By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The suspended Benue Catholic Priest, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, has clinched the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue state.
Rev. Father Alia picked the ticket of the party after defeating 11 other aspirants at the end of the direct primary election of the party held across the state on Friday, May 27.
From the results collated Saturday at the APC Secretariat by the Election Committee, the Priest polled a total of 526,807 votes to defeat his closest rival, Dr. Mathias Byuan who polled 113,816 votes.
Former Minister of State for Niger Delta, Dr. Sam Ode who garnered 79,369 votes came third while former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Stephen Lawan polled 46,882 votes to come fourth.
Former Minister of Justice, Micheal Aondoakaa polled 24,596 votes, former Chief of Staff to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr. Terwase Orbunde polled 12,446 votes and Prof. Terhemba Shija scored 10,487 votes.
Mr. Terlumun Ikya polled 3,680 votes while the member of the House Representative for Konshisha/Vandeikya Federal Constituency, Mr. Herman Hembe garnered 2,473 votes. Former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade garnered 2,365 votes, Mr. Godwin Tyoapine polled 1,228 votes while Bernard Yisa garnered 742 votes.
Meanwhile, some of the aspirants have registered their protests over the conduct of the exercise and the outcome of the process.
In a letter of protest to the national leadership of the APC, Prof Terhemba Shija rejected the outcome of the election describing the entire process as a sham.
Part of the letter read, “The direct primaries of the APC held on Friday 27, 2022, was to say the least a sham and an aberration of democracy.
“We reject and disassociate ourselves from the results of the exercise.”
Meanwhile, Senator Gemade had also written a protest letter to the party, kicking against the sudden adoption of the Direct Primaries as mode of the election.
He said it was improper, ultra vires and unacceptable while another aspirant, Mr. Terlumun Ikya questioned the failure of the party to strictly observe all the rules governing the application of the Direct Primaries mode of conducting political party primaries.