Benue Decides 2023: Five Key Reasons Why PDP’s Titus Uba Lost Election to APC’s Hyacinth Alia
The Benue 2023 governorship election was fierce but at the same time interesting; this is because the political arena was taken by storm and this development erupt from the results of the 2023 presidential election where the APC won two senatorial seats and the incumbent governor loses the senatorial election.
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, won the Benue State 2023 governorship election, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, March 20, 2023.
Alia beat his closest rival and emerged victorious, a shocking development for Ortom
The Roman Catholic priest defeated his closest rival, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Engr. Titus Uba, the incumbent speaker of the Benue assembly.
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In view of the above development, Legit.ng highlights factors that led to Uba's loss to Alia;
Meanwhile, both Messrs Alia and Uba hail from Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, as the Labour Party candidate, Herman Hembe, also contested the state's top seat during the poll.
Factors that contributed to Titus Uba's loss
A lot of factors come to play when the people decide to elect a leader that would govern them, and some of these factors determine to a large extent the fate of the candidates during an election.
For PDP candidate, Titus Uba, the following factors worked against his victory in Benue state:
1. Governor Samuel Ortom's bad performance
The good people of Benue are no longer pleased with the service of the Incumbent Governor Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hence they desired a new leader in the state.
This is evident in the vote cast during the March 18 governorship election in Benue state.
The people yearned for a change in governance hence they voted Ortom in but u unfortunately he failed to deliver to them and there was a lot of underdevelopment in Benue state, constant owing of workers' salaries, pensions arrears, high level of poverty, insecurity, etc; all this and more contributed to the recent decision of the people.
In essence, Ortom's popularity diminished due to his bad governance and the people separated his personality from politics, this time around, in turn, affected Uba's chances of winning the election.
2. National politics and local politics
National politics is more practised in Nigeria's polity and this comes to the fore and determines the victory of a particular candidate during an election.
Local politics is the politics characterised by grassroots mobilisation and support for a particular candidate; hence it is often tagged in some states as underground politics or politics of the people.
This was brought to bare in the Benue state 2023 governorship election as the people decided who would rule them in the next four years
For the Benue election, Both major contenders did the grassroots election but one was more appealing to the sight of people than the other hence the result of the election stirred a new development in the state. Reverend Father Alia was more preferred to Titus Uba of the APC.
3. The Peoples Mandate
Although the power of a state rest in the hands of the incumbent governor but the people's will prevailed over that of the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom.
Meanwhile, the people wanted to maintain the stance in the country once again as "the food basket of the nation", this they did by voting against Godfatherism and shinned all forms of vote-buying in the just concluded polls.
The people who are also tired of the leadership style under Ortom and they perceived Alia as the best man for the top job hence they declared major support for him during the election; this in turn affected Uba's ambition and his victory as APC takes over Benue state, going forward.
4. The governor's mistake
Although the people of Benue state voted for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi during the February 25 election after Ortom declared his support for him publicly.
One of the mistakes Ortom made was because he did not follow the path of Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike and Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde; the members of the PDP's G-5 integrity group.
The duo allegedly struck a deal with teh APC and delivered their states for Bola Tinubu and this in turn led to them getting a deal of reclaiming their states during the governorship poll; a grave mistake Ortom made that cost him his senatorial election and also cost the PDP candidate, Titus Uba's governorship seat.
Ortom did not only lose hold of the Benue state but also lose the grip to be the leader of the party as APC is set to change the dynamics of the state, going forward.
5. Unconventional candidate
The non-traditional candidate played out in the vote. the voters are not voting for the party but rather they voted a personality, a very interesting dynamic during the 2023 Benue state election.
Father Alia was not the main candidate even in terms of sophistication, he is not one to beat the PDP's Uba, but the politics of the state played out as the people knew what they were doing and the turnout of voters favoured Alia.
For Uba, he was not favoured by the people because he was seen as the conventional candidate as he was the preferred successor of the sitting governor but not the preferred leader, the people of Benue are crying out for.
In conclusion, grassroots politics led to Father Alia's victory as he is perceived to be the game changer and the true messiah Benue is searching for.
All in all, democracy came to bear, during the 2023 governorship election in Benue state.