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Post Elections Analysis, Prospect And Challenges Of Benue APC Ahead Of March 11 Polls

1. Following the 2015 Amalgamation that birthed the APC, several stakeholders and Political heavyweights realigned from major political parties to cultivate the APC. Notable among them were Senators George Akume and Barnabas Gemade who were both serving Senators with massive grassroots followers across the state.

2. Interestingly, Samuel Ortom, former PDP governorship aspirant was inappropriately allocated the APC Governorship ticket almost singlehandedly by Senator George Akume which later saw his emergence as Governor of Benue State in 2015.

3. This was the beginning of the party's internal crisis following the blatant imposition and exclusion of stakeholders. Akume seemingly appropriated the official structure by allocating critical slots to his core loyalists.

4. Indeed, Akume midwife and supervised the gradual disintegration of the party by igniting sharp divisions and masterminding substitution of critical candidates for his preferred persons. He consciously substituted Senator Gemade with an amateurish lady and brutally parted ways with the Governor who took a protest exit back to his original PDP family, secured nomination, and won his re-election for a second term.

5. It was indicated from the outcome of the 2019 election that Senator Akume was largely responsible for the cumulative failure of the APC in the 2019 election in Benue which inadvertently also consumed him.

6. In 2019 - 2023, it was an interesting period of persecution of the party by Ortom, their very creation that became a sworn enemy against President Buhari, and the entire APC family. He abused his mandate with unpopular policies and dogmatic dispositions against the center.

7. This massive failure offered ample opportunity for the APC as an alternative for 2023 that curiously attracted high-quality aspirants with experience, character, and capacity. Among them were Senator Barnabas Gemade, Chief Mike Aondoakaa SAN, Professor Terhemba Shija, and others who invested heavily in planting the party and mobilization of membership to resurrect the popular consciousness of the progressive family that daily yearn for change.

8. The prospects of the alternative succession were promising through sustained support by these leading aspirants until Senator George Akume in his desperate godfather postulation dragged a healing priest on the altar of orchestrated  Religious sentiments, claiming Political popularity, This became the premise upon which he imposed him as a candidate through an irregular nomination and still used against all legal battles to determine his candidature for 2023 election.

2023 Presidential election in Benue state.

1. The 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections generated mixed responses from the electorate. The three major Political parties were APC, LP, and PDP. The main contention however was between APC and PDP as fundamental power wrestlers in the state. Perhaps, the voting pattern has great implications for the next election for Governorship on 11th, March 2023.

2. Prominent among the factors are peculiarities of the TIV and Idoma interests and those of the aggrieved aspirants as major stakeholders in the party as shown in the outcome of the concluded presidential elections.

3. For illustration, the TIV voted massively for a new set of federal legislators with two Senators and seven HOR members on the ticket of APC while the Idomas returned their PDP Senator and a single House representative member leaving three for the APC.

5. The final collated results were as follows

APC 310,468

Labour Party 308,837

PDP 130,081

6. The above results portray a discomforting lead by the APC with a slim margin of fewer than 2000 votes. This calls for urgent steps to arrest the further drift of the party in the next election, especially with deepening hostilities between overzealous supporters and the aggrieved Governorship aspirants. In many instances, protest voting from APC members was noticed during the Presidential election with the possibility of resurfacing deeper during the governorship election.

7. Implications, the arrogance and overconfidence exhibited by Overzealous APC fans are the greatest threat to the forthcoming governorship race. The overrated popularity of the priest is entirely unfounded and speculative. Where the candidate purportedly scored over eight hundred thousand votes in the primaries, the party could hardly secure half of the votes in the general election. There are obvious indicators that the figures may further deplete if extreme internal sabotage by aggrieved aspirants resurfaces in the governorship election.

8. The votes obtained by the Labour Party are largely opportunistic by non-committed members who are ready to negotiate. Regarding the Governor's disposition to Labour Party, he may likely sway most of the votes back to PDP, especially his official structure of Political appointees that overwhelmingly voted for the Labour Party during the Presidential election.

9. Apparently, most of the Labour Party votes belong to the Governor who decisively directed to work against the PDP even at the risk of his senatorial ambition. There is the likelihood of an alliance falling back to the PDP or working in collaboration with the Labour Party to undermine the APC as a common enemy.

10. Recommendation, an urgent harmonization of the APC structure to galvanize support for the Governorship election. It will be strategic to have aggrieved aspirants take control of operations for the election.

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Amalgamation Benue George Akume PDP Samuel Ortom


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