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Group flays electoral body over failure to declare Governor Ortom winner

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Governor of Benue State Samuel Ortom


The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace (MBMJP) has criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its failure to declare Governor Samuel Ortom winner of the March 9 gubernatorial poll.

Convener of MBMJP, Comrade Joe Bukka, who briefed newsmen yesterday in Makurdi, said available records showed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ortom, won the election.

But INEC had declared the exercise inconclusive on the grounds that the margin between Ortom and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Emmanuel Jime stood at over 81,000, which the electoral umpire said was less than the 121,019 registered voters in areas where results were cancelled.

The group insisted that INEC erred by not declaring Governor Ortom winner, since he scored 410,576 votes, while Jime his closest rival, polled 329,022 votes.

According to them, “It is shocking that INEC, a body that works with statistics and keep records could do that. We all know from the records that 179 polling units (PUs) were affected in the cancelation.

“Instructively from our record, which was obtained from INEC, the number of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) collected by the electorate in the effected communities stood at 61,040.

“Our verifiable findings indicate that in all of the places where INEC cancelled the results, the number of voters who were actually accredited before the elections were cancelled was just about 28,000 in the 179 polling units. “This happened except in Mbalom where no election took place because the election materials were burnt.”

“This clearly indicated that there is no way the APC could cancel the deficit. So, why did INEC, which is the custodian of statistical information, not declare Ortom governor? We smell a rat and INEC must come out clean in this matter.”

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