Benue guber rerun: Youth group raises alarm over plan to relocate collation centre to military base

Benue guber rerun: Youth group raises alarm over plan to relocate collation centre to military base

A group, Benue Youth Alliance has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has concluded plans to push the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to move collation centre for the governorship supplementary election to a military facility in Makurdi, the state capital and announce the party’s candidate as winner in the rescheduled poll. A statement

A group, Benue Youth Alliance has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has concluded plans to push the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to move collation centre for the governorship supplementary election to a military facility in Makurdi, the state capital and announce the party’s candidate as winner in the rescheduled poll.

A statement signed by President of the youth group, Iorliam Shija, and made available to reporters in Makurdi on Sunday, said the party also planned to use close associates of the leading candidate and Governor of the state Samuel Ortom, to frustrate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate during the rerun.

He said, “Information from intelligence has it that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is pressurizing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to move the collation centre for the Benue supplementary governorship election to one of the military bases in the state capital. This it is understood is part of the party’s efforts to use INEC as well as security agencies to announce its candidate as the winner of the poll.

“It is on note that the PDP candidate is leading in the poll with a margin of of 81, 554 votes. According to figures from the election as released by INEC, there are only 121, 019 votes in contention and in order not to take chances, the APC is understood to be contemplating using security agencies even if it means cohesion,” the statement claimed.

It added that part of the plan included releasing few ballot papers and withholding a bulk of it to be thumb printed at a location in the state capital and also in Nasarawa State.

“Military personnel and other security agencies in the neighbouring Kogi and Nasarawa States will be used to sneak in the thump printed ballots and fake results of the rerun to be declared by INEC.

“All this will be done under heavy security supervision and the choice of a military base to scare off opponents,” the statement further stated.

The group, therefore, called on INEC and security agencies to resist the temptation to buy into what it termed planned “escalation of killings” in the state.

The statement also called on INEC to give all parties a level-playing ground given also that the international community is closely watching what is happening in Benue so as to avoid the repeat of the Osun and Ekiti sagas in the state.

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