PRESS STATEMENT: In view of the events of the past few days, vis avis the Benue APC governorship primary, Chief Stephen Lawani, OFR, wishes to react as follows

  1. Let me start by thanking all my supporters from across the state who stood firm in their unwavering belief in our reform-promising aspiration. Your support was overwhelming. It further demonstrates an unusual willingness by the generality of Benue people to usher in purposeful leadership for Benue state.
  2. I particularly feel the disappointment of the good people of Zone C who invested enormous faith in my aspiration with the hope that we would break the jinx of over 45years and produce the first Governor of Benue state from the Benue South District. I am equally disappointed we could not achieve that age-long desire. As you all know, we ran an exhaustive campaign, consulted widely across the state and worked even harder because we knew that being from the minority, we had to double our efforts to stand a chance to win. I cherish your support and faith in me. Recall that during my consultations, I was emphatic that if I win the governorship position of the state in 2023, I will become the first Benue state governor of Idoma extraction but that I do not want to be the last. That I will work, work and work so that whenever there is leadership deficiency in the state, our brothers in zones A and B will look up to the Idoma nation for leadership. I might not stand the chance to achieve that aim again, but we have succeeded in creating a fertile ground for our collective destiny to continue to thrive. Keep the hope alive!
  3. I also want it on record that we were not given equal opportunities in the process of nominating a governorship candidate for our party ahead of 2023. As aspirants, we received an official notice for a change of the mode of primaries at 12pm, on the day the indirect primary was already scheduled to hold. At that time, we already made every necessary preparations for an indirect primary election. Even when the direct primary mode was adopted, as an aspirant, I was unaware of where and how the election was to be conducted.
  • I was never contacted to send agents for the purposes of any election.
  • I was not informed at what locations in the wards the election was to hold as required by law.
  • There was no electoral committee set up to collate the results across the 276 wards of the state.
  • No electoral materials were deployed in any part of the state in prosecution of the said election.
  • No party register for proper identification of registered party members
  • No proper accreditation of intended voters.

I was therefore surprised to read yesterday (28th of May, 2022), that the election had been conducted with an imaginary votes allotted to all aspirants, and a winner declared.

  1. Despite this obvious provocation, I wish to implore you, our cherished supporters, to remain calm and law abiding.
  2. Our next line of action will be properly communicated in a more detailed release at the appropriate time.

God bless you all
God bless Benue state

Comrade Sylvanus Okpe
Director, Media and Publicity Lawani Campaign Organization (LACO)
29/05/2022

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