Youths in Benue state have expressed dissatisfaction over the request for more security operatives by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the purpose of election.
The youths berated the leaders of the party for keeping quiet when herdsmen rattled the state and killed hundreds of people.
Leaders of the APC in the state, including a former governor, Senator George Akume, and the Jime Ode Campaign Organisation, had, in recent past, called for the deployment of more security personnel for the elections.
The youths on Wednesday staged a protest to register their displeasure.
Baring placards with different inscriptions, the youths headed to their government house where they were received by the State governor, Samuel Ortom.
Messages on the placards read, “we say no to militarisation of Benue”; “where was the military when our people were butchered by armed herdsmen”; “don’t use the military to rig Benue elections” and APC don’t drag the military into politics.”
Leader of the protesting youths and one of the founding members of the Movement Against Fulani Occupation, (MAFO) Pastor Dave Ogbole, said the demand for the deployment of the military during election was suspicious.
“When the people of our state were subjected to unimaginable trauma, occasioned by ceaseless killings and sacking of Benue communities by armed herdsmen, those now calling for the military for election purposes failed to impress on the Federal Government to deploy the military to stem the killings.”
In his remarks, Governor Ortom assured the youths that the state would resist efforts to subvert the electoral process in the state.
“All we demand is a level playing field for all the parties. We are going into the elections prepared, and for us, it is not a do-or-die affair, because we know and they also know that Benue is PDP, and the people will resist any attempt to subvert the process,” the governor said.