By Peter Duru
Makurdi – Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been officially declared winner of the gubernatorial election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on March 3 and the follow up supplementary election of March 23 after polling a total of 434,473 votes to defeat Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who garnered 345,155 votes.
Vanguard recalls that at the end of collation of that election held on March 3, the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Sabastine Maimako had declared the election inconclusive after Governor Ortom polled a total of 410,576 votes ahead of Jime who got 329,022 votes.
However Prof. Maimako declared that the lead margin of 81,554 in favour of the PDP candidate was less than 121,019 being the figure of registered voters in the 204 Polling Units, PUs, across the state where elections were either cancelled of did not hold.
A rerun was fixed on March 23 by INEC which held in 22 out of 23 local government areas of the state.
Declaring Governor Ortom winner of the race, Prof. Maimako said, “haven satisfied the law, I hereby declare Governor Samuel Ortom winner of the election.”