From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
Former Nigerian Ambassadors and envoys from Benue State have expressed deep worried over developments trailing the March 9th Governorship Election in Benue State, in which INEC declared inconclusive.
They further requested President Muhammadu Buhari to ask INEC to declare Dr. Samuel Ortom as winner of that election in the interest and preservation of the nation’s democracy .
Ambassador lyorwuese Hagher, led the forum of former envoys to brief journalists in Makurdi.
Reading from a letter they termed “An Open Diplomatic Dispatch To President Buhari On The Benue State Inconclusive Elections”, Prof. Hagher said “as former envoys, they are deeply disturbed by this development and wish to draw the attention of Mr President to the unfortunate development, whihch the re-run is capable of plunging the state and the nation into chaos.”
They said “Mr. President should request INEC to follow the example it set in Bauchi by setting up a Committee to investigate the inconclusive Rerun of the Benue Gubernatorial poll, do the needful and declare the PDP and Samuel Ortom as winner of the 9th March 2019 elections.”
They also requested the president to call for the cancellation of the planned supplementary elections in Benue on 23rd March 2019 as the Benue Gubernatorial elections have been won and lost.
“Mr. President should advise the INEC to do the needful to reverse itself through the removal of votes tallied from Guma, Azendeshi, Vandeikya, and Mbalom wards as not among the votes cancelled, but wards where the parties each scored 0; and to declare Dr, Samuel Ortom as winner of the Benue governorship elections 2019.
The envoys who appealed to President Buhari to defend the rights of citizens to make their own choice of leaders stated,
“As diplomats we believe that if you defend the rights of the Benue citizens to choose their leaders, you will be building bridges for lasting peace.
“You would have paved the way for we the elders and statesmen and women in Benue State to bring Governor Ortom and other Benue politicians to share in your vision of reconciliation, peace and progress for all Nigerians. We trust that God will help you to build a new Nigeria that is based on love rather than hate, and on inclusivity rather than exclusion
The Ambassadors who pledged their total loyalty and support to Mr. President just as they congratulated him on his victory in the recently concluded 2019 Presidential Elections, requested the President to make INEC replicate the Bauchi scenario in Benue so as to safe the country’s democracy.
“The Benue case is similar to the Bauchi case in many ways and as father of the nation we implore you to give INEC the courage to do the right thing by following its regulation number 47 of its guidelines. Encourage INEC to exclude votes in places where card readers were rejected, and elections were disrupted and where lNEC rather than record zero for all parties , appeared to have tallied the registered votes in these areas amounting to over 60,000 registered voters. If this figure is cancelled from the tally there will be no need for a rerun.
The diplomatic dispatch was co-signed by Ambassador Dennis Ukume, Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote’ D Voire, Amb. Senator Prof. lyorwuese Hagher, former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada And Ambassador to Mexico, Amb. Godwin O. Agamah, former Nigerias Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea Bissau, Amb. Chive Kaave Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Argentina and Amb. Matthew Adoli Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the republic of Togo.