SUSWAM, ACN TRADE RIGGING ALLEGATIONS
ACTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Benue State, Prof. Steve Ugbah, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately redeploy its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Nasir Ayilara, for allegedly colluding with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the National Assembly elections.
Governor Gabriel Suswam, in a swift reaction, accused the ACN of rigging elections in Kwande, Ushongo, Gboko, Buruku and Tarka local councils, saying that whoever is aggrieved with the outcome of the elections should approach the election tribunal.
Addressing a press conference in Makurdi alongside former governor of the state, Senator George Akume on Monday night, Ugbah accused some military personnel, policemen and INEC officials of cooperating with officials of the state government to subvert the will of the people at the polls.
The party also called for the cancellation of elections in all the local councils in Benue North East and Benue South, where it claimed the elections were rigged in favour of the PDP.
'We are not saying that all the army was involved in the rigging of the elections, but those who were detailed in the areas where free and fair elections did not take place did participate in the scam. These areas are Katsina-Ala, Ukum, Logo, Obi, Ado and Guma local councils,' Ugbah said.
He claimed that the PDP also used militiamen drafted from neighbouring states to snatch ballot papers, adding that some top government officials used the armed men to perfect the rigging of the polls.
At a press conference yesterday to respond to the issues raised by the ACN, Suswam said the party was involved in electoral malpractices in councils where they won, stating that the PDP would challenge such victories at the election tribunal.
'The ACN rigged massively in Tarka, Buruku and Gboko councils of the state. To them, where the PDP won, the election was rigged, but where they won, the election was free and fair. That is not true,' Suswam said.
He denied the allegation that the PDP used violence to rig the election, stressing that there was no report of violence anywhere by the security agencies that participated in the elections. He noted that international and local observers also declared that the elections in the state were free, fair and credible.