Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Benue state, has been declared the winner of last Saturday’s governorship elections in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, The PUNCH reports.
The APC candidate defeated his closest rival, Mr. Titus Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who came a distant second, with a margin of 251,020 votes.
Declaring the result of the election, the State Returning Officer, Professor Farouk Kuta, said he was relying on the “provisions of section 24(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Electoral Guideline of INEC to the declare the result of the election” despite the pending election in Kwande LGA.
Prof. Kuta stated that the APC candidate polled a total of 473,933votes to defeat Mr. Uba of the PDP, who garnered a total of 223,913 votes
The candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Herman Hembe scored 41,881 votes to come third.
A breakdown of the result declared by the Electoral body showed that the APC won in 17 Local Government Areas, LGAs of the 23 LGAs of the state, PDP took four LGAs while LP took one LGA.
The declared result also indicates that the total valid votes in the election stood at 756,903, the total votes cast was 768,404 while the total Rejected votes in the election stood at 11,499.
Shortly after the announcement of the outcome of the poll supporters of the APC took to the streets of Makurdi to celebrate the victory of the Catholic Priest.
Meanwhile the electoral body has scheduled the State Assembly election in the two State Constituencies of Kwande LGA for Tuesday March 21.
The Commission explained that the shift became necessary after printing errors were discovered on the ballot papers and result sheets to be used in the election in the two Constituencies that make up the LGA.
A statement issued Monday and signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye said a decision on the new date was reached after consultations with stakeholders in the area.
The statement read, “the public may recall that the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State scheduled for Saturday 18th March 2023 had to be suspended.
“This decision followed an inadvertent mix up of some of the sensitive materials for the two State Assembly constituencies in the area, that is Kwande East and Kwande West. For this reason, voters and stakeholders agreed that the elections should be rescheduled. Consequently, the Commission issued a statement that a new date will be announced for the elections.
“After further consultation with stakeholders, our Resident Electoral Commissioner in Benue State, Professor Sam Egwu, has advised that the State office is ready to proceed with the rescheduled elections.
Accordingly, the Commission approved that the elections shall hold tomorrow Tuesday March 21, 2023.
“The Commission appeals to voters in Kwande Local Government Area to troop out en masse and vote for the candidate of their choice. Similarly, we call on parties and candidates to conduct themselves peacefully.