By James Shim & Terese Tse
Political parties have commenced in earnest activities that will actualize their interest in the 2023 general elections in Benue State and the country. Already, there are gimmicks. The situation is gradually building up with increased consultations in anticipation of the approval of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Voice Politics’ investigations reveal that, most of the political parties have started membership recruitment which is expected to set the pace to move when INEC finally blows the whistle for formal commencement of party activities.
Hon. John Ngbede, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Benue State said the party has all it takes to retain power. According to him, modalities are in place to ensure no other political party defeat PDP in 2023.
Ngbede said PDP will certainly move from strength to glory in 2023. He further said “the issue of zoning of political positions including governorship shall be discussed at an appropriate time by stakeholders.”
Speaking in an interview, Hon. Timothy Malu, chairman of People’s Redemption Party (PRP), said the party was working based on its cherished ideology of a united Nigeria.
Malu who accused APC of widening the divisions amongst Nigerians, however, noted that a PRP administration will bridge the existing gaps and restore the peace and unity of the country, when elected in 2023.
“We are working silently to stage surprises at all levels. The party is standing on faith to improve on the third position it recorded in the last general election in Benue State. We are on membership drive and registration is ongoing in the 23 local governments in the state.
“PRP is the party to save Benue. The party is poised to recover all that Benue has lost politically. For example, the 2023 President of this country is supposed to come from the Middle Belt and Benue, and the Tiv people in particular. They deserve it because they labored for it. The late Balarabe Musa was championing this course and we shall build on it.
“For governorship, the party is doing a popularity assessment in either Kwande or Jerchira in zone A, and zone C, that can deliver democracy dividends to the commoners and has credible credentials,” Malu stated.
Also, a former governorship flagbearer of PRP in Benue state, Rev. Frederick Ikyaan told The Voice Politics that there is no shaking as the party is watching evolving trends.
He said politics is all about strategies and the party was taking its time to see how it can come out with the best strategy for future elections in the state.
The former governorship contender who was emphatic that he has no plans for another electoral contest, however, said he was making consultations and would come out with a clear statement for every one in Benue State.
For Egnr. John Enemari, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) in Benue State, the party is seriously arranging for 2023.
He disclosed that the national Secretariat of the party has also slated 17th February, for its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Abuja, where, strategies to prosecute the 2023 elections would be mapped out.
“We want to be careful to avoid what happened in Benue State during the last general elections. Some people were sent to destroy the party. Aspirants contributed to the failure of the party in 2023,”
Speaking further, Enamari expressed worry over a situation where the SDP was popular and waxed stronger in the state until the 2019 election, when some of the party’s flag bearers stepped down for people in other political parties.
He further expressed hope that people of integrity were now coming into the party, who will certainly be a blessing to the SDP.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commenced membership revalidation and registration in the State.
The exercise which had earlier been put off commenced officially on the 2nd of February, 2021. A serving minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, George Akume is among key personalities that have revalidated their membership of the party in Benue State.
Reports from the exercise has it that one person was killed in Gboko by party members believed to be of a rival faction within the party, who were bent on taking control of the registration.
Comrade Abah Yaro, chairman of APC in the state has refused to speak when our correspondent made efforts to get the party’s reaction.
At the moment, plans by various political parties to maneuver their ways, and move ahead of their counterparts are on the high. It is however, left to be seen whether or not the situation may not degenerate.