Following outcry from the general public over its decision to field an all-Tiv guber ticket, the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has substituted Barr. Shima Vembe as its deputy governorship candidate.
IDOMA VOICE reports that the party had decided to field Vembe, a Tiv man to deputise its guber candidate, Hyacinth Alia following the inability of Benue South leader to produce a consensus candidate.
The development has pitched Benue South leaders against the APC leader in the state, George Akume, whom they accused of imposing an unpopular candidate on them.
The Zone C leaders had rejected Akume’s choice, saying the minister cannot dictate what happens in Benue South.
However, after weeks of hiccups, the party had allegedly settled for Sam Ode as its deputy governorship candidate.
This was confirmed by Sam Ode in a statement he issued on Saturday to accept his nomination.
The statement reads below.
It is with immense humility and a deep sense of responsibility that I wholeheartedly accept the nomination of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to serve as the Running Mate of our Candidate , the Very Reverend Father Hyacinth Iormem Alia Ph.D.
I do not take this nomination for granted, neither do I lose sight of the fact that I have been chosen among a pool of very eminently qualified members of our great Party. I wish to congratulate my brothers and sisters who indicated interest in being considered for this position and to also assure them that they have lost nothing.
I am aware that the quest to be Running Mate to our candidate is driven by value addition to the ticket and not just a mere fulfillment of personal ambitions. At the end of the day, we shall harvest all the ideas they have for the ultimate progress of our battered state.
I wish to express my gratitude to the Almighty God for finding me worthy of this role at a critical era in the evolution of our dear state. It is by his Grace, mercies and powers that we have been able to witness this day. I shall proceed in this duty with the full consciousness that nothing happens until it is decreed from above.
Ours shall remain a divine mandate ordained to rescue our state from the doldrums and dark alleys of despondency.
I wish to place on record my deep appreciation and eternal gratitude to our esteemed flag bearer, Rev Fr Dr Hyacinth Iormem Alia for his generosity to me by this invitation to join the winning ticket. As the custodian of our Party’s mandate , the buck stops at his table on who should be his deputy. I am fully aware that he had several competent choices before him but he settled for me after a very challenging process. I wish to assure him of my unalloyed loyalty and to also pledge my unreserved support and partnership in his historic mandate to bring the much needed succour to our people.
I wish to register my profound gratitude to our Leader, Father and Mentor, His Excellency Senator Dr George Akume for his leadership and fatherly counsel in the affairs of our Party and throughout this process. He has remained the bedrock of the Party and has proven to be a steadfast and compassionate leader.
My debt of gratitude also goes to Chief Audu Ogbeh and our other very eminent Party leaders and elders in the Benue South Senatorial District ( Zone C) who had the unenviable task of recommending one out of their many qualified sons and daughters for this position. It is normal to have different preferences in a democratic setting but after the emergence of one person, the collective blessings of all elders is required. I shall actively seek the blessings of every single stakeholder and continue to assure them that I shall sustain their hopes in every step I shall take if by God’s Grace and the will of the people we win.
I also wish to thank the elders of the Party from Zones A and B for their roles in the successes recorded this far. They have shown uncommon vigilance and steadfastness in the nomination processes in this dispensation.
I also appreciate the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress led by His Excellency Senator Abdullahi Adamu,CON and the APC Executive Committee in Benue State led by Comrade Austin Agada, women and youth groups and support groups, especially the Alia Alliance and Divine Mandate Groups for the pillars of support they have been to our Governor in waiting.
I also wish to passionately appeal to our esteemed members who still nurse grievances over the concluded primaries to please sheath their swords and direct their resourceful energies towards reclaiming our state from the floundering, rudderless and underwhelming PDP government . The occupants of Government House at the moment recognize that they stand no chance to install a puppet if we are United. For the sake of the party you all love so dearly, let peace reign, let the reconciliation trend go full circle .
To all Benue citizens, your salvation journey has just begun. Let us all unite behind the Alia /Ode ticket which is the surest path to an improved future.