Early results from the rerun election in Benue-South senatorial district between the former Senate President, David Mark of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Daniel Onjeh, show that both parties are neck and neck in the contest. The Appeal Court had earlier sacked David Mark and ordered a rerun.
Results from some polling units so far indicate that in Adoka-Haje, Aune playground polling unit in Otukpo Local Government Area, the PDP secured 135 votes while the APC got 38.
In Onyagede-Ehaje; APC 184, PDP 120 while Agadagba Ward, PU Open Space Akpenwo, PDP 88 and APC 61.
And in Ohimini Local Government Area, Aume-icho Ward, Ondo/ Olabe PU, APC 89 PDP 129, Olega PU, APC 87, PDP 60 and APC131, PDP 53 respectively.
At Idekpa Ward Olaigbechi PU; APC 57, PDP 5 and Aume Iche Ward and Akwutulo PU; APC 58, PDP 41 and Ejule PU, APC 104 and PDP 48.
In Apa LGA; Edikwu Ikampo PU II Olochokwunu Play ground; PDP 139, APC 27, Okpamaju PU, Okete Ward, Otukpo LGA, PDP 88, APC52 while in Ogbadibo Court Oko polling unit, Orokam, APC 105, PDP 53 and in Ekere primary school, PDP 98, APC 30.
Mark showed up at his GRA Otukpo ward 1 polling unit at 10:45 am accompanied by his wife, Helen and friend, Tunde Ogbeha, to cast his vote.
He condemned the violence in some parts of the district and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the election is free and fair.
Our correspondent reports that the card reader machine earlier rejected Onjeh, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate at his polling unit, Imei, Orokam ward 11.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, could not perform his civic duty following his inability to produce his permanent voter’s card. Ogbeh was at his Efugo polling unit in Otukpa town of Ogbadibo Local Government Area but could not vote.
The minister’s name was on the voters register but when asked by the INEC official to produce his PVC, Ogbeh replied: “I can’t find the card, it must be missing.”
Ogbeh then demanded that his data be copied out for him which the officials obliged him. After that, he waited behind at his poling unit.
The state Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, noted that there were skirmishes in some parts of his Upu, Otukpo village and that some officials were attacked.
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the compound of a traditional ruler, Chief Paul Amanyi, was completely razed by some suspected thugs in Ehicho-Ugwu, Okpoga in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.
Amanyi’s house was said to have been invaded at about 8pm on Friday by hoodlums who burnt his house and left him injured.
It was also learnt that there were ballot box snatching, burning of houses by suspected political thugs and physical assault of political opponents in some parts of the district.
But, Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Mohammed Gana, who was on patrol told journalists that he did not receive any report on violence.
There was heavy presence of security operatives all over the nine local government areas that make up the district.