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Benue APC candidates protest against ‘substitution’ of names on INEC portal

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
22 July 2022   |   2:42 am
Protesters, yesterday, besieged the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja over alleged substitution of 17 candidates of the Benue State House of Assembly

APC (All Progressive Congress) Flag (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Threaten to sue party

Protesters, yesterday, besieged the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja over the alleged substitution of 17 candidates of the Benue State House of Assembly that emerged from the recent primary election.

The aggrieved candidates threatened to drag the party to court to seek redress, “if the anomaly is not corrected.”

The protesters, drawn mainly from Benue South Senatorial District, accused the Sen. Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of substituting their names with those of other candidates on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) portal.

While blocking the Blantyre road, where the party headquarters was situated, the protesters accused the chairman of Benue APC, Augustine Agada, of perpetrating the act to achieve his selfish interests.

The protesters brandished placards with inscriptions such as “Upload our names on the INEC portal”, “We are the authentic candidates”, “It’s injustice and impunity to substitute names after we won primaries” and “All we are saying, give us our rights” to register their anger over the development.

Speaking to reporters on behalf of the aggrieved candidates, Dominic Agbo, who claimed to have won the Okpokwu constituency primary, said there was no iota of truth in the claim by Agada that their names were substituted based on the outcome of a re-run primary.

His words: “We won the primary election on May 26, 2022, and the result sheet was given to us. The reports of the screening and electoral committees were also given to us. And we came here waiting for the upload on the INEC portal. All of a sudden, we heard the rumour that our names had been removed.

“It is not just an ordinary rumour; it has been confirmed that I am not there and I don’t know on which result sheet they have declared my opponent, who did not win at the primary. We blame Agada for the imposition. He said there was a re-run in the House of Assembly, even when there was none. The re-run in 12 local councils was only for the governorship election. So, I don’t know on which basis they substituted my name.”

Agbo, who is reportedly in possession of documents from the party’s headquarters, demanded an explanation on why he was substituted without his consent.

“We are here to plead with the national chairman to replace my name and those of my colleagues from other constituencies, who are the original winners of the election and remove those fake names. That is our prayer,” he added.