The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Mr Emmanuel Jime, has called for calm following the judgement of the Supreme Court.
He made the call on Tuesday after the apex court affirmed the re-election of Governor Samuel Ortom in the March 9 poll.
In a statement personally signed by him, he thanked the members of his party and his supporters for standing by him throughout the court processes.
“Do not despair over news of today’s verdict. Taunts, jeers and intimidation will come, but let’s not buckle under them and see those as part of the sacrifice we need to make for a better tomorrow,” the APC candidate said.
He added, “The verdict announced by the Supreme Court today signals an end to our inquest on the 2019 governorship elections in Benue.
“It does not mean we will take our eyes off governance issues as they affect people of Benue.”
Jime noted that sad as the judgment was to him, he and his supporters have accepted the verdict in good faith.
He, however, stressed that it was not out of a need to pursue power or take advantage of the judicial process when they filed a petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal in 2019.
The APC candidate explained that they took the route all the way to the Supreme Court as part of their commitment towards strengthening the integrity of the nation’s electoral process.
“It was and remains our firm belief that unless the sanctity of the ballot is guaranteed, self-serving politicians will continue to game the system to retain their clutch on power.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank our legal team. They put up a dogged fight and presented a good case with solid evidence,” he said.
Jime added, “The outcome might not have gone our way, but it shows we will never look the other way where we see cases of electoral malpractice. I remain eternally grateful for the efforts of our lawyers and witnesses.
“I also extend my appreciation to the Justices of the Supreme Court, who in spite of a back-breaking workload, gave our petition the thorough attention it deserved. The outcome notwithstanding, we remain highly respectful of their verdict.”