George Okoh in Makurdi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state and its gubernatorial candidate in the March 18 election, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba are to challenge the outcome and victory of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Tribunal.
The decision was conveyed to newsmen at a press conference addressed by the state Chairman of the party, Hon. Isaac Mfo in Makurdi yesterday.
Hon. Mfo said the decision to take a legal challenge to the declaration of APC’s Alia as governor-elect was based on the glaring manipulation of the election by electoral officers, aided by security forces sent from Abuja for that purpose.
In the results of the election declared on Monday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Catholic priest got 473,933 votes compared to that of his closest rival, PDP’s Titus Uba, who scored 223,913.
But at the press conference which was preceded by a meeting of the state party leadership with the campaign Committee, the state Chairman said: “From the reports received and studied by the legal department of our party, we have arrived at the conclusion that the conduct of the elections fell far below the acceptable minimum standards as obtained under our current democratic dispensation.
“It is, therefore, the decision of the Benue State Chapter of PDP that the outcome of the March 18, 2023 election be challenged at the Benue State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi,” he said.
Hon. Mfo said that PDP owes democracy in Nigeria a duty to help deepen it by taking such an action to reverse the hijacking of the popular mandate of the people as done by APC during the last elections.
“It is our faith that the mandate of the Benue electorate will be restored to our great party as was rightfully given by the people on March 18,” he said.
Many observers have declared the election as free and fair on the state.