Prof. Bem Angwe, former Executive Secretary (ES), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and his supporters were officially welcomed into the All Progressives Congress at an elaborate ceremony at Tse-Kucha, outskirts of Gboko, in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue state.
Speaking on why he decided to pitch his tent with his new party at the occasion, Angwe claimed that the APC was the only political party in the country whose manifesto and motto appealed to him.
“The opportunity of participating in the political process of this state and country is appealing and I have looked at the motto and manifesto of all the political parties in the country and only the APC’s appeals to me.
“Their motto is peace, justice and unity which represents what I do all my life. So I seek to uphold peace and justice for my people,” he said.
The former NHRC boss also pointed out that his other reason for pitching tent with the party was his desire to partner the Minister of Special Duties, Sen. George Akume, to build the party and uplift the general well being of his people.
He disclosed that most of his supporters across the different political parties in the state had defected from such parties to the APC in solidarity with him.
Receiving Angwe and his supporters into the APC, the National Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Committee chairman, Gov Mai Mala Buni, described Angwe as ” a huge asset to the party”.
Represented by former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani, Buni said joining the APC was the only meaningful choice of all Nigerians.
Also speaking, Akume warned against political violence in the state and country, stressing that “we are all brothers and sisters so there should be no political violence among us”.
He said the choice of the APC as a political platform by Angwe, whom he described as a “celebrated professor of human rights,” showed that the party is heading in the right direction.
“Prof Bem has done so much for Benue and Nigeria. He is a great and strong man. He has tremendous respect for me even when he was not a politician.
“Today we are here for Bem. Bem you deserve this respect and honour. We are proud of you, ” Akume said.
Also speaking at occasion, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, who recently defected from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the APC, said the youths were great assets to the party.
Gemade appealed to the youths to always follow laid down procedures in conducting themselves.
He expressed optimism that the calibre of people either returning or joining the party as fresh members showed that APC was on its way to reclaiming power in the state.
Similarly, former Deputy Governor of Benue, Chief Steve Lawani, said APC was the Nigerian true political party and would rule the country for a long time.
In a closing remark, Dr Sam Ode, the party’s deputy governorship candidate in the 2019 election, said the APC was set to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democraric Party (PDP) in the state in 2023.
APC had, within the last one month, swelled its ranks in Benue with high profile decampees including Sen. Gemade and Mr Herman Hembe, a member of the House of Representatives representing Konshisha/Vandeikya federal constituency.
The News Agency of Nigeira (NAN) reports that Angwe, who was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as the NHRC boss, was not a card carrying member of any political party.
He was picked from the academia where he was a teacher of law at the University of Jos by the Jonathan’s administration.