Violence and Rigging threaten Benue LG Polls

Posted: November 26, 2012 in akume george, BENUE, political, Uncategorized
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Violence and rigging threatened peaceful conduct of the Benue state local councils election held on Saturday in the 23 local government areas of the state.

Our correspondent who visited some of the local government areas to monitor the election observed that there were cases of violence, intimidation and snatching of ballot boxes allegedly perpetrated by the ruling party in the state.

In several wards, there were reports of non-availability of election materials at the designated polling units and the process was marred in some areas through ballot snatching, ballot stuffing while exclusion of genuine voters in the register was experienced in some voting centres.

There were cries that the irregularities were a calculated attempt by the ruling PDP through the instrumentality of government, and the State Independent Electoral Commission to disenfranchise voters and rig the election across the 23 councils in the state.

In Gwer local government area two persons were allegedly killed during the election by suspected gunmen while a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ukum Local Government Area, Mr. Sylvester Atachin was also said to be kidnapped by some armed youths during the conduct of the local government poll in the state.

Our correspondent gathered that while voting was going on thugs suspected to be sponsor by the PDP came in three trucks and in an attempt to snatch the ballot boxes were resisted by the ACN youth a situation that sparked the fight between the two rival political parties who started exchanged of gun fire, resulting in the death of two persons.

It was gathered that in Ukum Local Government, a chieftain of the PDP, Mr. Sylvester Atachin was abducted by some thugs sent by one Mr Jande a retired military officer and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN when he was conveying electoral materials for Alabar polling unit to a place called Kyado.

The armed youths our investigation revealed intercepted Mr Atachin including his official vehicle, locked him up in the boot of a Hiace bus and drove off with him to an unknown destination.

While there was also clash between members of the PDP and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Gboko and Tarka local government areas, where scores of persons reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries it was alleged that, the caretaker chairman for Gboko LG, Ioryue Yajir’s driver was arrested with a gun at the Gboko Local Government Secretariat where electoral materials were been distributed.

It was gathered that the distribution of materials were going on smoothly before the PDP thugs stormed the venue held the ACN local government agent for Gboko, Mr. Tersoo Orpin at a gun point and started   evacuating the electoral materials,  but for the swift intervention of the military men on patrol in Gboko, the whole exercise would have been disrupted. 

However, in Makurdi the Benue state capital, accreditation of voters commenced at exactly 8am  and a few local governments close to the state capital. Voting process started at between 10am and 12am.

Though voting took place in council areas including Vandeikya, Otukpo, Kwande, Agatu and Konshisha among others, election could not hold in some polling units due to the late arrival of the election materials.

It could be noted that a day, before the Saturday’s elections, militia believed to be hired by PDP attacked over 15 houses of some top ACN members in Usar in Kwande local government area inflicting various degrees of injuries on them.

Manasseh Akperashi one of the ACN
Leaders in the ward who is incidentally an elder brother to John Akperashi who served as a director of youth and mobilisation in Governor Gabriel Suswam’s re-election was reportedly shot in the leg, while others were serious beaten and warned not to dare come out for the election.

Similar attacks were said to be carried out in places like Gboko, Buruku and Tarka, home town of the Senate Minority Leader George Akume which are perceived to be dominated by supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria.

The incidents sparked accusation and counter accusations between the two major political parties in the state.

While State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman Emmanuel Agbo accused the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) of hiring militia from neighbouring states to disrupt the election the ACN had countered the claim as a false alarm by the PDP, ostensibly aimed at covering its hidden agenda to rig the polls.

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Comments
  1. Tor says:

    Cee wadas in benue state

    Like

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