By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Benue state Government has debunked the allegation by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in state of conspiring with aggrieved governorship aspirants of the party to stop it from participating in the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state.

The State Government in a statement issued Thursday in Makurdi by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase described the allegation as mischievous and baseless.

Part of the statement read, “we read a mischievous media report credited to the APC in Benue State accusing Governor Samuel Ortom of conspiring with some aspirants of the party to stop it from fielding a governorship candidate for the 2023 elections.

“In the same report, APC faulted the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidate, Titus Uba to approach the court and challenge the outcome of the opposition party’s primaries which even some of its members described as a sham.

“The said publication only affirms the fact that APC is a political party which abhors the rule of law, loathes due process and embraces anything that is repugnant to the tenets of democracy.

“How was it Governor Ortom’s fault that APC could not conduct a transparent and credible governorship election in Benue State?

“Was the Governor responsible for the petitions that aggrieved aspirants of the party filed before the Appeal Panel against the governorship primary election? Governor Ortom was not the author of the Appeal Panel’s report which stated thus: ‘Our submission on the above as appeal panel members was that no election took place in Benue State Gubernatorial primary Election on 26, 27, 28 May, 2022, and the results so submitted by the primary election committee members were an allusion, mirage, façade and at best a “Yahoo Yahoo result sheet. We the appeal members insist that the gubernatorial primary election of Benue State be out rightly cancelled and a new date fixed for a fresh election immediately as time is of the essence.’

“When did going to court become a crime under the laws of this country? Was APC expecting PDP to fold its arms and watch the party conduct an flawed election and produce a candidate through fraudulent means?

“What APC fails to understand is that Section 285 (14) C of the 4th Alteration of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which the President signed in 2018, clearly allows any political party or anyone who has a complaint to challenge the flouting of the Electoral Act and the regulations set by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

“Governor Samuel Ortom and the entire PDP family in Benue place premium on internal democracy and due process of the law; hence will not be distracted by the baseless accusations from APC. The opposition party ought to deal with its demons and stop looking for who to blame for its woes.”

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