By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, have described as cowardly, the decision of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to boycott the forthcoming May 7, 2022 Local Government elections in Benue state.
This was contained in their separate reactions to Monday’s media briefing by the Benue Chairman of the APC, Mr. Austin Agada who claimed that the party had no fate in the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission, BSIEC, and the state government to ensure a free, fair and credible Local Government poll in the state hence the decision to boycott the election.
In his reaction, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom said the decision of APC was not only unfortunate but cowardly.
The Publicity Secretary said: “It is rather cowardly and unfortunate of them if they decide not to participate in the Local Government election slated to be held on May 7, 2022.
“The PDP is not the reason why they are not participating, it is simply rather in their habit not to participate in any democratic processes, a fact that is attested to by their inability to hold a national convention. That is a party that has no ability to hold internal democratic processes. So we are not surprised that they will boycott the election.
In his reaction, the Convener of the MBMJP, Comrade Joe Bukka said the decision of the APC was not in the interest of aspirants on the platform of the party as it would deny them the opportunity to test their popularity among the electorates.
He said “the decision will further give the PDP that air of dominance in the Benue political space just about 12 months to the next general elections. So this decision may hunt the APC because the Local Government elections offers the political parties an opportunity to take their messages to the electorates ahead of the general elections and the APC have shut themselves out of it.
“The decision further creates the impression that the party is a divided house and unpopular in Benue state because of their failure to resolve the leadership crisis that is tearing the party apart at the moment and if that is allowed to linger it will negatively effect the chances of the party in any election in the state.”
The APC Chairman had in his briefing given reasons why the party would boycott the election saying “we have consulted widely and we have come to the painful conclusion that our party will not field candidates for the selection or election process.
“We have gauged the end from the beginning that the system will not guarantee an iota of fairness to contestants under the platform of APC.”