Benue State government has dismissed as unfounded, baseless and evil, allegations by All Progressives Congress, APC, that Governor Samuel Ortom set aside huge sum of money to compromise staff of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to win re-election.
APC in the state had, through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. James Ornguga, made the allegation on social media, claiming “we have it on good authority that the state government has budgeted monies to compromise INEC officials in each of the polling units to influence the outcome of the election in its favour.”
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, the government insisted that APC was yet to recover from defeat at the recent elections in the state and facing a looming defeat at the next round of elections, hence the baseless allegation. The statement read in part: “These unfounded allegations being circulated in the media are surely the last kicks of a dying horse.
The results of the February 23 presidential and National Assembly polls, where PDP won all the three Senate seats, clear majority in the House of Representatives as well as votes cast for the presidential candidates, indicate that the party is the preferred choice of the Benue people. “Governor Ortom, who has grassroots support from the people who spoke loudly and clearly through these elections, has no need to compromise INEC staff to get votes through the backdoor.
“The people are poised to, once again, vote for him massively like they did in 2015 without any undue influence on the umpire. “Moreover, if Governor Ortom has the amounts of money mentioned in one of the reports, he would channel it towards more judicious use rather than use it for illegal purposes. “Since January 2018, salaries have been paid up to date, while funds are being sourced to pay the arrears.
Governor Ortom has had unblemished public and private sector records and there is no basis whatsoever to question his integrity. “The people love him and are prepared to repose their confidence in him once more. He has never and does not need to resort to the use of thugs and the militia or any form of self-help to prosecute election.”