By George Okoh
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has won all the 23 chairmanship and 276 councillorship seats in the state local government elections conducted at the weekend by the state Independent Electoral Commission.
The election was held in the 23 local government areas and the 276 wards in the state.
In an election that witnessed the lowest turnout with five political parties in contest, the PDP was declared victorious by the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BESIEC) Chairman, Mr. Tersoo Loko, while announcing the result yesterday.
According to Loko, the PDP also won all the councillorship seats in the 276 council wards of the state.
He described the exercise as “the freest, most credible and most transparent of its kind ever held in the state.”
According to the BESIEC chairman, the election did not witness any incidents of ballot snatching or any other forms of violence associated with previous elections in the state.
Loko urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt the model of the Benue State electoral body in its 2023 and other subsequent elections.
Two journalists, including the General Manager of AIT in Jos, Plateau State, Mr. Steve Ayua, also won the championship race.
The participating political parties in the council polls were the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), African Action Congress (AAC), Labour Party (LP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He disclosed that the five parties that participated in the elections exhibited maximum maturity and conducted the affairs of their parties in orderly manner during and after the elections.
According to him, for the first time in the history of local government elections in the state, the commission did not witness any snatching of ballot boxes, killings, gunshot or destruction of other electoral materials in the polling units across the local government areas.
Many analysts are of the view that the PDP won the election as a result of the last minute withdrawal of the All Progressive Congress (APC) which cited unfair treatment by the electoral body as the reason for their pulling out of the race.