The governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the just concluded governorship elections in Benue state, Stephen Ugbah, has declared he will challenge the results of the elections in the tribunals.
Gabriel Suswam, the incumbent and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was on Wednesday announced winner of the Benue governorship race, ahead of Mr. Ugbah, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr. Ugbah who was popularised by his “Ishor Chenji” campaign promises of change and development in the state polled a total 499,319 votes behind Mr. Suswam who polled 590,696 votes.
Mr. Ugbah and his party, ACN, say they believe the elections were rigged and results were manipulated in favour of the incumbent. They queried the results from five local governments and had disowned their outcomes even before the results were collated at the INEC head quarters in Makurdi.
“I will pursue the mandate you gave me with all I have to its logical conclusion,” Mr. Ugbah said in Makurdi on Thursday. “The law gives us an option to go to the tribunal to seek justice as such; we are going to the tribunal to seek justice. As the people are on our side, God is truly on our side and we shall get justice; we shall redeem our mandate.”
He accused the PDP of perpetrating fraud but asked his supporters to remain calm while they pursue the case in the tribunal. Preliminary announcements of the results by local TV and radio stations had sparked an early protest in Makurdi on Thursday.
“You should remain calm and law abiding as your mandate shall never be lost,” he told his supporters. “We desire democracy more than victory; as such we played by the rules and refused to be part of the fraud of thumb printing and all the other forms of electoral malpractices that were
perpetrated by the PDP.”
PDP stays in the lead
Although the ACN made substantial gains in the Tuesday elections, the PDP continued their winning trend in the general elections.
The ACN gained one senatorial district, Benue North-West where George Akume was declared winner of the senatorial elections. He defeated Terngu Tsegba, a serving member of the House of Reps and his former ally.
The PDP however won the outstanding two federal constituencies. The PDP also won 21 out of the 29 Benue State House of Assembly seats that were contested on Tuesday.