By Donald Atule
All is not well within the All Progressives Congress APC in Benue state at present. The governorship candidate of the party who is now demoted to a mere aspirant Hyacinth Alia is no longer finding things funny and has dared the party’s leader George Akume whom he has accused of being the cause of his problems.
A reliable source within the Alia camp told some friends at a beer joint yesterday that their principal has made up his mind to confront Akume with facts of the things the party leader has done or failed to do which have resulted in the current situation they are in. One of the major issues Alia has complained bitterly about is that Akume is starving him of funds to run the campaign.
The source quoted Alia as saying that whenever money is sent from someone or a group to support the APC governorship campaign in the state, the donors usually contact Akume who often takes possession of the funds and only releases peanuts to the campaign team. The trend started when two northern Governors El-Rufai of Kaduna and Masari of Katsina sent N500 million to Alia after he visited them and made and agreement with them to return all Fulanis to Benue state, if he becomes governor. The money was sent through Akume who refused to release it to the governorship campaign team. When Alia eventually found out and complained, Akume’s wife Regina reportedly called him on phone and blasted him terribly.
Such incidents of Akume getting hold of campaign funds and not releasing to the team have happened more than four times after the first incident.
Alia also accuses Akume of deliberately sabotaging the APC court cases by starving the party’s legal team of funds to effectively prosecute the lawsuits.
This development made Alia to boycott Akume and make former APC governorship candidate Emmauel Jime as his boss. He now listens to Jime more than Akume and any time he travels to Abuja, he goes to Jime’s office or house to brief him and take directives before heading to Akume’s house.
The recent presidential rally of APC in Benue state was the last straw that broke the camel’s back between the two men. Bola Tinubu sent in N200 million for the planning of the event but Akume cornered N100 million for himself and later took another N5 million under the guise of “bank charges” but gave Alia a paltry sum.
According to the source, Alia has no respect for Akume as it is now. He believes that Akume only wants to use him and make money for his political retirement after Buhari’s government. He said Akume is not committed to ensuring that APC wins the court cases and the election. For him, it is business as usual.
Alia too has his own baggage. He is constantly in need of money and more money to meet the demands of his chain of girlfriends. Some of the women have children for him and it is therefore his responsibility to take care of the mothers and the children. That is his number one priority before thinking about his campaign logistics and the demands from his supporters. He doesn’t have time for anybody in the party.
Alia sees himself as someone who knows it all so every other mortal is below him. That’s why recently, the social media team of APC in Benue state cried out that he has abandoned them. Till today, he has not deemed it necessary to meet with the social media team. Some of the boys were heard lamenting that the man considers himself as assistant God with the manner he carries himself. What does it take to meet with young people who have dedicated their entire time supporting your ambition?