George Okohâ€¨in Makurdiâ€¨
Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) has released the entire results of last Saturday’s local government elections in the state with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wining all the 23 chairmanship positions.
Announcing the results yesterday, Chairman of BSIEC, Prof. Philip Ahire, disclosed that the result of the councillorship election would be released soon.
He stated that that the polls were the freest and fairest, despite minor hiccups, which were experienced during the polls.
In a related development, Governor Gabreil Suswam, while swearing in the newly elected chairmen in Makurdi, urged those who were aggrieved by the outcome of the process, to seek redress at the Local Government Election Petitions Tribunals in the state.
Suswam, who adjudged the polls as the freest and fairest in any part of the country, maintained that BSIEC had set the pace for other states to follow in the conduct of local government elections.
The governor stated: “In the true spirit of democracy there has to be a winner and loser in every election, I urge the losers to take the outcome in the spirit of true sportsmanship. As for you the newly elected chairmen, you must take complete charge of your areas and ensure peace and tranquility. We will not tolerate any act of crisis or break down of law and order at your various councils.”
But, the Independent Election Monitoring Group (IEMG) in its report on the election, which was issued and signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Festue Okoye, said: “Without prejudice to few and isolated incidents, the election was generally peaceful, orderly and well conducted.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Benue Network of Non-governmental Organisation (BENGONET), Mr. Justin Gbagi, who alongside his team monitored the polls, said the claims by the chairman of BSIEC that the election was not free and fair was untrue, as the election was marred by irregularities and snatching of ballot boxes.