The All Progressives Congress (APC) has come under fire from the Benue state administration for reportedly seeking to challenge the legitimacy of the current governor, Samuel Ortom, ahead of the May 29, 2023, transition date. The APC has been accused by the government of making “spurious” charges against Ortom’s financial dealings and administration. Hyacinth Alia, the APC’s candidate for governor, and the Governor-elect reportedly advised the Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC) Limited against doing business with the current governor. Terver Akase, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, accused the APC of pressuring several permanent secretaries and government agencies to stop following Ortom’s orders statement. The “false, inflammatory, and misleading public remarks” made by the party against the current administration, according to Akase, were in addition to this. “It is ludicrous and troubling that the APC leadership in Benue State is engaged in an attrition campaign against a lawful administration whose term has not yet ended.” As they need to act quickly, they have turned to defaming and threatening the incumbent administration by using false information. He continued, “We desire to remind the APC that Governor Ortom remains the constitutionally elected Governor of Benue State and has the constitutional right to direct government agencies, grant approvals, and carry out any other business of government until May 28, 2023.” Akase pleaded with the group to stop attempting to destabilize the current situation. He also refuted the APC’s “speculation” that the state government had entered into a contract with anyone to build the city airport that had been sanctioned for the state by the Ministry of Aviation. When the Benue APC Chairman and his fellow travelers stated that the state government was involved in certain vague contractual engagements for various sums, which they curiously could not confirm, they were merely speculating. As a responsive and effective government, the Ortom administration reserves the right to hire and appoint qualified Benue natives to positions where openings exist. This administration has done just that by hiring Benue sons and daughters through the Teaching Service Board (TSB) and the State Universal Basic Education Program. Akase said that Ortom had established a transition committee and that he would collaborate with the governor-elect to pick candidates to serve on the committee. Akase advised the APC to cease showing ignorance and separate political campaigning from important matters of government.

By: Emmy Joe The 2023 governorship election we have been waiting and hoping earnestly for to make a right choice is now around the corner.  As disclosed by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the 2023 Nigerian gubernatorial elections will be held in 31st out of 36th states on the 11th March 2023- two weeks after the general election. Sequel to the scheduled date for the elections, the governorship candidates  for the two major political parties in Benue State had recently released their  blueprint.  The duo include; The governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia, and the governorship candidate of the People Democratic Party  (PDP), Rt. Hon. Titus Uba. Rt. Hon. Titus Uba titled his blueprint as “soil as our oil” and further unveiled “Security and Agriculture as his top priorities when he wins the forthcoming coming election, Demystifying his idea and giving elaboration to his point he stated that his choice of priority areas was informed by the fact that Benue is endowed with rich agricultural soil.“Every section of the country is endowed in a very unique way as such, Benue is endowed with good soil for agricultural activities.” “This informed our decision to choose the slogan. “soil is our oil”, We do not have a bogus blueprint. Our blueprint is anchored on only two critical issues,” Uba said.  He stressed that he would use the state’s natural endowment to develop her. Meanwhile the candidate of the All progressive congress (APC) Rv. Father Hyacinth Alia on his part disclosed via his blueprint released recently which he tagged; ” A Strategic Development Plan for a Greater Benue, He said the document is structured around seven priority pillars, with the acronym SACHIIP, which represents, Security of Lives and Property; Agriculture and Rural Development; Commerce and Industry; Human Capital and Social Development; Infrastructure and Environment; Information & Communication Technology (ICT); and Political and Economic Governance. He stressed that his  services would be in line with the core values of human capital development, accountability, inter-and intra-governmental cooperation, industry, integrity, character, trust and moral courage that adds value to governance if he becomes governor of  Benue state. Fr Alia also promised to build an economy based on functional education, employment generation, agricultural development and growth with a focus on food production and processing in a secured environment that ensures food security, wealth creation and poverty reduction for the state. Taking a critical look at the two blueprints above and giving a comparative analysis on the blueprints, ” whose ideas can drive Benue people to the promised land?” is it the man whose idea is narrowed towards a particular issue? or the man whose idea is directed towards a broad range of issues?, the one that says few words or the one who uses many words? In the part of the people democratic party Guber candidate, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba, questions like this arise when considering the angle he is coming from, in terms of his promises of “Security and Agriculture” as top priorities, Does it means, he is taking another strategic approach in tackling security issues than the one the incumbent Gov. Samuel Ortom has taken so far to ensure security of life in the state? Does it mean governor Ortom has not done enough to ensure security in Benue State?  Would Agricultural development alone be enough to foster development in other sectors in Benue State? Has the small quantity of the agricultural produce in Benue State been well processed and preserved? Do we have adequate facilities and industry for the procession and preservation of agricultural produce in our state to avoid wastage and spoilage as in the case of tomatoes, oranges and mangoes we see every year? How then, can someone ascend a position  overnight to use agriculture as a tool for development when the agricultural sector itself is not yet developed? On his  part, Rv. Fr Hyacinth Alia under the platform of All progressive congress (APC) has revealed several things he will do when he emerges a winner in the forthcoming elections, numerous questions emanate in his multiple promises to the people of Benue state. Yes he touches all the areas that handicapped Benue state for about 36 years of her birth, what’s the possibility of him abiding by all he said and doing them before his tenure elapsed?  What has he done significant in the sector he has formerly worked in that the experience would enhance him to achieve  all he promised if the opportunity is given to him by the Benue people? The situation Benue State found herself now is about a broad range of agendas that would bring emancipation? He has outlined the  “what to do” for  Benue people, how about the “how do it”? like in the case of his opponent who wants to harness agriculture as a tool for Development.  what approach would he use to achieve the seven priority pillars, with the acronym SACHIIP? The capable and suitable candidates that can drive Benue people safely to the promise land is dependent on the possible answer you can craft for the above questions, competence is not found in  either our few words or numerous words, competence is found in individual actions deducing from what he/she had done in the  past especially in the office he has handled in the past. Who Then is our preferred candidate  Rv.Father Alia or Mr. Titus Uba? Benue people, “the ball is now in our court” the way we play it this time around determine our win or lose, this is a clarion call for all Benue sons and daughters to come out and make the right choice this time that we won’t regret it in the next four years  “had I know” is a language of a loser to avoid losing to their selfish, ambitious, pretentious flattering of words which is one of the political ideas as “a game of interest” we must look beyond their words this time around to observe carefully at the actions of the man speaking to us. In any choice you make in the 2023  elections, either through sentiment, tribalism, relativism or bribery, always remember the political thought of Niccolo Machiavelli “the end justifies the means’.

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Jairus Awo

Jairus Awo is a Nigeiran Muiltimedia public interest journalist. He believes in the power of the media as a catalyst to development and societal growth. You can tip him an idea on [email protected]

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