2023 ElectionsHeadlinePolitics

INEC declares Catholic priest winner of Benue guber race

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hyacinth Alia, has won the Benue State governorship election held on Saturday, 18 March.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through Returning Office  Faruq Kuta, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, made the announcement on Monday in Makurdi, the state capital.

Alia defeated the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Titus Uba and Herman Lorwase Hembe of the Labour Party in a tough battle.

The Catholic priest polled 473, 933 votes to defeat Titus Uba, his closest opponent who scored 223,91.

Announcing the results of the governorship poll in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Monday, Kuta, , said Alia scored 473,933 votes to beat Uba who polled 223,913 votes.

Giving the breakdown of the votes, Kuta who is the vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, (FUT) Minna, said the valid votes stood at 756,903, while the rejected votes were: 11,499. The total votes cast were: 768,402.

Citing section 24(1) of the Electoral Act (2022) and INEC Guidelines for the election, the State Returning Officer declared Mr Alia as the winner of the 2023 Benue State governorship election.

The margin of win is 250,020 votes based on the total number of votes collated from 22 out of the 23 local government areas of Benue State.

The governorship and state parliamentary election in Kwande Local Government Area was shifted to Tuesday, 21 March, due to printing errors in ballot papers that were discovered during the Saturday election.

Kwande LGA has a total number of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) of 156,826, representing 91 per cent of 172,293 registered voters.

Therefore, with the margin of lead put at 250,020 votes above the number of PVCs collected in the affected areas which stands at 156,826,  Alia was declared the winner by the electoral umpire.

On Sunday, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Benue State, Sam Egwu, said the winner of the governorship poll might be declared if the margin of win is greater than the number of registered voters who collected their PVCs in Kwande LGA.

Both Messrs Alia and Uba hail from Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State.

The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Benue, Herman Hembe, came third in the race with 41,881 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) began the collation of Saturday’s governorship election at the Benue Governorship Election State Collation Centre in Makurdi, the state capital, on Sunday.

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