The Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, has raised the alarm over alleged plot by the federal government and the All Progressives Congress to arrest prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state who are perceived to be close to him.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, which was made available to our correspondent on Thursday, said no fewer than six prominent members of the PDP had been earmarked for elimination or arrest few days to the governorship and House of Assembly elections over a false charge of gun-running.
He listed some of the targeted PDP members to include, Mr. Abraham Kwaghngu; Mr. Anthony Shawon; Mr. David Tsevende; Dr. Cletus Tyokyaa; Avine Agbom; Matthew Mnyam; Mr. Raymond Asema; David Iorhemba and John Enger.
He said, “We have received information about a secret plot hatched by the APC, in collaboration with some officials of the Federal Government to arrest and throw into detention, key members of the PDP.
“No convincing reason has been given for the planned arrest and those to be apprehended are not likely to be arraigned in court.”
He said the plot is part of the alleged plan to persecute him since he defected from APC to PDP.
According to him, with the governorship and state Assembly elections just few days ahead, the plan of APC is to allegedly intimidate him and his teeming supporters and allegedly pave way for flagrant rigging of the polls.
Ortom said, “APC has seen their defeat coming and the only way it feels it can avert losing the elections on Saturday is to manipulate the electoral process and harass PDP members by indiscriminately arresting them.
“The plot began on the day of the presidential and National Assembly elections when the Chief State Collation agent of PDP, Dr Cletus Tyokyaa, was arrested and taken away only to be released days later without any charge brought against him.”
The governor urged the Federal Government to shelve the alleged planned arrest and any idea aimed at throwing Benue State into political crisis.
He stated that the people of the state had suffered enough attacks and do not deserve another round of oppression.
He said, “We are also aware of the plan to use security operatives in plain clothes who will visit polling units and disrupt the process, particularly in areas considered to be strongholds of PDP. We advise the Federal Government to resist the lure to carry out this plot as it will be counter-productive.
“We wish to let those planning to use the coming elections and destabilize Benue State that the people of the State are not only aware of their evil agenda but are also prepared to resist the reign of impunity with their votes.”