We’ll resist attempt to militarise Benue during election–Ortom
NEWS DIGEST–Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Sunday said that the people of the state would resist any attempt to use the military to rig the governorship election in the state.
Governor Ortom said this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase and made available to our correspondent in Makurdi.
The governor, in the statement, raised the alarm over what he described as plans by the All Progressives Congress to rig the forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly elections in Benue State.
The governor said that he received credible information that the leader of the APC in the state, Senator George Akume, told his party supporters during an exclusive meeting that he had requested military personnel from the Federal Government to enable the party to rig the coming elections in its favour.
The statement partly read, “Part of the plot, we understand, is to use the military to disrupt the elections, chase away voters in areas considered to be strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party and allow hitch-free rigging by the APC.
“Senator Akume boasted during the meeting that there would be no voting in Benue State on March 9 as the APC rigging machinery would ensure that the party gets massive illegal votes allotted to it.
“He has repeatedly stated that the party will not allow free and fair elections in Benue State. Akume anchors his ‘confidence’ on what he and his supporters call “federal might”. They believe that the APC-controlled Federal Government will send security operatives to help them subvert the electoral process to favour their party.
“The embattled Senator said his party had concluded plans to carry out massive thumb printing of ballot papers and altering of results for APC candidates in Benue State and if PDP feels aggrieved, the party should go to court.
“A few days ago, the defeated Senator led APC youths on a rampage within Makurdi and caused the destruction of PDP campaign billboards and posters. The illegal outing also disrupted traffic within the state capital for many hours.
“We find it necessary to draw the attention of the security forces and other stakeholders to these threats by the APC so that urgent preventive measures can be taken to guarantee free and fair conduct of the elections.”
Ortom said that the people of Benue deserved to be given equal protection to vote candidates of their choice in a peaceful atmosphere and not a militarised one, as planned by the APC.
He said the Nigerian military had no role in the casting or counting of votes.
“Any attempt to use the military to manipulate the coming governorship and House of Assembly elections in favour of the APC in Benue State will be resisted,” Ortom said.