INEC Declares Plateau, Adamawa, Benue Governorship Polls Inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Saturday’s governorship election in Plateau, Adamawa and Benue States inconclusive.

Prof. Richard Kimbir, the Returning Officer for the election in the state announced this in the early hours of Monday in Jos, after collating results from the 17 local government areas.

Kimbir, who is the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, said the total number of votes cancelled were more than the difference in the number of votes the the two major candidates got, “hence was constrained to declare the polls inclusive”.

The returning officer said Mr Simon Lalong of the All Progressive Congress (APC) scored 583, 255 votes, while his closest rival, Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered 538, 326 votes in the election.

Kimbir who put the total number of cancelled votes in the state at 49, 347, noted that it was above the total difference of 44, 929 in the votes scored by the two major candidates.

“In line with section 179, subsection two of the 1999 constitution as amended, I am constrained to declare this election inconclusive.

“This is because the total number of cancelled votes is above the difference that exist in the votes garnered by the two major candidates.

“So, in line with the electoral act, a supplementary elections will be conducted in the affected areas in 21 days,” he declared.

Shendam, Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos and Kanam were the LGAs affected by the cancellation.

Others affected include Jos North, Langtang South, Mangu and Pankshin.

Similarly, INEC says the Adamawa Governorship election is also inconclusive and a new date for the rerun election would be announced.

The Returning Officer .Prof. Andrew Haruna, confirmed the development at the governorship election collation centre in Yola on Monday.

Haruna said the number of cancellations was higher than the margin of lead votes between the two contestants and therefore, a new date for the rerun election would be fixed.

Haruna mentioned about 44 polling units affected across the state.

Gubernatorial election in Benue state has been declared inconclusive.

Announcing the decision, the returning officer and vice chancellor university of Jos ,Professor sabastin maimaiko said the number of rejected and cancelled votes stands at one hundred and twenty one thousand and nineteen and higher than the margin of lead which is eighty one thousand five hundred n fifty four.

 INEC would is yet to fix the date for election in the cancelled areas.

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Gubernatorial Elections: Ortom Reportedly Importing Arms And Ammunition To Benue

Reports have emerged that the Governor of Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom has smuggled arms and ammunition into the state for use by militia during the state gubernatorial elections.

Intelligence reports have shown that the weapons are to be used to wreck mayhem in APC strongholds in the state through the Livestock Guards that the Governor has set up.

It is recalled that Governor Ortom is known to have a history connecting him with his former SA on Security and Coordinator of Benue State Livestock Guard, Alhaji Aliyu Tarshaku, who was responsible as the mastermind for the killings of the Catholic Priests,and other residents of Benue State.

It has also been alleged that Ortom also aided the escape of a notorious thug, and a suspected Boko Haram agent and one of Nigeria’s most wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza better known as Gana who had carried out attacks in communities and villages in and outside Benue state.

Meanwhile, there were speculations that the Amnesty Programme organized by Gov Ortom earlier in the state was a ploy to bring those thugs to limelight and have them recruited to his camp to do his dirty deeds.

Reports by some residents in the state have claimed that the police in the state may have been compromised and thus may not guarantee security during the upcoming gubernatorial elections.

When contacted members of the intelligence service stated that they have been informed and assured that they are on top of the matter.

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2019: Abuja Benue Community Endorses APC Guber Candidate Emmanuel Jime

Benue indigenes resident in Abuja have endorsed the candidature of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for this year’s governorship election, Rt Hon Emmanuel Jime.

This was the outcome of a parley between Jime and the Benue indigenes at an event held in Abuja Wednesday. 

The event which held at the NAF Conference Centre had in attendance hundreds of prominent Benue sons and daughters from different walks of life including retired senior military officers, public servant, elder statesman,  business men,  development experts, educationists, top politicians  and media professionals. 

In his welcome remarks, Director General of the Jime-Ode 2019 Campaign Organisation, second republic Senator, Jacob Tilley Gyado, thanked everyone present for taking time out of their busy schedules to interact with the governorship hopeful.  He told guests present the APC cannot win the governorship contest in Benue without their support and appealed to them to use their influence to ensure victory for Jime and other APC candidates in the March 2 election. 

Senator Gyado described Jime as a focused and thoroughbred achiever, who is modest and delivers on every responsibility he’s given.
 He said Jime’s “Rt Hon” prefix was well earned as a result of his sterling legislative records, and not procured.

He told the Benue indigenes not to be swayed by the divisive rhetoric on herdsmen by incumbent Governor Samuel Ortom, assuring that one of the first projects the Jime administration would execute would be to revive the Ikyogen Cattle Ranch and draw the accruing economic benefits from that to the state. 

In his speech, the governorship hopeful called for the support of all Benue people in the diaspora, promising that in him and his deputy, Sam Ode, Benue will have a Government House team to be proud of
He paid tributes to the APC governorship aspirants who sought the party ticket with him and thanked them for rallying around his candidacy. 

Highlighting the grim situation in Benue today, the former member of the House of Representatives said  it was in the hands of Benue people yo halt the downward spiral being witnessed in the state.

He said “The issues that confront us in Benue are very well documented. Every Benue son has a role to play in getting the state out of the deprivation it faces. Benue is at a crossroads, torn between great potential and crass incompetence. At no time has there been so much devastation in Benue as is the case today. It’s never been this bad.  The people have never felt this hopeless. Our people’s hopes are modest and it’s easy to meet their hopes and expectations through honest and purposeful governance.” 

Jime noted that Benue people are hardworking and satisfied with their little wages and income when paid, but expressed regret that it has become a huge tragedy that even this little income, especially for civil servants, is not assured under the current administration.

“People should not have to sell assets to get medication. Every Benue  child deserves a decent education. And when they get old, they deserve to retire with dignity and respect. Sadly this is not the case as we see today.”
He stressed further that although government can not solve all problems, it owed citizens a duty to set up the enabling environment for development and prosperity to thrive. 

The candidate set out the six priority areas for his administration to be Security, economic prosperity, Education, Infrastructure and Urban Renewal, Healthcare Delivery, and Social Welfare.

He promised to prioritise capital expenditure over recurrent and develop strong public private partnerships as a major source of funding.
Jime lamented that even though total accruals to Benue State’s coffers since June 2015 were in excess of a whopping N402 billion,  the bulk of this amount had been frittered away by the current leadership. 

He expressed regret over Benue’s level of indebtedness and said only public private partnerships would support the scale of economic revival required.

The candidate promised to fix the huge fraud around the wage bill, which stood at a little over N3bn at the inception of the current administration, but had ballooned to over N7bn, with no evidence of employments, even as some people had either retired or had been lost to death, some die to the inability to meet basic health needs as a result of non-payment of salaries,  and assured that he will connect Benue back to the federal centre if elected. 
Other pledges he made included a dissolution of the State and Local Government Joint Account and full adherence to the TSA to remove opaqueness from government finances. 

“The choice to entrench Benue into greatness is in your hands. Benue is in dire straits, but the darkest part of night is the period before dawn. The sun will rise on us soon. Let’s not be discouraged. I present myself as the last option to you. Use me,” he said. 

Guests present got a chance to ask questions and make suggestions on how best to move the state out of its current situation. Some of those who participated nclude Dr Yima Sen, a top-notch academic and development expert, former NIA national president, Arc Philip Iortyer, Chair of the NHIS Board Chief Mrs Entanty ifene and Hon Titus Zam, a former Special Assistant to the Benue State Government on Local Government Affairs.

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President Buhari Sympathises With Victims Of Wadata Market Fire

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his sympathy with the victims of Wadata Market fire incident in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Tuesday.

Reacting to the fire disaster, President Buhari said he was greatly saddened by the unfortunate incident.

According to the President, “regardless of our status in life, we are bound by our common humanity and, therefore, I share the pains of the victims with a sincere sense of sympathy and empathy.”

The President prayed to God “to replenish their losses and multiply their blessings as they try to pick up their lives once again from the ashes of economic ruins.”

He commended the immediate response of the state government, led by Governor Ortom in trying to bring relief to the victims.

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How Atiku Finances Miyetti Allah, By Terfa Naswem

Before PDP conducted its presidential primary election, most PDP politicians and supporters especially in Benue State launched apocryphal campaigns against President Muhammadu Buhari and also cast aspersions on him that he is a Fulani and a member of Miyetti Allah so he should not be re-elected in 2019. But Buhari is a man of refreshing candour who is focused on taking Nigeria to the “Next Level” of better things to come despite his shortcomings.
In Benue State particularly, the Benue PDP said it will never allow a Fulani and Miyetti Allah member to become the president of Nigeria in 2019. While they were saying this, they never knew that Atiku would buy his way through to emerge as the presidential candidate of PDP.
Even long before the primary election was conducted, I knew that since PDP was broke, Atiku would use his dollars to push through against all odds.
The Miyetti Allah propaganda became weak on PDP when Atiku emerged. They know too well his antecedent and his origin as a Fulani and strong member of Miyetti Allah.
Benue Elderstateman, Paul Unongo, the former Chairman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) says Atiku Abubakar disclosed his membership of the group to him.
Unongo berates Buhari’s administration for treating the herdsmen crisis with unseriousness but noted that Atiku can’t be different but even worse in handling herdsmen crisis since he is a major sponsor and most influential member of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, which is known as the highest body of Fulani herdsmen in the country.
He said Atiku is the most powerful person in Miyetti Allah and wants to be the next president. He said that Atiku has more cattle than anybody in Miyetti Allah.
My questions to Benue PDP and PDP in general including all those supporting Atiku are:
(1) How can Atiku support Benue State Anti-Open grazing law when most of the cattle that graze openly belong to him?
(2) How can he fight or arrest members of Miyetti Allah, an organization which he is the greatest financier?
(3) What is the guarantee that if he becomes president, Fulani herdsmen attacks will end?
(4) Where is the conscience and dignity of those in Benue PDP and elsewhere who said no to Fulani and Miyetti Allah candidate but are supporting Atiku?
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2019: Jime Denies Rift With Akume

Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Benue State, Barr. Emmanuel Jime, has said that there is no rift between him and the leader of the party in the state, Sen. George Akume.

Jime stated this in a chat with newsmen, in Makurdi, the state Capital.

According to him, the rumour about a sour relationship between him and the leader of the party only exists in the imagination of those peddling it.

His words: “There’s nothing about the story that’s true. You know that starring up controversy is the past time of some of our leaders. I believe that for there to be proper governance in the state, there is need to carry each other along.

“People forget so soon that Akume was governor of this state for eight years and one needs to get advice from such person in order to assist you so that you can correct mistakes of the past.

“It is important that you accord those who have passed through before you the respect that they deserve. I don’t believe Akume does not mean well for the state.

“I have a very good relationship with Akume and those peddling such rumor should look for other things to do.”

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North Central APYF Endorses Elaigwu For Benue Deputy Governorship

The North Central caucus of the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF), a youth wing of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has endorsed Mr. Yusuf Sulaiman Elaigwu has the preferred candidate for the Benue State APC deputy governorship position in the 2019 elections.

The caucus observed that while many highly qualified individuals have indicated interest in the job, the technical and financial knowhow of Mr. Elaigwu, coupled with his youthful energy, are the characteristics that combined to make him the most ideal candidate to occupy the deputy governorship position of Benue State at this point in the life of the State.

While drawing the attention of Benue APC stakeholders to the humongous network and contacts that Elaigwu would deploy to complement the efforts of his principal when elected, the group note that it’s time Benue State capitalised on the resourcefulness and pedigree of visionary young people like Yusuf Elaigwu to drive the growth and development of the State.

While calling on party leaders in the State to give Elaigwu a chance to prove the worth and capacity of an average emerging leader in contemporary Nigeria; the North Central APYF emphasizes its trust in the ability and capacity of Yusuf Elaigwu to discharge effectively the functions of his office if given the chance.

Signed:

Muhammed Abdullahi
For: North Central APYF

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Benue Police Command Parade Kidnappers

A collaboration between the IGP monitoring unit and FSARS in Benue state has led to the arrest of three members of a four – man kidnap gang terrorising Makurdi and its environs.

Parading the suspects before newsmen at the police headquarters in Makurdi, the State Commissioner of police, Mr Ene Okon stated that the suspects were picked at behind Civil service commission settlement area following an intelligence report.

Mr Okon said that they had earlier abducted a female Civil Defence Officer and collected a ransom of one Million before her release.

According to the Benue State police commissioner, one of the kidnap suspects is still at large while efforts were on to apprehend him.

Mr Okon assured that the command is committed to fighting crime and appealed to residents to assist the police by offering useful information that would lead to the arrest of perpetrators.

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Five Feared Dead As Militias Attack Benue Community

The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, has confirmed the death of five persons in Ukum Council area of the state after an attack launched by unknown gunmen.

The gunmen, who rode on big motorcycles, invaded Tse Vue Village after Ayati settlement in the council, killing the victims in the process.

The attackers, reportedly suspected to belong to the gang of the wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana, left the village unchallenged after the incident.

Commenting on the incident, Yamu said: “Operatives, led by the DPO, Ukum, on reaching the scene, recovered five unconscious male victims, who appeared to have been strangled using ropes, and one man, who was injured and was rushed to the hospital.

“The five were confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital.”

He added said the state Commissioner of Police, Ene Okon, has ordered immediate investigation into the incident with a view to arresting the attackers, warning that the Command under his watch, would not hesitate to deal decisively with lawbreakers.

 

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2019: Benue APC Vows To Win Votes For President Buhari

Ahead of the 2019 Presidential elections, the Benue State Chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has assured President Muhammadu Buhari of winning the state’s poll.

The APC State Chairman, Mr Abba Yaro, said this after the State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting on Sunday in Makurdi.

Yaro also revealed to pressmen that direct primaries won’t be possible in the state because of the absence of a comprehensive membership register.

Yaro added that the decision was reached after due consultation with the party’s stakeholders in the state and National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.

He said: “The Benue working committee wishes to state that the SEC has adopted the indirect primary mode of selecting the party’s flag bearers.

“Direct primary method is not applicable in the state due to absence of a comprehensive register of party members.”

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2019: Group Obtains Nomination Form For Abba Moro To Contest For Senate Seat

A League of Friends from Ado Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State has purchased the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Expression of Interest and nomination forms for ex-Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro.

Recall that Moro, had earlier expressed interest to contest for the Benue South senatorial race in the 2019 general election.

Presenting the forms to Moro at his residence in Otukpo, on behalf of members of the group, a former Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Stephen Onmeje, said they were convinced that the ex-Interior Minister would properly represent Benue South in the Senate.

Noting that the membership of the group cuts across various interest groups including politicians, professionals and civil servants, the ex-lawmaker remarked that the people’s decision was borne out of their trust in the comrade’s ability to protect their interest.

His words: “The people of Ado and indeed all other persons who are also by extension our federal constituency friends are collectively calling on you (Abba Moro) to serve us. We invite others to join in the campaign to have a good representative. Just as you represented us as a Minister, we believe that you will do even more when we send you to the upper chamber,” Onmeje stated.

Onmeje added: “As the comrade worked closely with David Mark and watched his performance in National affairs especially at the Senate, he must have studied all that he has done in the past, and we know for truth that if the people of the Benue South senatorial district do the needful by giving him the mandate, they will never regret.”

Moro, in his response, said he felt overwhelmed with the purchase and presentation of the forms to him by the Ado League of Friends.

 

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Benue Gets New Commissioner Of Police

A new Commissioner of Police, CP Okon Ene, has assumed duties at the Benue State Police Command in Makurdi.

The new CP who resumed duty on Thursday was a one-time Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations in Benue Command and a fellow of the National Defence College (FDC), Abuja.

He is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Ibadan and was enlisted as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) on  March 15, 1988, as a pioneer set of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil Kano State.

The new Commissioner in a statement by the Police Public relations Officer, DSP Moses Yamu, assured “the people of the state of the renewed resolve by Officers and Men of the Command to rid the State of all forms of criminality, in synergy with other Security agencies and cooperation of the general public through rendering credible information to the Police”.

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