Why I suspended APC primary election—-Benue Gov, Alia
Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, has ordered the immediate suspension of the primary election of the All Progressives Congress into 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 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 delegate election to pick the candidate to fly the party flag for the constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly.
An eyewitness told journalists earlier that the venue of the primary held at Avine Agbom Hotel in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area, was marred with irregularities despite the presence of security operatives, including military, Police and Department of State Security.
According to the eyewitness, the gate leading to the venue of the election was barricaded by a detachment of security men while some delegates, including an aspirant, Maurice Orwough, the Caretaker Council Chairman, Simon Unongu, Commissioner for Health and Human Services Dr Yanmar Ortese, as well as member representing Makurdi North State Constituency, Alfred Emberga, were barred from accessing the venue of the delegate election.
The developments drew the attention of the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Paul Biam who acted as the state official observer for the primary election.
The Chief of Staff demanded that the gate be forced open only to discover that the national credentials officials of 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 alleged 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, Governor Alia ordered the suspension of the delegate election.
He said that the security of the state remains paramount to his government.
The governor said, “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.