The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State plunged deeper into chaos on Saturday as Governor Hyacinth Alia suspended the party’s primary election for the Guma 1 State Constituency bye-election, triggering allegations of sabotage and manipulation.
The drama began just four hours after a faction believed to be loyal to former Governor and SGF George Akume conducted their own primary, declaring Uche Terwase Peter the party’s flag bearer.
Tensions between both camps escalated on Friday when the party’s screening committee disqualified the consensus candidate favoured by Governor Alia’s camp, Maurice Orwough, leaving Terwase Peter as the sole contestant.
Governor Alia defended his decision to halt the primary, citing rampant insecurity in the area and claims that the process was hijacked by the rival faction. He received backing from local caretaker committee chairmen, who echoed his concerns.
However, the APC state publicity secretary challenged these claims and has denied any allegations of insecurity or manipulation.