Benue: Gov. Alia Suspends Guma 1 Constituency Primaries Over Insecurity

Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has ordered the suspension of the delegate primary election for the Guma 1 State Constituency, citing security concerns in the area.

The governor who addressed a press conference at the Old Banquet hall of the Government House, Makurdi, on Saturday, said the security of the state remains paramount, and for a local government area that is already volatile, he will not allow the continuation of the exercise, as it could trigger more violence in the local government area and across the state.

“The security of the state remain paramount to all of us. This day was the day the APC were to conduct Delegate primaries for the Guma 1 Constituency Bye election, but unfortunately, it was marred by misconduct and this was posing some threats and insecurity in the local government area.

“In the last six months, the state has experienced relative peace and efforts are being made by security agencies to maintain that peace and I wouldn’t want all the efforts we have put in place to be in vain. I wouldn’t want anything that would trigger insecurity at any corner, not just in Guma local government, but the entire state.

“This is why it has become very important that I suspend the delegate primaries that is expected to take place in Guma local government today,” the governor explained.

He regretted that the party faithful who came out to make their choice were stopped at the gate of the Avine Agbom Hotel in Daudu, by some politicians who are not even from the local government, but came only to hijack the process.

According to governor Alia, since people get quite emotional and sensitive over issues of politics, the development has made the youth of the area emotional, with tensions rising in the area, and as such, it has become important as the Chief security Officer of the state, to order the suspension of the exercise.

He said Guma local government where the election was supposed to take place is the most vulnerable area in terms of insecurity, and as such, if the government does not step in immediately, the rising tensions will metamorphose into a serious security challenge.

He reiterated the desire of his administration to maintain absolute peace in the state, with the return of the IDPs to their ancestral homes still a matter of necessity.

He charged the security apparatchiks in the state to ensure that there is peace and harmony in Guma local government and the state as a whole, saying he trusts the National Working Committee of party to ensure that the right thing is done, as Guma local government is too fragile for anything less than peace at this time.

In attendance during the press conference were the Commissioner of Police, Mr. George Chukwu, the State Commandant of Operation Whirl stroke, Major General Sunday, the Commandant, 401 Special Force Base, Rabiu A, Director of DSS in the State, Jonathan Kwe amongst other heads of security agencies in the state.

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