…It’s not true, we want more security to guarantee free and fair contest – APC

By Peter Duru

Benue state government has the alarm over plots by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to use military personnel manipulate and rig next weekend’s governorship and State Houses of Assembly election in the state.

Ortom-Akume

The government stated that the alarm was based on credible information it received which indicates that the defeated leader of the APC in the state, Senator George Akume told his supporters during an exclusive meeting that he had requested for military personnel from the Federal Government to enable the party rig the coming elections in its favour.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor, Terver Akase, the state government alleged that “part of the plot, we understand, is to use the military to disrupt the elections, chase away voters in areas considered to be strongholds PDP and allow hitch-free rigging by APC.

“Senator Akume boasted during the meeting that there will be no voting in Benue State on March 9 as the APC rigging machinery would ensure that the party got massive illegal votes allotted to it.

“He has repeatedly stated that the party would not allow free and fair elections in Benue State. Akume anchors his ‘confidence’ on what he and his supporters call “federal might”.

“We find it necessary to draw the attention of security forces and other stakeholders to these threats by APC so that urgent preventive measures can be taken to guarantee free and fair conduct of the elections.

“We urge the Federal Government to remember that Benue is part of the federation called Nigeria, and the people of the State deserve to be given equal protection to vote candidates of their choice in a peaceful atmosphere not a militarized one, as the APC is planning to do.

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“The Nigerian military has no role in casting or counting of votes; therefore, any attempt to use them to manipulate the coming Governorship and State Assembly elections in favour of APC in Benue State will be resisted.

“We only demand a level playing field in the coming elections We urge INEC to be neutral and fair to all parties. Anything short of this will be unacceptable.”

When contacted, the State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. James Ornguga dismissed the allegation insisting that his party and its leaders had no plans to rig the polls.

Ornguga said, “by now we should be used to the false alarm bring raised by this government against the APC and our leader. The fact is that the government has been issuing damaging accusations against the APC and its leadership

“What we are simply demanding is that there should be enough security during the election so that our people can cast their votes because in a free and fair contest, the PDP cannot defeat us. We are asking for security to ensure a free and fair contest. Nobody is going to use the military to rig the election,” Ornguga said.

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