Assembly Primary: Lawmaker Chides Benue Gov for Anointed Candidate’s Defeat 

Assembly Primary: Lawmaker Chides Benue Gov for Anointed Candidate’s Defeat 

The member representing Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency of Benue State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Asema Achado, has said the state Governor, Rev. Hyacinth Alia, “was busy in closed-door prayers” with his officials, while his preferred candidate for the Guma 1 State Constituency primaries was acutely defeated.

Achado, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), had in November 2023, via an open letter to Alia, advised the governor to dedicate time to attending to official matters and government activities, rather than using office hours meant for business of governance for prayers; though he acknowledged the space of prayers in every man’s life.

Also in December, while the Benue APC National Assembly Caucus was briefing the press in Abuja on how Alia was running the affairs of the state like a parish, Achado reiterated his comment on how top government functionaries, critical stakeholders and leaders of the party would drive to Government House, Makurdi to discuss issues of state importance with Alia, only to be told that the governor would not be available for such meeting as he was engaged in marathon prayers indoor for over four hours.

Taking to his personal Facebook page Saturday, Achado mocked Governor Alia for failing to deliver the Guma 1 state Assembly candidate of the party and attempting to cancel the process after it was long done and the electoral committee had long arrived Abuja with the result.

“I love my governor. Hence my advice to him two months ago, to sleep/pray in the night and work in the day,” Achado posted on Facebook.

He said: “The nationwide House of Assembly primary election was scheduled to hold today by 8am. In Benue State, it started about 9am and ended about 10am. 

“Our prayerful governor was locked up in prayers with his officials till noon. The APC electoral officials conducted the primary election and left, while our prayerful governor was praying or sleeping. 

“How do you suspend a process which has been concluded? A process you have no control over. Haba.”

The Guma 1 state constituency seat in the state House of Assembly was declared vacant following the resignation of Dr. Yamar Ortese who was appointed a commissioner.

The election to fill the vacant position is expected to be conducted next month. Hence, the primary election was meant to pick the candidate.

In the election conducted under heavy security Saturday by the Prof. Kabiru Ibrahim-led 2024 APC Bye-election primaries committee, Hon. Uche Peter Terwase defeated his only rival, Hon. Maurice Orwough.

Uche, an anointed candidate of Hon. Dickson Tarkighir of Guma/Makurdi Federal Constituency, polled a total number of 25 votes to defeat Governor Alia’s anointed candidate, Hon. Orwough, who polled only three votes. 

Announcing the result at the Avine Agbum Hotel in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area, which also served as the collation Centre for the primary election, Kabiru, Chairman of Primary Election Committee, stated that: “The election was not only free, fair and credible but represented the wishes of APC members in Guma 1 State Constituency.”

But in a twist of event, Governor Alia declared that he was cancelling the election, long after the result was announced and the electoral panel had left for the party headquarters in Abuja.

At a press briefing at the Government House Saturday evening, Alia cited security breach as his reason for annulling the primaries.

Meanwhile, the state Working Committee of the APC has congratulated Terwase on his “well deserved victory” at the polls.

A statement signed by Daniel Ihomun, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, quoted the state Chairman, Comrade Austin Agada, as “commending APC members in Guma for a peaceful primary election”, while thanking “them for their show of maturity during the primary election”.

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