Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and his wife Eunice voted at the LGEA Primary School polling unit, Ako in Gbajimba.
LGEA Primary School, Ako housing 11 polling units, is in Nzorov registration area, Gbajimba, (the Governor’s home town) in Guma Local Government Area.
The Governor, who arrived the polling unit at about 9:27am, met a large number of voters who had earlier arrived at the venue to exercise their franchise.
Accreditation of voters and voting were simultaneously going on in most of the polling units visited.
Speaking to newsmen after casting his vote, Governor Ortom acknowledged that the process was free and fair even as he called on his people to be peaceful and law abiding as they cast their votes.
He, however, expressed concern at the technical hitches with card readers in some polling units in his home town.
The Governor said he had earlier reported that the card readers in two polling units in Nzorov council ward were not working.
Ortom also noted that the school premises have 11 polling units because the Guma people and officials of the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) had agreed that those polling units where there are challenges should vote in one place.
He expressed fear that some voters might be disenfranchised if nothing is done to ameliorate the problem and urged INEC to, as a matter of urgency, rectify the problems in some polling units across the state.
He also expressed worry about the arrest of the PDP state central agent, Dr Cletus Tyokyaa, a lecturer with the University of Agriculture Makurdi, by security agencies over allegations that he was training thugs.
“They say he was training thugs and by 5am today they went to his house. They did not see any thug but they arrested him. This will not be allowed,” the Governor said.
He advised the federal government to be careful not to destabilise the country with unwarranted arrests but to allow room for the free and fair process it promised Nigerians.