Monday, 22 February 2016


The all Progressive Congress Candidate for the Benue south Senatorial Rerun election, Comrade Daniel Onjeh has challenged INEC for declaring his opponent of the PDP, Senator David Mark as winner of the 20th February senatorial rerun election in Benue South Nigeria.

Citing electoral riggings, ballot box stuffing, the non-usage of Card Readers, ballot box snatching; while areas with security problems like Agatu Local Government were Two wards namely, Ogule Kaduna and Okokolo were invaded by Terrorists or hired Militants on the eve of the election date, were people ran into the bush for safety of their lives, how then the claim by David Mark that he got large votes from such areas is to be believed? He stuffed ballots using hires machineries in Agatu. Our agents were on ground there and decried the absence of eligible voters; they called on the security operatives on ground who were largely Civil Defence Corps when the rigging began, but they compromised and intimidated our agents, we also acknowledged that some agents sold out for fear of been killed and later labelled to have been killed by insurgence. The votes collated from these areas are more than the number of accredited voters.

It is also expected that at most by 6pm, ward collations should have been over and returned to the INEC office! But INEC compromised this ground and allowed collations beyond 6pm. I was leading in 5 local Govts namely-Oju, Obi, Ogbadibo, Ado and Ohimini, but when my opponent saw the votes coming in as unfavourable to him, the swing into action on what they know how to do best-rigging; in Otukpo were he was leading by little margin, they used thugs and started thumb-printing while some security agents compromised, others were beaten by Mark's thugs; amazing how security officers would be beaten almost to death by hudlums at the polling unit in David Marks Village. The DPO of Otukpo Division was also leached almost to death, while one of our zonal collation officer was stabbed at the back and on his head in one of the nearby polling units close to David Mark ancestral home. I wonder why INEC compromised and received collations that were already out of time! This was what increased their votes in Otukpo local govt. The same is true with Ado Local Govt. where we were leading up to the stipulated INEC regulatory time, when they saw the gap of about 700 votes, they quickly cancelled Two polling units were I was leading with that amount of votes, and that gave them the chance to thumb print without the use of normal Card Reader and accreditation, that gave them the 100 votes edge over me, and it is very contestable that Mark never won in Ado local govt.

In Okpokwu local government, which is the stronghold of the D.G. of David Mark campaign Organisation and the the former Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Card readers were largely turned down, while voters queued and thumb printed without due process. We witnessed this in Okungaga ward as even ineligible voters were allowed to queue and thumb-print. These style of rigging that evades the normal uses of card-readers and accreditation of eligible voters is tantamount to electoral fraud, and INEC shouldn't have announced such results. Another situation we witnessed was that most of our polling units agents were sub-changed in the very morning of the election, such that others brought in to take their places were not the ones we trained! It happened in Okpokwu and Agatu local governments. This happened because some of our Coordinators at the local Govts and ward levels compromised because of financial gains and the fear of some security personnels loyal to the former minister of interior; the uses of Immigration staff as patrol security men from one polling unit to another in Ugbokolo the home town of Abba Moro was another big challenge. How was it that this security lapses were witnessed and the Police could do nothing to that effect?

The total number of votes compared to the ones cancelled in most of the polling units were more than the accredited voters.

I would want the Benue South people to know that their mandate was stolen by David Mark, and we are going to contest it at the tribunal not on the ground of cancellation but that I should be declared winner of the rerun election. Justice will be served this time, the judiciary which is the last hope of the common man would be firm to true justice this time. The corrupt muscles and the wherewithal of my opponent would be tested at the tribunal. Idoma sons and daughters who believed in democracy as the power of the masses, should walk with their shoulders high while anticipating victory, I appreciate your resolute doggedness and your firm support for true change which you despite all odds, has brought in place. No Man would be above the law this time of judicial reform and transparency. Idoma should be confident that their victory would be returned to them.

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