The Benue State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has raised concerns over what it describes as “acts and utterances of Senator George Akume targeted at undermining free, fair and peaceful conduct of the supplementary elections in the state”
The party made this known on Monday in a press statement signed by Its state chairman, John Ngbede, and sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Ngbede said he was drawing attention to the activities of Mr Akume and other APC leaders in Benue State which have prompted them to write a petition to the Inspector General of Police.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had last week declared the Benue State governorship election inconclusive.
INEC said its decision was based on statistics it gave that 121,011 electorates were either not able to vote or election did not hold in their areas.
Making the declaration, the state returning officer, Sebastian Maimako, however, announced that Samuel Ortom of the PDP scored the highest number of votes of 410,576.
He was closely followed by Mr Akume‘s favourite candidate, Emmanuel Jime of the APC who polled a total number of 329,022 votes.
Earlier during the presidential and National Assembly poll, Mr Akume was defeated by a member of the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Orker-Jev, in his bid to return to the Senate the fourth time.
In the statement, the party chairman said Mr Akume had boasted at several meetings he has held with the party’s members and stalwarts that the result of the supplementary election to be held in the state will be declared in favour of the Governorship Candidate of his party, Emmanuel Jime, whether he wins it or not.
“He has assured his followers that such brazen rape of democracy will be made possible through collaboration he claims APC is enjoying with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and that mobile policemen and other security agents will be deployed and with the help of thugs as well as militia to hijack election materials for the supplementary elections and thumb-printed ballots will then be returned and announced as the results giving victory to Emmanule Jime,” Mr Ngbede said.
He said the outgoing senator particularly assured his followers that the National leadership of APC with the backing of the presidency has already infiltrated INEC and Emmanuel Jime will be announced as governor of the state without the supplementary governorship election holding.
“This will be achieved through already doctored results which will be compiled by INEC returning officers and staff who are already being posted to the affected polling units,” he said.
“Senator Akume has also boasted to his followers and Benue APC leaders that he has secured the backing of the presidency which has authorised relevant security agencies, through their heads, to do everything possible to return Emmanuel Jime as Governor of Benue State at the coming Supplementary election.”
“As a direct consequence of the actions of Senator George Akume, the leadership of APC in Benue State have taken to airing views boldly in the public domain that the result of the March 23rd Supplementary election will be declared in favour of Emmanuel Jime, regardless of whether Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP wins by another landslide as he did in the first round of the Governorship election.”
He said such views of the APC in Benue State have severally been aired on social media platforms, mostly from their media handlers.
“It is instructive to note, that at the Presidential and National Assembly elections held in Benue State on 23rd February, 2019, PDP won the Presidential vote by a margin of over ten thousand votes, and also won all the three (3) Senatorial seats, as well as six (6) out of the nine (9) House of Representatives seats so far declared of the total of eleven (11) in the State, while APC won only one (1) House of Representatives seat.”
“It is in this regard that we call on the Presidency, the Inspector General of Police, the State Security Services, as well as the relevant agencies to use their good offices and act with utmost sense of duty and dispatch to call Senator Akume and other leaders of the APC in Benue State to order in the best interest of peace and security as well as the preservation of democracy.”
In his response, the APC chairman in the state, Abba Yaro, denied the allegations.
“It is not true, it’s just a figment of their imagination,” he said.
He accused the PDP of manipulating the last election in the state adding that the party is running away from its past.
He expressed confidence that his party would be victorious in the upcoming elections.
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