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Fire guts home of APC chieftain in Benue

As early as Wednesday morning, arsonists set fire to the home of party chieftain Alhaji Abubakar Usman, also known as Young Alhaji, in Otukpo, Benue State, deepening the turmoil roiling the All Progressives Congress in the state.

According to reports, unidentified assailants set fire to the home in GRA, Otukpo at three in the morning.

According to reports, the front portion of the structure—which contained the security station and auxiliary buildings—was completely destroyed by the fire.

A few days ago, Alhaji Abubakar, a former Benue South senatorial candidate, erected a mock coffin and an APC register of condolences in front of his home.

This was perceived by some local party members to indicate the demise of the APC.

To indicate his discontent with the state’s APC leadership over the selection of the deputy governorship candidate that he (Abubakar) and others opposed, he displayed the coffin and a record of condolences.

Alhaji Abubakar, who corroborated the fire event, said that he personally placed the imitation coffin to alert the party’s leadership to a problem with the party in the region.

He said, “Yes, they set fire on my house in Otukpo. It affected the security house.

Asked why he displayed a mock coffin in the front of his house, Abubakar said, “I kept the casket to show that our party APC is about to die and there is a need to save it. It is just a message.

“Today is the fourth day the coffin was placed in front of my residence. I am the one that kept the coffin there. I did that because of the happenings in the party in my zone. I did that to show that if something is not done quickly, the party will call for oxygen.

“The crisis is over deputy governorship nomination which some people like John Ochoga, Simon Shango, and Tilley Gyado are insisting on Samuel Ode while I as the leader of the party in the zone is told that it should go to Apa/Agatu.”

The APC chieftain said he was not leaving the party and that he was not suspecting anybody, “but whoever that has done it is not far from a member of my party in the zone.”

He added, “They burnt down my security house. The police and DSS are aware. I and my workers put out the fire.”

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