Fr. Alia declares that Sam Ode is not his running mate, disowns him
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Fr. Alia declares that Sam Ode is not his running mate, disowns him

by SG News Desk
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The All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for governor in Benue State, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, has made it clear that he has not yet chosen a running mate for the 2023 gubernatorial election.

The clarification follows widespread rumors that his running mate had been chosen, Dr. Sam Ode, a former minister of state for the Niger Delta.

Parties don’t choose a deputy for the candidate, according to Kula Tersoo, Head of Media and Publicity, Alia 2023 Gubernatorial Campaign Organization. The deputy is chosen by the candidate. Rev. Fr. Alia has not yet chosen or named his deputy. When he completes that, he will inform the public.

“The party has designated the Benue South Senatorial District for the position of Deputy Governor, but high-wire political maneuvering among candidates and party stakeholders has prevented an early choice. As a result, Isaac Gbihi Vembeh had to be chosen as a temporary running mate.

This was done in order for Alia to “continue his wider engagement with Leaders of the party, Stakeholders and organisations, in order to carry everybody along in the selection process,” according to a statement made by Daniel Ihomun, Publicity Secretary, APC, Benue State.

“The nomination is filed to meet INEC regulations and beat the deadline for the Electoral Act-mandated filing of candidates for governor and deputy governor. However, candidates and political parties have until August 2022 to make any required substitutions and replacements.

Unconfirmed reports of Sam Ode’s nomination flooded the APC community in the state over the weekend, causing celebrations in his camp and refutations from opponents in Benue South (Zone C).

The first notable denial was made by the APC elders from the zone in response to an online report that claimed Dr. Sam Ode had been chosen as the APC’s running mate for governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.

“The claimed nomination was cited in the news with a recommendation by the APC’s so-called ‘Committee of Wise Men’ elders council.

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The 14 elders, led by former Senate President Senator Ameh Ebute, disproved the existence of the party’s Benue South Elders Council, which had previously been disbanded by the state leadership of the organization.

In a statement, they adamantly denied that, contrary to reports in the media, “no elder of the party convened under any committee of Wise Men or APC Elders’ Council to do any discussion on the choice of running mate to the APC governorship candidate on July 21, 2022.

That the rumored nomination of Dr. Sam Ode is an intentional attempt by saboteur to sow discord and conflict inside the party in order to undercut our success in the upcoming election.

Reports that Stakeholders from the Benue South Senatorial District had requested Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the party’s national chairman, to become involved in the situation strengthened this position.

“They predicated their appeal for higher authorities’ action on the requirement to halt attempts by some influential party officials in the state to deny Zone C the chance to recommend a candidate of their choosing.

They contend that attempts were being made to impose Sam Ode, a former minister of state for the Niger Delta whose mother is of Tiv ancestry, as the governorship candidate and State Leader of the party, Senator George Akume, using Barrister John Ochoga, Senator Jack Tilley-Gyado, and Chief Simon Shango (the latter two are Tiv by tribe).

Furthermore, the current Deputy Governor and Ode are both from the same local government area.

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Fr Alia running mate, STECHITEGIST

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