From Msughshoma Andrew, Makurdi
Excerpt: Governor Ortom said he was confidence of victory at the elections but if he genuinely loses, he would accept the outcome without any complaints.
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom said the state is ready for the Saturday’s election saying he would willingly accept the outcome of the election if the will of the people is allowed to prevail.
Ortom stated this on Friday in Makurdi while briefing newsmen on the preparedness of the State to participate in the forthcoming general elections.
The governor said that he was optimistic that he would win the elections but if he genuinely loses he would accept the outcome without complaints.
Thw Governor who observed that the time for snatching of ballot papers or ballot boxes has passed said no one will be allowed to do that in Benue state again.
“If you want to win election here, you have to work hard for your victory. For me, as a Godfearing Governor and someone who believes in the rule of law, I insist that the right thing be done for all. If I lose election by the decision of the people, I will succumb to the wishes of my people.
”I have always advised my people against violence before, during and after elections because there can be no meaningful development in the midst of violence.
”Let us allow our people to elect leaders of their choice so that they will not try back to blame anyone. Do not collect money from any money bag, vote according to your conscience,” he said.
Ortom encouraged everyone in Benue to also “vote for prosperity for Benue, for unity, security, entrepreneurship and for peaceful existence of the state and country.”
He expressed confidence in the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to conduct credible, free and fair elections and called on the people to turn up without fear.
He also said that the security agencies had assured him that they would see to it that the state is secured to prevent breakdown of law and order.
He encouraged the people to go about their genuine businesses without any fear, emphasizing that they should not be afraid to come out and exercise their franchise on Saturday.
He further commended INEC for making all the necessary arrangements in order to have credible elections.
Governor Ortom who stated that Benue is peaceful, prepared and ready Saturday election, commended security agencies in the state; the Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS and the conventional security agencies for ensuring that criminal elements no longer hold sway in the state, emphasizing that Operation Whirl Stroke has helped greatly in reducing the incidents of herdsmen attack.
He also thanked INEC in anticipation for ensuring that everyone who who has PVC would be allowed to vote and for making adequate arrangements for IDPs in the state to vote.