2023 Benue Governorship Polls: Three Key Reasons Why Rev. Alia Won
On Monday, March 21, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressive Congress (APC) the Benue state governor-elect.
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Alia cruised to a landslide victory after polling 473,933 votes ahead of his rival Titus Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 223,913.
However, some key factors that handed Alia victory at the governorship polls are as follows.
1. Ali's priestly figure and popularity
Nigeria is a very religious country that adheres strictly to the doctrine of its religion no matter the cultural imperialistic nature of the media, migrants and aliens.
Ali, an ordained priest in Roman Catholic, was predicted to get voter sympathy due to his religious nature and position in the spiritual line.
2. Governor Ortom and PDP's antecedents in Benue state
The two tenures of PDP's Governor Samuel Ortom has been marred with a series of crisis and turmoil that greeted the citizens of Benue.
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In his eight years in office, Governor Ortom could not handle the farmers-herders crisis and insecurity in the state that has led to the loss of life and properties.
Similarly, Ortom's administration is known for the unregular payment of civil servants salaries and arrears.
3. Internal crisis in Benue state PDP
During the build-up to the polls, Governor Ortom's PDP became divided when he publicly declared his support for Peter Obi, the Labour Party's presidential candidate.
This action by Ortom led to an internal crisis within the ranks of the PDP as one faction was rooting for PDP's bannerman, Atiku Abubakar and the other, Peter Obi.
Alia took advantage of this factor and wooed some PDP members to pitch tents with them during the gubernatorial polls.