Monday 11 November 2013

Why APC is on fire in Benue

Dictatorship, non-accountability the cause of the crisis in Benue APC – Young Alhaji

By Owoicho OCHE
Young Alhaji

Former Deputy Governorship candidate of the defunct ACN in Benue State in the 2011 election, Alhaji Usman Abubakar, popularly known as  ‘Young Alhaji’ has said that dictatorship, imposition of executives, and above all non-accountability of party funds on the part of former party executives are the causes of the crisis in the new merger party, APC in the state. Read the full interview with DayBreak’s reporter:

On whether there is a Crisis in Benue APC:
It will be foolhardy and pretentious of anybody to state that there is no crisis in APC in Benue State. You must have heard a fallacious news item carried in some local radio stations recently by a purported leadership of the new APC in the state that the leaders of the party in the state are only George Akume, Nelson Alapa, Benson Abounu, and so on leaving out my name. The announcement went on to say that anybody doing business with any other person in the name of APC does so at his own risk; what a fallacy! You and I know the role I have played in shaping opposition in the state, especially in ACN in the last dispensation, so to say that I am not a leader of the merger party in the state because I demand justice  is nothing but a fallacy and a pointer to the crisis we are talking about.

APC is a fusion of the three old parties namely CAN, ANPP and CPC and we the former leaders of these component parties have not met to determine the leadership apparatus of the new party. So where do the so-called leaders derive the authority to appoint themselves as the leaders? Is that not crisis? You must have also heard that I took members of the state executives of the defunct ACN, notably the former Chairman Comrade Abba Yaro to court over some issues. If there was no crisis I wouldn’t have done that.
The genesis of the crisis:
The crisis in Benue APC today is a hangover from ACN. ACN is one of the component parties that formed APC, the merger party. APC is like a chemical which is formed by the reaction of two or more elements coming together to form the indivisible product called chemical, not mixture. When they have been formed they no longer remain an admixture but an indivisible chemical! So ACN fused into APC and no longer remains ACN!

So like I said ACN ‘imported’ the crisis into APC. ACN in Benue State was a mud house; it was an emergency! It was like entering a bus without looking at the name written on it. So we all entered the molue hurriedly and made the party popular; but it was a disaster! However there were members of integrity within the party who wanted to build the party; and so we said let’s rebuild the mud house to a modern artifact with good foundation, but then the issue of this merger came in. So we were forced to abandon the foundation and build cement blocks on the mud house without a structural reinforcement! This has been the problem, the root cause of the crisis!

Yes this is the problem: there were allegations of misappropriation of party funds in the ACN with Abba Yaro as the Chairman. You and I know that people bought forms to contest elections as candidates in the party; so we said where is that money? What did you do with the money? We demanded accountability; yes we complained to our leader, Senator George Akume, but he threw the allegations away with a wave of the hand! We said, well, no problem; let’s forge ahead for the sake of the party.

Then when APC was being formed in the state Abba Yaro, Chairman of ACN wanted to become the Chairman of the new party without an election! But there are Chairmen of the other component parties too. So we said Abba why are you lording yourself over others? Why not wait until we hold a meeting or election to appoint the Chairman and other executives? But he went ahead by going round all the Local Government Areas to solicit for his endorsement as the Chairman just because he has Akume’s support!
Why I went to court:
People said I am fighting Akume; on what account am I fighting him? He is still our party leader in the state, but he is harbouring Abba Yaro! So I said release Abba Yaro for public scrutiny, but he would not bulge. Then I wrote a letter demanding accountability from the Abba Yaro’s EXCO but he refused to bulge. So I took then to court demanding accountability at Federal High Court, Makurdi.

I am a man of integrity. I refuse to concur to the antics of corruption! It has taken me time to build this reputation. If I bend today tomorrow if APC becomes corrupt people will say I am part of the corruption. I am fighting to protect the future of APC in the state.

You see, people are following Akume blindly without looking at the name of the bus! Yes he is our leader in the state, no doubt, but he cannot be leader of Zones A, B, and C at the same time! He should not impose leaders on these people in the zones. That is tantamount to dictatorship! But we are in a democratic setup! So why doing things in the old way? This just what I am fighting for; I am not the genesis of this crisis. Abba Yaro, Akume and their cohorts are!!
The way forward:

Well, yes there is a way forward. The crisis cannot be on forever. We look forward to its amicable resolution by addressing the issues raised here.  But any attempt to cover the allegations or paint me in an obscure picture before the people as they are doing now shall be resisted to the latter.  I am open to discussions and welcome every move aimed at resolving the matter. Thank you.

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