John Shiaondo, Makurdi
Tension is gradually mounting in Benue South Senatorial district few days to the Saturday senatorial re-run election between former Senate President David Mark of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
THE UNION gathered that the tension is caused various threats to lives and alleged killing of three persons Tuesday when supporters of APC and PDP clashed.
The clash, which occurred at Ugboju in Otukpo Local Government Area, happened after the petition by Senator David Mark to the Inspector General of Police, alleging threat to his life ahead of the re-run with Daniel Onjeh of APC.
In the petition former Senate President David Mark had alleged that the APC had imported some thugs and cultists into the area to cause a stir and kill him in the process.
But governor Samuel Ortom in an interview with newsmen morning of Tuesday had dismissed the allegation describing the reports as “completely untrue, malicious and unfounded”.
He said since assumption of office as governor, he banned all forms of thuggery and recovered arms in the hands of unauthorised persons.
The governor assured the electorate in the senatorial district of adequate security to guarantee their safety during and after the polls.
He urged the people of the state to disregard such false alarm and go about their legitimate affairs without fear of molestation.
However, few hours after governor Ortom spoke to newsmen, report filtered in that one Okwoche Omale, Andrew Adaji and Audu Okopi, were killed in clash between the two major political parties in the area with several houses also razed.
It was gathered that the crisis was triggered by a disagreement between the caretaker Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Area, Mr. Ijachi Ude of APC and his younger brother, Eje Ude of PDP.
The representative of Otukpo/Akpa in the state House of Assembly, Johnson Ahubi alleged that the crisis was triggered by APC supporters, expressing dismay at the attitude of the Police in Otukpo, whom he accused of failing in their duties
When contacted, Police Area Commander for Otukpo, Mr. Fasuba Akinyele, said the report had not been brought to his notice.
Earlier by ending of January, ex-minister of Interior, Abba Moro, had addressed a press conference and raised the alarm over the assassination attempt on his life and other supporters of David Mark by four unidentified gunmen.
He said the assassins came to his house at Ugbokolo in a white Toyota Camry car at about 11p.m, and demanded to know whether he was in, adding that they were however later arrested by policemen with guns and other dangerous weapons.
The former minister however, vowed that he will not be deterred by intimidation from any person or groups of persons to mobilise support for the re-election of David Mark.
Also, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had raised the alarm over alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to unleash fake soldiers and police on the area to manipulate the election
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, ASP Moses Yamu, said investigation is on into the alleged killing of the three persons noting that adequate arrangement has been made to ensure security of lives during the election and urged people of the area to turn out for the election without fear of molestation.