The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Benue State, Emmanuel Jime, on Monday said the call for military presence for Saturday governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state was meant to protect lives.
The state Governor, Samuel Ortom, who is also the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, had on Sunday in a statement raised the alarm over what he called plan by the APC to militarise the state.
The governor had vowed that the people of the state would resist the plan. But Jime, in a statement by his campaign organisation’s Deputy Director, Communication, Kula Terso, said the call for military presence was to secure the lives of the electorate.
He said, “We wish to state clearly that we have called on the Federal Government to send enough security to the state.
“The aim is to secure people’s lives and wishes which they will be demonstrating practically using their fingers on the ballot papers on Saturday.”
He expressed surprise that the state governor alleged that the call for more security presence was meant to rig elections for the APC.
He alleged that during the last elections, the PDP used thugs to harass voters in Guma, Ukum and Logo Local Government Areas.
“By our request for the presence of security to ensure peace, safeguard the people’s wishes and prevent frictions at voting centres that may snowball into crises where lives and properties maybe touched, Ortom and the PDP are no longer comfortable. Moreover, is it not curious that same Governor Samuel Ortom who has consistently complained of security challenges in Benue State is now against security operatives coming in to ensure violence-free elections? Surely he has something up his sleeves,” he added.