Some members of the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have raised the alarm over alleged irregularities in the last Local Government Area congress, describing the exercise as a flagrant abuse of party constitution and guidelines.
They accused one Anna Itodo, an aide to the wife of the Minister of Special Duties, Chief Mrs Regina Akume and some members of the Ibrahim Mashi-led committee of turning the exercise into a money-making venture.
“Miss Anna Itodo ostensibly posing as an agent of the wife of the Minister of Special Duties, Dr. George Akume, who is also a strong contender for the National Chairman of the party, is acting in cahoot with former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Stephen Lawani, who is contesting for the Governor of Benue State. Another member of their team is one Mathias Byuan. They are all going about collecting money from aspirants in the state and awarding as many positions as possible to the highest bidders,” a top member of the party told SaharaReporters.
“To be sincere with you, the former minister’s wife has nothing to do with these cabals but her aide, Miss Anna Itodo who has some inordinate ambitions and heads a mushroom group called Benue Amazon’s, has been using her name to extort very weak and unpopular aspirants ahead of 2023 in the party, asking them to part with huge sums of money while leaving out all consensus arrangements put together by elders and stakeholders in the party.
“We are aware of how she received huge sums of money from Steven Lawani, Sunny Oche, and Matthias Byuan to edit the congress lists for Ado, Okpokwu and Ogbadibo local government areas, leaving out the very popular candidates earlier endorsed by the party leaders and stakeholders in those local government areas.
“The plot was to use the proceeds of this criminal enterprise to bribe Mrs Regina Akume into using her position to arm-twist the committee but it was later rejected by Mrs Akume who has insisted that the right thing must be done at all times, being a devout catholic. Miss Itodo has however refused to back down on this criminal outing that also involves Matthias Byuan who is of questionable character.
“There is a serious confusion at the moment in the camp of Mrs Regina Akume as her Tiv aides are worried that the rate at which Anna Itodo is going, if not checked by the minister and his wife, she will not only destroy the party but further ruin the image and reputation of George Akume and his family.
“This evil declaration by Anna Itodo that any aspirants who fails to settle her will not make it to the 2023 general elections is wicked and will kill the party in Idomaland.
“In Ado Local Government Area, for instance, Miss Itodo has connived with one Sunny Oche, an aspirant for House of Representatives in the 2019 general election and a certain gang in the APC to foist one Ben Ikese as Local Government Chairman on Ado APC whilst in Ogbadibo, a governorship aspirant, Steven Lawani and some criminals are out to change at all cost the list agreed on as a consensus by the Christopher Obute-led elders’ council in the local government area.
“Stakeholders in these local government areas have been apprehensive as to why Anna Itodo will suddenly ‘exhume’ someone with no electoral value in his council ward of Akpoge- Ogbilolo, a woman in Okpokwu and another unpopular candidate in Ogbadibo to impose on the party as Local Government Chairmen.”
Meanwhile, some APC stakeholders in Otukpo and Ohimini LGAs have kicked against the alleged hijacking of the party by a member of the House of Representatives, Blessing Onuh.
They accused the lawmaker of replacing APC members in Ohimini and Otukpo with her followers from APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance).
“Shutting out Dickson Akor, Nelson Alapa, Baba Odeh, Godwin Okpoju and over 80 percent of the notable names in the party in these two LGAs is a recipe for disaster and a clear indication that the party is out to destroy itself,” a party chieftain told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters, New York