The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state has accused Senator George Akume and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of making inflammatory statements capable of disrupting peace in the state ahead of the supplementary election holding on March 23.
The state Chairman of PDP, Sir John Ngbede, alleged on Monday at a press conference in Makurdi that Akume and his APC had planned to cause trouble during the exercise following utterances that the result of the supplementary election to be held in the state will be declared in favour of their governorship candidate, Barrister Emmanuel Jime, whether he wins it or not.
“He (Akume) has assured his followers that such brazen rape of democracy will be made possible through collaboration he claims APC is enjoying with 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 Emmanuel Jime.
“The above issues and undemocratic utterances by Senator Akume and APC leaders in Benue state which clearly constitute a major threat to free and fair elections ought to be urgently addressed,” he said.
The PDP chairman, therefore, called 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 to order in the best interest of peace and security as well as the preservation of democracy.
Ngbede added, “such views of the APC in Benue state have severally been aired on social media platforms, mostly from their media handlers, including the Acting State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. James Ornguga, who in one of such posts, had openly boasted that votes should be expected at the supplementary elections above those declared cancelled by INEC.”
Reacting, the APC’s publicity secretary, Ornguga, said the PDP in Benue was fast becoming an alarmist party seeing that defeat stares them in the face as he emphasised that beyond Benue as a state, Nigerians must rise against primitive rigging.
“Lying against Senator Akume has become their (PDP) routine assignment. Where has the APC leader made such allegations?
“The position of APC is very simple, that all results from areas where the PDP voted without the use of smart card readers and manufactured huge unmerited votes to establish a lead margin should be cancelled. Once that is done, our candidate will lead clearly since APC has the highest number of authentic votes in the last election,” Ornguga posited.
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