APC stakeholders in Idoma to meet Akume over choice of running-mate
• Ortom promises robust economy
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Benue South District, including elders and local council executive members, have appealed to the leader of the party in the state and Senate Minority Leader, George Akume, to allow them benefit from making inputs as to who becomes the party’s deputy governor since the slot is being conceded to the zone.
But in a sharp reaction, Benson Abounu, who had already been picked as the deputy governorship candidate from the zone, told The Guardian on phone that it is the prerogative of the governorship candidate to pick his running-mate and urged those canvassing for a meeting with Akume to desist.
While some members of the party from the zone last weekend protested the emergence of Abounu, former Commissioner for Water Resources in the state to Akume’s residence in Makurdi, Abounu described the leaders of the protesters as impostors.
Making their appeal at a stakeholders’ meeting at Otukpo last Wednesday, Mr. Adoyi Ojogbane, a former member of the House of Representatives, said it was proper to meet with Akume so that the zone can be allowed to properly pick a deputy governorship candidate.
Also speaking at the occasion, former chairman of the elders’ forum of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Isah Usman, said that Akume had expressed his readiness to meet with the Zone C stakeholders to resolve the matter.
“If we are not allowed to choose the deputy, we will vote for the President and fold our hands on other elections. Although Audu Ogbeh is doing his best, his best is not enough,” Usman said.
On his part, Ambassador Dickson Akor, who is also a chieftain of the party in the area, has called for continuous meeting until the issue is resolved, stressing that efforts should be made to ensure that campaign money for the zone don’t go into wrong hands.
Other speakers at the occasion included Captain Achichi (rtd) and Aame Diga who both lamented that Akume’s good intentions are being destroyed by those they described as wrong advisers surrounding him, saying they would not allow anybody to be forced on them.
Meanwhile, the party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has assured the working committee and the expanded state executive committee of the party that he would turn around the fortunes of the state if elected.
He gave the assurance in Makurdi at the weekend during separate meetings with party chieftains at the secretariat of the party.
Ortom stated that he would carry the electorate along by implementing the party’s manifesto with emphasis on industrialization, promotion of commercial activities as well as investment.
He said his administration would generate jobs to tackle unemployment and create wealth such that the state could meet its financial obligations.
The former Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment said he was humbled by the warm reception party members accorded him, adding that he and leaders of the party have also taken steps to pacify aggrieved aspirants and their supporters.