Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom yesterday described the conduct of 2022 local government elections held in the state as peaceful, fair and credible.
The governor made the observation at LGEA Primary School, Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area shortly after casting his vote.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, the governor expressed happiness with the large turn out of the people to cast their votes across the state, maintaining that having worked very hard, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would coast home to victory.
The governor added that despite the invasion of his local government by Fulani terrorists which has left more than half of the people displaced, the massive turn out by voters is a clear testimony that the people are conscious of their rights by actively participating in all democratic processes for good governance.
The Benue State Independent Electoral Commission conducted elections in the 23 local government areas of Benue State.
Though electoral materials and election officials arrived most polling units on time, many polling units witnessed low turnout of voters.
As early as 9:30am, voters were seen trickling into some of the polling stations including those situated at the BIRS office and Wailomayo ward to vote candidates of their choice.
Observers drawn from various states of the country who monitored the elections in the state adjudged the exercise as peaceful, free and fair but lamented the low turnout of voters for the elections.
Acting Chairman, Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria, Barrister Jossy Eze, in a chat with newsmen in Makurdi while monitoring the elections, stated that voters were not coerced to vote for candidates against their wishes.
“So far, the places we visited I noticed that the election was peaceful; there is general voter apathy as regards the number of voters, viz-a-viz the number we have seen from the ballot boxes.
“Although, the turnout is low, there is still time, people are still ready to vote and people will still come to vote, since the closing time would be at about 4pm and this is midday.
“We also noticed that the atmosphere around the polling booths are conducive for people to come out and vote, no intimidation, but surprisingly we do not see party agents and we also do not see enough security personnel”, he said.
At the time of filing this report, voting had stopped in all polling units and sorting and counting of ballot papers were ongoing.
Chairman of Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC), Tersoo Loko promised that results of the election would be announced when they are ready.