Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State have taken a swipe at each other, following the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the governorship election in the state was inconclusive.
Gubernatorial candidate of the APC, Emmanuel Jime, yesterday, accused the PDP and its candidate, Governor Samuel Ortom, of massively rigging the election, which was eventually declared inconclusive by the electoral umpire.
He, particularly, pointed accusing fingers at the trio of the former governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam, senator-elect for Benue South, Abba Moro, and governor Ortom of perpetrating what he described as “unprecedented electoral heist ever seen in the history of the state.”
But, in a swift reaction, governor Ortom accused Jime of making unfounded accusation of rigging against the PDP because “he knows he has lost the Benue governorship election.”
Jime’s allegations, which were contained in a press statement signed by the Deputy Director of his Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kula Tersoo, also accused former governor Suswam and former interior minister, Abba Moro, of manipulating the results in favour of the PDP.
While Suswam was alleged to have, prior to the polls, activated his link with a section of the militia from is area, recruited by the wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, aka Gana, for the electoral fraud, Moro, on his part, is accused of manipulating elections in his Okungaga and 21 other polling units of Ojiego ward.
“The militia helped him to intimidate and sack voters from polling centres, to pave way for massive multiple thumb printing and general rigging in the five wards of Gaambe Tiev section of his Logo Local Government. Eventually, a cooked figure of over 30,000 votes were awarded to Ortom and the PDP, while about 2,000 miserable votes were donated to Jime and the APC.”