts and withdraw all court cases. Failure to comply may result in suspension or expulsion from the party.

Naija News understands that the embattled state chairman and the governor have been instructed by the NWC to ensure full adherence to this directive.

However, it has been observed that the faction loyal to Governor Alia has not yet withdrawn their case from court. In fact, they have even established a parallel executive to lead the party.

This was made evident in a recent statement by Dan Onjeh, a loyalist to the governor, who criticized the party’s National Chairman and the NWC for their handling of the Benue party crisis.

Onjeh’s letter emphasized the NWC’s failure to address his petition and accused them of supporting injustice within the Benue State APC.

He demanded that the NWC either adhere to the party’s constitution or resign within seven days, asserting the rights of progressive APC members in the state.

“Let me state categorically that as long as the NWC fails to abide by the party constitution, we, the progressive members of the APC in Benue State, shall not abide by its directives. We shall not withdraw any case in court as we cannot be gagged into silence nor be cowed into submitting our necks to the slaughter slaps of injustice.

“Ubi jus ubi remedium is a Latin legal maxim that translates to ‘where there is a right, there is a remedy.’ It encapsulates the principle that when a legal right is violated, the law provides a corresponding remedy or relief to the aggrieved party,” Daily Post quoted Onjeh saying.

Agada, when approached by journalists, confirmed that he had given instructions to all parties involved in the court proceedings to withdraw their cases as per the directive from the national body.

He expressed his surprise and disappointment at the governor’s loyalists’ refusal to comply with the order from the NWC.

“I am not in court against anybody; in fact, they were the ones that initiated legal action against us,” Agada said.

“Nevertheless, I have issued a circular mandating the withdrawal of all court cases following the national body’s directive.

“We seek peace within the party, yet some are reluctant to embrace this path.

“There is no question about who is the APC chairman in Benue; I remain the only chairman of the party. There is no faction anywhere,” he added.

The post Benue APC Crisis Deepens As Hyacinth Alia’s Camp Shuns NWC As Deadline Elapses appeared first on Naija News.

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