Benue Youths through its umbrella body, Benue Youth Forum, BYF, have called Benue People to vote for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi in the presidential election on February 25, 2023, adding that he is the right person for the job.
The youth group which said it aligned with Governor Samuel Ortom for endorsing obi, added that: “We are going out in our numbers come Saturday, February 25 to cast our votes for him to give him the well-deserved mandate to drag Nigeria out of the abyss.”
In a statement signed by its president, Terrence Kuanum, the groups said Benue people have no reason to vote the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, considering is uncaring posturing towards the killings that have taken place in the state by his kinsmen.
The statement reads: “We, the leadership and members of the Benue Youth Forum, BYF had an expanded Town Hall Meeting today, Wednesday, the 22nd of February, 2023 in Makurdi, Benue State. The meeting was imperative due to the urgency to put some things in perspective ahead of the 2023 general election, beginning with the presidential and national assembly polls this Saturday.
“As you are all aware, we have been in the trenches for over seven years now, fighting the course of our people who have become endangered and targets of incessant attacks by Fulani militiamen.
“Within the period under review, we have been called names by some naysayers within and outside the state. We have suffered a series of verbal attacks, faced unprecedented intimidation and molestation by security operatives detailed by our enemies to protect them. But we have remained undaunted.
“It is also on record that we have never relented in shouting to the ears of those who we expect to care that our people are facing the threats of going into extinction due to the heinous activities of sponsored and well-protected terrorists who are bent on eliminating us and annexing our ancestral lands.
“Even those in authority, especially at the centre, have tagged us alarmists and rabble-rousers because of our insistence on ensuring that our people are allowed to stay in their ancestral homes and do their farming and other activities without any fear.
“Sadly, the attacks have not abetted as the Fulani militia who have sworn not to obey the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue state are constantly on rampage, killing villagers in their sleep and attacking even those in internally displaced persons, IDPs camps. What could be more callous?
“Most worrisome is the fact that the terrorists are enjoying the sympathy of some Fulani elites including the former emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido who was dethroned for indiscipline, corruption and incitement of the people to violence in Kano and other parts of the north.
All these and other factors necessitated this town hall meeting which, as I said earlier, was convened to look at issues dispassionately and take a position. The meeting had youths from the three senatorial zones of Benue State and vital resolutions were reached.
“The resolutions reached at the end of the Town Hall Meeting are that:
“The Benue Youth Forum will mobilize its members across the state to participate actively in the 2023 elections and shall ensure that youths are not involved in any act of violence during the polls;
“The Forum wants the political class to avoid any attempt at using the youth for violence as that would not be in the best interests of the system and peaceful elections;
“The Benue Youth Forum urges all Benue People to go out an exercise their franchise responsibly without fear of molestation;
“The security agencies and electoral officials should be professional in the discharge of their duties to enable people make their choices and have their votes count. Any attempt to subvert the will of the people shall be resisted.
“The BYF is solidly behind Governor Samuel Ortom’s endorsement of the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP Peter Obi for the presidential election as only Mr Obi is disposed to tackling the plethora of challenges facing the country and Benue in particular.
“We reiterate our support for Peter Obi’s candidature and make it bold to say we are going out in our numbers come Saturday, February 25 to cast our votes for him to give him the well-deserved mandate to drag Nigeria out of the abyss.
“We urge the people of Benue to shun the other presidential candidates, especially Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who has on different occasions, justified the killings in Benue as he has no intention of putting an end to the incessant massacre of the people if elected, even though we are sure that he has no chance of winning the election.
“The BYF also calls on Benue people to vote Governor Ortom for the Benue North-West senatorial seat as well as other PDP candidates in the national assembly elections.
“The Forum implores the electorates to beware of those who are romancing with enemies of the state and show their anger at the ballot by voting only those who are interested in the security and welfare of the people.
“10. We also advise the people to shun those who have promised to cede our ancestral lands to Fulani herders and vote Rt. Honourable Titus Uba of the PDP in the Governorship election and other candidates of the party for the House of Assembly polls come March 11, 2023.
“There is no doubt that this election is about the survival of our people and the future of the country. We cannot fold our arms and watch our people being misled into making mistakes that shall cost us more years of anguish.
“That is why we expect all to queue behind Governor Ortom who has seen the light and is leading the state to the path where our penury shall be over.
“Once again, let’s vote Peter Obi for President, Samuel Ortom and other PDP Senatorial candidates, as well as the House of Representatives and State Assembly candidates. We are convinced that Titus Uba is the right person for the 2023 Governorship of Benue State.”