Nigeria: Ortom Alerts of Plot to Rig Benue Elections With Military Personnel

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Makurdi — Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has alerted Nigerians, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, local and international observers of All Progressives Congress (APC)'s plans to rig the March 9, 2019 elections with military officers.

In a statement issued yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, he explained that part of the plot is to use the military personnel to disrupt the elections, chase away voters in PDP strongholds and allow unrestrained rigging by the APC.

"Information at our disposal indicates that Senator George Akume, who is leader of APC in Benue State told his supporters at a meeting that he has requested for military personnel from the Federal Government to enable the party rig the elections in favour of APC.

"Akume boasted during the meeting that there will be no voting in Benue State on March 9, as APC's rigging machinery will ensure that the party gets massive votes allotted to it."Akume has often stated that the party will not allow free and fair elections in Benue State. He anchors his confidence on federal might.

"They believe that the APC-led Federal Government will send security operatives to help them subvert the electoral process to favour their party," the statement reads. Ortom, therefore, reminded the Federal Government that Benue is part of Nigeria and that its people deserve to be given equal protection to vote candidates of their choice in a peaceful atmosphere and not a militarised one, as the APC plans to do.

"We urge the Presidency to resist the temptation to send soldiers to Akume to enable APC rig elections in Benue State. Such a decision will not only be anti-democratic, but also unconstitutional," he added.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser to Governor Ortom on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, has said APC's allegations that Ortom has earmarked huge suns of money to compromise INEC staff to win his reelection was like the last kicks of a dying horse. Agerzua, who made the assertion in a statement yesterday in Makurdi, stressed that the governor has no need to compromise INEC staff.

He insisted that the allegation as circulated in the media was not only baseless, but shows that APC was yet to recover from defeat in the recent elections in Benue State and is facing further defeat in the next elections.

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