By Terese Tse
The Benue Labour Party (LP) Chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Idoko has debunked the rumour making rounds about the substitution of the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Herman Hembe ahead of March 2023 elections, describing it as to smack of hypocrisy, mischief and crass ignorance.
Comrade Idoko made this clarification in a chat with The Voice Politics recently in his office, insisting that there is no controversy surrounding the emergence of Hembe and he still remains the reliable and authentic candidate flying the party’s flag in the state.
“There are funny kinds of fabricated stories that usually comes up on social media space. Someone would sit and imagine fake news contrary to the reality on ground which is so embarrassing. What happened has nothing to do with substitution, as a matter of fact, it was even our candidate that took Benue APC to court and not the other way round as people are suggesting. He took APC to court for including him in their primary election which he didn’t partake but the court struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction and he took the judgement in good faith that is all,” he stated.
About another member of the his party, Engr Ben Akaakar challenging the nomination of Hembe, he said: “It is on a similar ground and not about the credibility of the nomination. What I mean similar ground is that, Akaakar is alleging that Hembe was still a member of the APC as at that time of the nomination without any proof and evidence. Though, the matter is still in court but the court has not pronounced any judgement in that regard and one cannot preempt the court but as far as we are concerned as a party, the matter is dead on arrival.”
On whether his party has formally inaugurated its campaign structures at the state level ahead of the 2023 elections, the chairman said: “We are yet to do that but have constituted a campaign, what is delaying our inauguration now is the coming of our presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, he will be here on the 9th of this November for his campaign rally after which our campaigns will kick off fully.”
He expressed confidence about the victory of the party ahead of the 2023 elections, saying what gives him confidence is the capacity demonstrated by the candidates in their past assignments both in the public and private sectors. “Labour Party has provided best 11 and Benue electorate are so much aware that mere alphabets would no more be the determining factors in their choice of candidates, it will be merits,” he maintained.
According to him, Labour Party has fielded candidates in all the elective positions across the state. “We have a governorship candidate, three senatorial candidates, 11 House or Representatives and 34 state assembly contenders,” he stated.