Dr. Uji Wilfred, an Associate Professor of History at the Federal University, Lafia, who is at present the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Benue State Teaching Service Board (TSB), Makurdi, has described the defeat of Senators George Akume representing Benue North-West in the red chambers and Barnabas Gemade representing Benue North East as the end of an era in Benue politics.
Reacting shortly after the announcement of the presidential and National Assembly election results by the Benue Resident Electoral Commissioner through a statement to newsmen, the university don also expressed disappointment over the more than 40 percent votes given to Muhammadu Buhari by Benue electorate despite the president’s disdain for the genocide in the state.
He said: “The defeat of Senators George Akume and Barnabas Gemade is a clear demonstration of the Tiv peoples’ protest against feudalistic politics.
“It signifies the end of an era in which the common man in Benue politics will have a great voice and decision in politics of the state,” he said.
Akume, a three-term senator and former governor of the state, who is widely regarded as the godfather of Benue politics and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the North Central, has lost his seat to his political godson, Emmanuel Orker Jev, a high ranking member of the House of Representatives representing Buruku Federal Constituency.
Meanwhile, a former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and two term senator, Gemade, who contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has lost his seat to the former governor of Benue state, Dr. Gabriel Suswam of the PDP.
This was as Aba Morro of PDP and former Minister of Interior defeated the erstwhile Deputy Governor of Benue State, Stephen Lawani, of the APC to clinch the Benue South senatorial seat replacing the former Senate President, David Mark.
Expressing his disappointment over the outcome of the presidential election results in Benue, Dr. Wilfred said: “I can make useful comments as to what has taken place in Benue State though with much caution.
“I am deeply disappointed that despite President Buhari’s disdain for the genocide in Benue State, the Benue people out of unbelievable love gave him over 40 percent of the votes cast.
“I don’t know how that has happened and I would not allege that these were rigged votes for I don’t have evidence in that direction,” he stated.