Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Hon. Hyacinth Alia, earlier today stirred controversy when he took over the seat reserved for Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, at a public function.
The occasion was the requiem mass held in honour of late Revd. Father Michael Murphy who until his death served for 62 years as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church and died under the Makurdi Diocese.
Hon. Alia together with former First Lady of Benue State, Mrs. Regina Akume, had arrived the venue of the requiem mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral in Makurdi earlier accompanied by armed policemen and thugs with whom they all swept into the church auditorium moved straight to the front seat.
This was in violation of the respected tradition which prohibits the presence of armed security personnel inside the church.
Alia and Regina Akume had then proceeded to take over the seats marked as reserved for Governor Samuel Ortom, and efforts by protocol officials of Government House, Makurdi to move them to other seats failed and almost caused a scene.
Governor Ortom had come shortly afterwards and after politely exchanging pleasantries with the duo, he sat in the next available seat together with his entourage.
Many have viewed this conduct of Hon. Alia as arrogance which is unbecoming of someone who wants to be Governor yet is unwilling to accord the incumbent his due respect.
Some recall an incident earlier this year at a church function in Makurdi where the APC guber candidate had met with Governor Ortom in the church but snubbed the governor without as much as exchanging even the formalities of greetings with him.
There are those who suspect that the embattled APC governorship candidate is deliberately courting a public confrontation with Governor Ortom in the hope of reaping public sympathy from the controversy that will ensue from it.