From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi
Reactions have continued to trail the Supreme Court Judgement which upheld the victory of Governor Samuel Ortom at the 2019 governorship election.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state had long congratulated the governor for a well deserved victory at the supremw court.
The party Chairman, John Ngbede stated that the development has opened a new vista for the Ortom administration to accelerate on its drive to move the state forward in terms of peace, security and development.
Ngbede called on the opposition in the state to accept the verdict of the apex court as the closing of one chapter and embrace the necessary need to open another for the ultimate good of Benue.
Meanwhile the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue, Emmanuel Jime has described the judgement as sad, just as his party, the APC, declared that Benue has missed an opportunity to be transformed.
In a press statement signed by the Acting State Publicity Secretary, APC, Benue State, James Ornguga, the party insists that the their candidate wom yhe 2019 guber elwction but was shortchanged.
“State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue sees the Supreme Court judgement that affirmed the reelection of Governor Samuel Ortom of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP as a missed opportunity for Benue to have witnessed true development that the Jime/ Ode gubernatorial ticket had sought to offer.
“Sequel to the declaration of election results last year, which in the party’s estimation did not reflect the true voting position of the Benue electorate, APC genuinely interrogated PDP’s victory which in all rational parametres was foisted on the state amidst helpless gnashing of teeth.
“Our team of lawyers professionally explored available legal windows from the Tribunal, Appellate Court and the Supreme Court in frantic attempts to recover the mandate that we still believe our party won but was shortchanged.
“Having finally missed the mandate recovery opportunity at the Apex Court, consequent upon yesterday’s judgement, the party has resolved to go back to the drawing board to reexamine its strategies and consider workable options for the next electoral dispensation rather than wallow in the valley of the defeat.
“It is indeed a tough moment for our supporters who were practically robbed of victory despite the massive support base the party enjoys in the state but we are hopeful of a resounding bounce back, with sweet revenge in the days ahead.”
The party expressed appreciation to the governorship candidate, Emmanuel Jime and his running mate, Mr. Sam Ode for putting up a good fight, both at the polls and the three litigation layers.
“To us, you are still the winners because we freely gave you our mandate, though it was snatched away through underhand dealings but we will never give up in our quest to provide purposeful opposition to our opponents, with their million administrative errors.
The party equally thanked their leader, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume for painstakingly steering the APC ship in the state, despite all conspiratory arrows targeted at him.
“Having ended these streams of litigations in high spirits, we congratulate the Executive Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Samuel Ortom on his victory at the polls, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and affirmed by the court.
“We implore the governor to shift his tent from emotional governance and embark on concrete and verifiable capital projects that would serve as legacies of his administration, reminding him that he would not occupy the seat forever.
The party also thanked its supporters for theie support and urged them not to loose jope saying “the Benue emancipation project has just been temporarily delayed but will be actualized in 2023 on the APC platform, despite the long walk through the desert of poor leadership as being offered by the present Benue State Government.”
Inhis owm reaction to the ruling, a pensioneer in the state, Mr. Simon Idoko hailed the supreme court and president Mohammadu Buhari for the outcome of the cases particularly in Benue state.
Idoko who praised Buhari as being just said “Governor Ortom had won at the tribunal as well as the appeal court and upholding his election at the supreme court means that Buhari is a just president.
The pensioner noted that Ortom would have been dropped if the president was biased and therefore called on the governor to settle down and deliver the much needed dividends to th Benue people.
“Now that the legal battle is over, let him settle down and work. Pay the workers, pay the pensioners. No matter what he does, he has to pay salaries. People need to eat. Some pensioners are on drugs, most children are at home because no school fees. Let him satisfy the immediate needs of the people and God will be with him,” Mr. Idoko said.
A civil servant in the state who didn’t want to be name also expressed satisfaction with the court judgement.
” I know for sure that the Benue people votedfor Governor Samuel Ortom. So, to me as a person, the judgement is not a surprise. It is just a confirmation that the Benue people voted for him especially Benue workers. I am sure the people will be happy that their mandate has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.
“I will however advise him to justify the confidence reposed in him by the Benue people and civil servants in particular. They say to whom much is given, much is expected. So it is time for him to settle down and see how he can put smiles on the faces of Benue workers. He should make the people proud so they would not regret the mandate they have given him,” he said.
In his congratulatory message to the Governor, the National Vice President, Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, North Central Zone, Mr.Wilson Bako wish Governor Ortom God’s protection in his second term.
Bako expressed the hope that “this second coming will bring about a smooth and cordial working relationship between you and the Benue State Council of the Nigeria Union Of Journalists.”