A group under the name, Benue Youth Forum, BYF, has raised an alarm alerting that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was planning to thumb print ballot papers ahead of the governorship re-run in the state.
The President of the group, Terrence Kuanum, in a statement made available to the Next Edition, stated that reliable sources at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, have informed that the APC leadership has ordered the commission to immediately release to it ballot papers and result sheets for all the polling units where the re-run governorship election will hold in Benue State.
“This is to help the party to thumb-print the ballot papers and fill the result sheets before the 23rd March supplementary election,” he alleged.
The group stated that the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole secretly arrived Makurdi on Sunday night and was still in town Tuesday morning to supervise the evil plot.
The statement read in part, “Bola Tinubu is expected in Makurdi today (Wednesday) to add to the pressure already mounted on the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Benue State to release the sensitive election materials to APC.
“APC has recruited many Fulani militia members who will be given military uniform to wear and go to polling units where they will arrest PDP agents and leaders of the party who will want to prove stubborn on the day of the election.
“As youths of the state, we find this plot by APC as devilish and anti-people and we will resist it with the last drop of our blood.
While Mr. Kuanum recalled that Benue people took a decision on March 9, to renew the mandate they gave to Governor Samuel Ortom in 2015, he said the people overwhelmingly voted for the Governor who now has 81,000 lead against his closest opponent.
“We advise INEC to be firm and resist the pressure to deny Benue people their right to decide who governs them. INEC must say NO to APC’s manoeuvres to truncate democracy through rigging of the supplementary election in Benue State.
“We are aware that all uncollected Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs were returned and kept at Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN in Makurdi. We also have the statistics of the number of PVCs collected in all the polling units where the re-run election is billed to hold.
“Our eagle eyes are firmly fixed on CBN and INEC. Any attempt to illegally release the uncollected PVCs or any other sensitive election material will be exposed and the particular culprit, whether he is INEC or CBN staff will be made to suffer lawful consequences of his action,” he said.
The group told the Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda that the whole world was watching him and that history would also note his role in Benue State electoral process and judge him accordingly.
“He has the option to do what is right and write his name in gold or obey those who want to pervert the process and rig the election despite the wide margin between the party in the lead and the closest opponent,” Kuanum said.
The group also cautioned Oshiomhole, Tinubu, Akume and all other enemies of Benue State to shelve their plan to rig the re-run election saying it was a waste of energy and time as APC had already lost Benue.