Today, Saturday, February 20, the people of Benue South will return to the poll to elect their senator.
The contest is straight between a former Senate President, David Mark, of the Peoples Democratic Party, and David Onjeh, a former students’ leader, and candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
The election is a rerun. The Appeal Court had nullified the March 28, 2015 election of which Mr. Mark was declared winner.
Mr. Mark is 68 years old, while Mr. Onjeh is 41.
Benue South Senatorial District has nine local government areas, dominated mainly by the Idoma ethnic nationality.
The district also has significant populations of Igede, Agila, Alala, Apa and Agatu. Messrs Mark and Onjeh are native Idomas.
PREMIUM TIMES is on the ground in Benue South, and will serve you updates of the election.
PU 18, Otukpo ward, INEC officials have arrived but just getting set to commence accrediatuon for voters who have been waiting waited since 8am. Assistant Presiding Officer said “We were delayed at the distribution centre.”
Polling officers are just arriving David Mark’s Polling Unit, VIP unit at Otukpo ward 1. They rode motorcycles and were guided by a Police officer and two Civil Defence operatives.
Mr. Sunday, an elderly person, said he been at VIP units 10 minutes before 8am, the time INEC announced accreditation would start. “But if truth, I am surprised INEC officials are yet to come,” he said.
VIP polling unit, Otukpo ward 1. INEC officials are yet to arrive at this polling unit the PDP candidate, David Mark, will vote. PDP agent is complaining: “I am concerned; when are they bringing these materials.”
INEC officials are set at PU 10, Ward 10, Otukpo LGA. Also voters are thronging the unit. As the picture shows, voters are now checking their names in INEC “valid registrations” papers.
INEC zonal head in Otukpo has completed distribution of materials to Electoral Officers. The distribution of materials started yesterday afternoon and just ended this morning.
According to reports from the LGAs, INEC officials are now moving to polling units with materials for the conduct of the election. This may fulfil the REC’s vow that the election will start 8am.
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