The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Stakeholders’ Forum in Kwande Area of Benue State has rejected the alleged move to excludile the area from participating in the governorship primary.
Speaking in a press release the APC Kwande Stakeholders’ Forum said its attention has been drawn to a press statement by the Governorship Zoning Committee of the Benue State chapter of the APC indicating that aspirants from Kwande Intermediate Area would not take part in the forthcoming governorship primary of the party.
The statement by Alfred Acha reads: “The stakeholders from Kwande view the decision as one taken in bad faith, undemocratic and not in the best interest of an opposition party in Benue State whose desire is to take over power from the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) come 2023.
“For the records, the governorship aspirants from the Kwande Intermediate Area contributed and actively participated in the retreat organised by the APC elders in Abuja. The whole essence of the retreat was for the APC to put forward her best candidates in the forthcoming 2023 general election and at no point was the idea of excluding Kwande from the contest ever contemplated.”
Acha said the stakeholders wish to state that the membership of the Benue State APC Governorship Zoning Committee was shrouded in secrecy and most of the members have a vested interest in some aspirants. He added: “For instance, the secretary of the committee, Kelvin Dzeremo, right after the meeting of the committee wherein the decision was taken to exclude Kwande from the process, was heard putting up a radio announcement for the hosting of one aspirant from Jechira in Abuja.
“All the intermediate areas in Tiv land have occupied the governorship seat and it was not as if the Kwande Intermediate Area was responsible for the short term of Rev. Father Moses Adasu (of blessed memory) from Jechira as insinuated by the committee. The APC in Benue State had earlier resolved that it was not going to micro-zone the governorship ticket in the interest of democracy.
“Democracy is all about participation and inclusion, not exclusion. Furthermore, only the state working committee of the APC has powers under the APC constitution to deliberate and resolve the issue of zoning, including the issues of consensus, but such a decision shall only be valid if it is done in accordance with the Electoral Act 2022.”
The statement indicated that the Kwande Intermediate Area will meet subsequently, to make a decision by presenting aspirants from the area, who will be encouraged to purchase their nomination forms to enable them to take part in the party’s governorship primary.
It added: “We wish to call on members of the public to disregard the statement purportedly issued by the imaginary APC Governorship Zoning Committee as misleading, mischievous, undemocratic and not in the interest of the party. Kwande has credible aspirants who are qualified to bring economic growth and prosperity to Benue State.”
Acha said it is the responsibility of the delegates to decide who will get the APC governorship ticket to represent the party in the election.