The Benue Youths Forum, BYF, has raised the alarm over alleged plans by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state to manipulate documents of its governorship primary election.
President of the BYF, Terrence Kuanum, in a statement issued in Makurdi, said there was an urgent need to bring to the knowledge of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the people of Benue State the desperation of the Benue APC to resort to underhand tactics to remedy the flaws in the party’s primaries to nominate candidates for the 2023 general elections.
“The APC proceeded to release a final result of votes for each aspirant showing that one Fr. Hycent Alia polled 526,807 votes.
“We can categorically state that the APC did not hold party primaries in Benue State for all elective offices in the 2023 general election.
“The shocking revelations of some of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party as well the emergence of multiple winners of the purported House of Reps primary election in the Kwande/ Ushongo Federal Constituency, that of Gwer East /Gwer West House of Reps seat, the Benue North-West Senatorial District Primaries and a host of others, with each acclaimed winner with his own result sheet further proves our findings that the APC did not hold any primaries in Benue State.
“Our findings agree with the report of the APC Appeal Panel where the Chairman of the team frowned at the sham in Benue, describing it as ‘yahoo yahoo results’ and called for outright cancellation of the purported primaries.
“Another twist was introduced in the cacophony of confusion as another letter signed by the leadership of the APC and purportedly received by INEC on Thursday, 9th June 2022 started making the rounds.
“The content of the letter was that the APC wants to ‘reconduct’ the governorship primary election in 12 Local Government Areas and had set same for 8th June 2022 to 9th June 2022. The letter stated that ‘This is arising from the disruption of the process at the earlier scheduled date’. The 12 Local Governments are Kwande, Buruku, Konshisha, Ogbadibo, Agatu, Ushongu, Ohimini, Oju, Okpokwu, Obi, Apa and Ado.
“It beats all logic, sense of geography and the reality of a time when it is put to simple reasoning how the aspirants could be availed of the notice of primary on the same day, availed the register of members on the same day, given the time to process their agents and send to the party on the same day, mobilise the agents to the far-flung 12 Local Governments on the same day and also mobilise their teeming supporters to vote on the same day while returns were compiled same day and Special Congress also held the same day to ratify the winner in line with Section 84(4)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“Most importantly, it must be pointed out again that the Governorship primaries in Benue State had been held and returns made on the 28th May 2022 showing the votes purportedly polled by each aspirant.”
He called on the INEC to be truly independent by rejecting the names of candidates APC sent to it from Benue State as the party clearly violated the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act and regulations set by the Commission.
“We demand the immediate resignation of the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Benue State for acts unbecoming of his otherwise high office.
“Allowing the Benue APC vote allocation to stand will amount to legalizing illegality,” he said.