2023 governorship: APC may opt for consensus in Benue – Akume
Indications emerged on Tuesday that the 32 governorship aspirants for the governorship ticket of the APC in Benue, might settle for a consensus candidate ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs said this at the start of a two days leadership retreat organised for the aspirants in Abuja.
Akume who was a former governor of Benue said consensus arrangement among the aspirants was in tandem with the provisions of the party’s Constitution.
He, however, said the aspirants were at liberty to test their popularity at the primaries, through the direct or indirect mode of primaries stipulated in the party’s constitution.
“There is provision for consensus in our constitution and of course, in the Electoral Act, consensus arrangement is wonderful,” he said.
This, he said, was because no matter how difficult a decision was, it could be resolved through consensus.
The minister who is the leader of the APC in Benue acknowledged that he influenced the emergence of two of his successors, Gabriel Suswam and Samuel Ortom as governors of Benue from 2007 to date.
He, however, assured that he would not impose any of the aspirants on the party at its primaries.
Akume advised the aspirants to set aside their differences and work toward the victory of the party in the state in the 2023 general elections.
While speaking on the low spate of development in Benue, Akume said the party’s stakeholders would decide the enthronement of an APC government in the state.
“Today, Benue remains in the last position in every index of development. We have surveyed the array of aspirants our party is parading.
“You are far better than all aspirants that other parties are parading, our people have suffered for so long.
“They are expecting so much from the APC. over 30 of you are looking for one position, all determined to turn the fortune of Benue around.
“You all have to sit down and talk as brothers and sisters, talk peace. We are all one, the elites have tried to divide us, let’s say no to that, ” he said.
He charged the aspirants to be united and embrace peace and tolerance and avoid politics of bitterness.
The minister added that the aspirants should work hard to ensure that the APC won in the state in the coming election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that among the stakeholders at the retreat, were Sen. Barnabas Gemade, former governors, ministers, serving state and national lawmakers and heads of parastatals in both Bemue and at the federal level.
Also speaking with newsmen, one of the governorship aspirants, Dr Mathias Byuan, said he was not opposed to any arrangement agreed upon by the party’s stakeholders.
Byuan assured that Benue was up for APC to take in the 2023 general elections.
The state chairman, Mr Austin Agada, said Benue had always been an APC state.