Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A young man, Terver, has been allegedly caught with some booklets belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State with the intention to buy the votes of unsuspecting members of the public.
Addressing newsmen in Makurdi yesterday, chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Iwayam Council Ward, Awaji Annex, Konshisha LGA, Mr. Alaaga Akav, said he uncovered the plot when Terver, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ward, was seen registering unsuspecting voters and demanding for their permanent voter cards (PVCs).
According to Akav, the suspect was caught with supposed INEC booklets with which he was registering gullible voters and collecting their PVCs for as low as N200.
“I was about going to the market in Oju when I saw a large number of persons gathered in my council ward. I left for the market but after a while, someone alerted me of what was happening and I hurriedly went back home.
“When I got to the scene, I saw Terver, who is a member of the APC in my ward, buying off PVCs from our people and when I asked what he was doing with the INEC booklets, he said it was an assignment given to him from Makurdi to register voters.
“I forcefully collected the forms from him and he ran away. I heard that he is hiding in Aliade at the moment but I know him; he is from our area and he is from my ward.”
On his part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Col. Paul Hemba, who spoke through the Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters, Mr. Don Korihom, disclosed that the matter has been reported to the Divisional Police Officer in Konshisha who has dispatched his men to apprehend the suspect.
However, when contacted, Benue State APC publicity secretary, James Ornguga, debunked claims that the suspect was a member of the APC, saying, “Our party is not aware of that issue and we cannot say the person involved is a card-carrying member.
“As far as I am concerned, the state secretariat has not authorised anybody to carry out such assignment. If such a directive is coming, it will emanate from the state working committee, where I am also a member. So, we are not aware of the action.”
Reacting to the development, INEC’s public relations officer in the state, Mr. Andyer Terkaa, said he was unaware of the matter and wondered how anybody could get INEC forms to prosecute such an illegal project.