August 3, 2022

2023: Otukpo residence of Benue APC stalwart razed as party’s crisis escalates

2023: Otukpo residence of Benue APC stalwart razed as party’s crisis escalates

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Otukpo residence of All Progressives Congress, APC, stalwart and former deputy governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Alhaji Usman Abubakar was at the early hours of Wednesday set ablaze by unknown persons.

It would be recalled that the APC has been enmeshed in crisis recently over the choice of the deputy governorship candidate of the party which pitched the former senatorial candidate of the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, against other leaders of the party in the Benue South Senatorial district where he hails from.

Following the crisis, Alhaji Abubakar had mounted mini coffins at the main entrance of his residence to paint a picture of what could befall the party in the coming 2023 elections.

He had also displayed his pictures by the coffins as well as inscribed names of the leaders of the party therein calling on them to save the party from the negative influence of those he termed Abuja politicians who lacked any form of support base in the state.

Findings indicated that the crisis in the party escalated when Alhaji Abubakar insisted that the deputy governorship seat be zoned to Apa/Agatu or Oju/Obi federal constituencies in the interest of fairness and equity. His position attracted fierce opposition from some APC leaders who maintained that the Otukpo/Ohimini zoning which is presently occupying the seat should produce the candidate which left the leaders tearing at each other.

It was gathered from an eyewitness that the fire which gutted the entire gate house and the main entrance to the mansion located at fairwind Avenue Otukpo was first noticed at about 3am when everyone in the house had gone to bed.

“And within minutes, the building attached to the entrance gate was in flames thereby hindering efforts to put out the fire which completely raised the affected buildings,” the witness said.

Speaking to his teaming followers who were on hand in the burnt residence to sympathize with him, Alhaji Abubakar said

“the destruction of my house or my property and attack on my personality can’t destroy the good idea, truth, justice and the Idoma nation of my dream which I hold tight in my heart, and ever stand for.

“The burning of my house won’t deter me from speaking and acting against evil in our society. I see this destruction as an act of weakling, cowardliness and desperation by suspected Benue South APC members who see me as threat and one at variance with their self centered political ambition.

“The unpleasant incident cannot be unconnected to the issue of deputy governorship candidate under Benue APC, which has remained unresolved, because certain members of the party believed that politics is their sole means of survival.

“As the founder of opposition in Benue South and a stakeholder in the affairs of APC in Benue State, I remain an APC member, but I will always go against injustice in and outside APC, particularly in Benue South Senatorial District. I’m a honey hunter, I don’t fear the sting of bees, because I’ve always been battle ready with the sword of justice.”

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has condemned the incident and urged security agencies to fish out the masterminds.

The Governor in a statement by his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase described the act as unacceptable, barbaric and anti – democratic.

While sympathizing with Alhaji Abubakar, Governor Ortom warned those causing unnecessary tension in the state on account politics to desist or be prepared to face the long arm of the law.