Benue State Governor, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, has rejected the votes declared in favour of Senator Barnabas Gemade of the All progressives Congress as the winner of the Benue Zone ‘A’ Senatorial District election.
The governor, who contested the poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, in his reaction to Gemade’s victory in Makurdi on Tuesday through his party Agent and Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Solomon Wombo, called for the cancellation of some wards in places like Logo, Ukum as well as other parts of Konshisha and Vandeikya Local Government Areas of the state.
The Returning Officer for the zone, Prof. Mohammed Adah, had on Monday night, returned Gemade, an incumbent Senator, as the winner of Saturday’s election, having polled 140,715 votes.
He said Suswam, a sitting Peoples Democratic Party governor, scored 118,608 votes to lose in his ambition to occupy the Senate seat.
But the governor alleged that “irregularities” marred the poll, including alleged use of “armed persons” to harass voters in several wards.
He also alleged that armed persons attacked electoral officers and confiscated results from them.
Suswam added that some of the results declared in favour of Gemade were “mutilated and inflated figures” that were awarded to his opponent.
The governor, who spoke with journalists, stated that in areas considered to be his stronghold, INEC cancelled the results for reasons he could not comprehend.
He accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Istifanus Dafwang, of colluding with his opponent to deny him victory.
Suswam said in spite of assuring all the parties that he would not announce the contested results, Dafwang went ahead to award victory to Gemade without further recourse to his agents.
“I requested that the results be cancelled because the number that voted was more than the number accredited.
“In Ukum, armed persons jumped the results and they were tempered with. I complained to the REC and he said he would look into it.
“In Logo, three wards were cancelled, which was wrong because these were places I would have won,” he added.
Source: Punch newspaper