By Joe Nashima
A cold war is brewing between the leader of All Progressives Congress APC in Benue state and the governorship candidate of the party hon. Hyacinth Alia which is threatening to sink the party before the 2023 elections.
Tuesday 27th December 2022 was the leader’s birthday but Alia refused to wish him a happy birthday celebration. 48 hours later, no such message has come from the embattled candidate. I will tell you why.
Trouble between the two began when two northern (Fulani) governors sent N500 million to support the ambition of the suspended priest who had visited them and pledged to serve the Fulani interest, if elected as Benue governor. The governors however decided to channel the N500 million through the Benue APC leader (Lida) who refused to release it Alia.
The disputed candidate was very angry and expressed his frustration with some of his friends. The two northern governors also will later find out that Lida cornered the funds for himself.
Since that time, the relationship between the two men has not remained the same.
Another strong cause of the friction between Lida and Alia is the wife. Alia’s close relationship with Lida’s wife is beginning to raise doubts and suspicion in the minds of those close to the former first family of the state. Madam is the one who brought Alia knowing that as a reverend father, he doesn’t have a wife so she would assume the position of first lady for a second time. Alia calls madman even at odd hours and speaks in romantic tunes. The ugly scenario has created a gulf between him and Lida.
That is why you have not seen Lida at any campaign event organized by Alia.
Then there is a former female House of Reps member representing Jechira who is also hotly contesting for the position of first lady in the event that Alia wins. Another group of ladies who are girlfriends of Alia recently began to print posters and billboards to campaign for him. He has children with some of the ladies. They have vowed to slug it out with the “old ladies” and install one of them as the First Lady.
As the Court of Appeal prepares to rule on the cases brought before it against Alia, the man’s headache has increased. He is already regretting why he left priesthood to pursue a mirage.
* Nashima writes from Akpehe, Makurdi