Politics

Benue 2023: Why we’ve proceeded to Supreme Court – Shija campaign

From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi

Ahead of the 2023 governorship election, Terhemba Shija Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation in Benue State has disclosed that after due consultations with stakeholders and their lawyers, they have decided to appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on Monday, January 23.

The court had directed his party, the All Progressives Congress, (APC), to conduct a rerun primary in 11 Local Governments Areas of the state.

In a statement signed by the Director General of the Shija Campaign Organisation, Dr James Mbachiantim, said while they appreciate the judgement and courage of the justices of the court, their pronouncements, however, fell short of their expectations.

According to them, the judgement also threw up certain legal issues that can only be resolved by the highest court in the land.

“For instance, since the court accepted our submission and held that there was no All Progressives Congress, (APC), governorship primary election in Benue State for the 2023 polls at the first instance, how could there have been any basis or legitimacy for a rerun?

“The resolution of the foregoing and several other issues has compelled us to approach the Supreme Court.

The organisation appealed to all APC members and the entire Benue electorate to remain calm and understanding saying the judicial process is part and parcel of democracy.

The statement read in part, “Perhaps it might be necessary for us to recall that the privilege and burden of representing the people were thrust upon Professor Terhemba Shija early in life when he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, for Vandeikya Federal Constituency, in 1992.

“He entered the 2023 Governorship Race with cognate experience as a practical politician and democrat who also served as a member of the Benue State Executive Council where he acquired the requisite experience to deliver if given the mandate.

“The passion for service and teamwork in Prof Shija has been amply demonstrated when he successfully served as Director Generals of governorship campaigns of Senators George Akume and Gabriel Torwua Suswam respectively, and also that of Prof Daniel Saror for Senate. His career in academics has further equipped him with ideas and connections with the youth who are the future.

“Those like him who God, through the people, has given the privilege to participate in leadership and the political process also have the responsibility to promote the integrity of the system. They carry the burden to strengthen democracy so that it can attract the best and offer opportunities for the youths and credible people to invest in it.

“There is no doubt that if allowed to strive, beneficiaries of impunity today will surely be its victims tomorrow hence it has become necessary that enduring democracy thrives in a trajectory that transcends the current participants on the scene.

“This is the context in which we have resorted to the judiciary,” the statement said.

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