The governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Thursday, chided the All Progressives Congress in the state for alleging that he masterminded the party’s failure to field a candidate ahead of the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state.
The governor’s special adviser, media and publicity, Terver Akase, stated this in a statement.
He said, “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.
“APC faulted the decision of the PDP governorship candidate, Rt Hon 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 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.
“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 that there were no guber primaries in the state.”
Adadareporters gathered that APC’s appeal panel recommended 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’.
Quoting the pannel, “We the appeal members insist that the gubernatorial primary election of Benue State be cancelled and a new date fixed for a fresh election immediately as time is of the essence.”
Ortom in the statement questioned: “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 a 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.”
The statement said Governor Samuel Ortom and the entire PDP family in Benue State would not be distracted by ‘the baseless accusations from APC’, and called on the opposition party ‘to deal with its demons and stop looking for who to blame for its woes’.
Rev Father Hyacinth Alia won the APC primaries in the state. His election was however nullified by an appeal panel of the party for adopting direct primaries during the contest.