Sunday, July 14, 2024

Benue gov suspends APC primary election over irregularities


Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has ordered the immediate suspension of the primary election of the All Progressives Congress for the Guma 1 State Constituency.

The governor, who gave the order while briefing journalists on Saturday on the conduct of the primary, regretted that the delegate election was marred by irregularities and insecurity.

Guma 1 State Constituency seat in the State House of Assembly was declared vacant following the resignation of Dr.Yamar Ortese who was appointed a commissioner.

Election to fill the vacant position is expected to be conducted next month, hence, the primary election is to pick the candidate.

An eyewitness told journalists earlier that the venue of the primary characterised by irregularities.

The development drew the attention of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Paul Biam, who acted as the state official observer to the primary election.

“The Chief of Staff demanded that the gate be forced open only to discover that the national credentials of the officials of the APC assigned to conduct the primary election were not found and the election materials were not available at the venue.

“The situation caused confusion and anxiety as a young man allegedly suspected to have aided the smuggling of electoral materials was arrested by security personnel for interrogation.

“At the end of the day, Peter Terwase Uche was announced to have scored 25 votes against Maurice Orwough, who polled three votes,” an eyewitness who did not want his name in print said.

Following the irregularities that marred the conduct of the primary,  Alia ordered the suspension.

The governor said, “This day, the APC is to conduct primary, but it was marred by misconduct, and this poses insecurity in Guma. It became imperative to calm the youth and party stakeholders who felt disenchanted. I would not want the effort of our security to go to waste. We do not want any semblance of insecurity in the state.

“I suspend the delegate primary election.  Sad enough, the party faithful came out but were stopped at the gate by people who did not belong to the local government; all stakeholders were locked out and youths became angry, party faithful must help keep the peace in the state.

“I do not want any bloodshed as people get sensational and sentimental about politics. I have asked the security operatives to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order. I know that the National Working Committee of our party will do all to ensure that the right thing is done.”


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