By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—STAKEHOLDERS of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State, including a former governor of the state and current Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, have served a quit notice on the incumbent governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, accusing him of failing in all indices of development.
They said Benue people are ready for a paradigm shift and would not allow the current situation in the state to continue. Speaking with journalists at a two-day Benue APC stakeholders retreat with their governorship aspirants in Abuja yesterday, Akume, however, said the aspirants are at liberty to test their popularity at the primaries if the consensus arrangement failed.
Asked whether the party was considering a consensus arrangement in Benue, Akume said: “There is provision for consensus in our constitution and, of course, in the Electoral Act. The issue is consensus arrangement is wonderful, difficult decisions are taken through consensus and no matter how difficult a situation is through consensus, you build up a consensus and then an answer emerges.
”I support that there is nothing wrong with that but where we cannot afford to do it, then the normal processes will also proceed.” The Minister who is the leader of the party in Benue State, acknowledged that he influenced the emergence of two of his successors – Gabriel Suswam and Samuel Ortom as governor’s of Benue State between 2007 and today.
He said Benue people would determine Ortom’s successor, adding that the holy spirit would not come down to do that. Assuring that he would not impose any of the aspirants on the party during the primaries, Akume admonished the aspirants to set aside their differences and work towards the victory of the party at the polls.
Lamenting the appalling level of underdevelopment in Benue State under the Governor Ortom led administration, he urged party stakeholders to ensure the defeat of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.
He noted: “Today, Benue state remains in the last position in every index of development. We have surveyed the array of aspirants our party is parading. Each of you is far better than every aspirant their party (PDP) is parading.
Our people have suffered for so long. ”They are expecting so much from the APC. Thirty of you are looking for one position, all determined to turn the fortunes of Benue State around.’’