***hints consensus arrangement ahead of May primary
A former governor of Benue State and Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume, has vowed to return the state to the control of the All Progressives Congress in 2023.
He also hinted that the APC governorship candidate may emerge through a consensus arrangement, the same route taken by the party in choosing its National Working Committee during the March 26 national convention.
Akume stated these while addressing Journalists during a two-day Benue State APC stakeholders retreat with the governorship aspirants in abuja.
He warned the aspirants against discouragement due to consensus but should proceed with their campaigns ahead of next month’s primary elections should the consensus arrangement crumble.
“APC is the greatest political movement in Africa and we in Benue State are also part of that movement. If you look at the array of governorship aspirants who are gathered here for this retreat then you know that Benue is ready, committed to rescue Benue, to take the state from the dungeon to the promised land,” he said.
“My advice to them is to ensure that their unity is not compromised and ensure that their sense of improvement is not undeniable, and that will ensure that APC takes over Benue in 2023.
“We want a situation whereby Benue APC is reunited to the mainstream politics. Our late leader, Senator Joseph Tarka, brought us back to the mainstream in 1979 and ever since we have never looked back. This party is doing a great job under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. We have huge intervention in infrastructure development across the country, intervention in security and so on.”
Asked about the party’s likelihood to adopt a consensus arrangement in Benue, he 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 can not afford to do it then the normal processes will also proceed.”
Akume, who assured the stakeholders that he would not interfere with the governorship primary, advised aspirants to unite for the APC’s victory in Benue and work towards the victory of the party in the 2023 poll.
He lamented the spate of underdevelopment in Benue State under the Samuel Ortom-led administration, saying the APC stakeholders must ensure the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party next year.