From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
The All Progressives Congress, (APC), governorship candidate in Benue state, Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia has described his victory in court as victory for the APC and victory for Benue.
Recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, on Thursday, dismissed the case brought against Fr. Alia by one of the governorship aspirants of the APC in the state, Professor Terhemba Shija.
Prof. Shija had approached the courts seeking the nullification of the primary election of the party that declared Alia as the party candidate on the grounds that the process failed to meet the guidelines as stipulated in the Electoral Act and the APC’s rules guiding the conduct of the party’s primaries.
Giving judgement on Thursday, the presiding Judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, struck the case out for lacking in merit.
Reacting to the judgement while speaking to newsment at the party campaign office in Makurdi, Fr. Alia said “It is quite exciting. It is not just my victory, it is APC’s victory. Above all, it is a victory for Benue.
“It is something laudable, exciting and I applaud the justice system which has been fair and understands what it is and has delivered it.”
He however stated that the judgement should by no means divide the party or those who feel aggrieved adding that “rather I am a uniting force, I am a uniting point. I am a bridge builder. Even those who feel quite aggrieved, I’m seizing the opportunity and inviting them to come back for us to rebuild our party and to deliver on democracy.
“I feel they should understand not just by perception but by position that democracy is a unifying, that democracy is carrying everybody along, that democracy is letting everyone understand that it’s not the subjective interest but the objective interest.
“Benue and the people of Benue are and must remain the objective interest.
Speaking on other cases still pending in court, the APC guber candidate reiterated his trust and confidence in the justice system of the country saying ” A Daniel has come to judgement. The cases are not a threat to me. I am confidence that the same fair play, same justice will deliver. I trust in it, I believe in it and I’m very confident that they will exercise by the rules and that remains my hope.”
He urged his supporters to remain exciting and continue to jubilate but to remember that its not about Alia but about the collectiveness of Benue state and how to deliver the state from the dungeon where it is currently.
Alia, who was flanked by his campaign Director General, Revd Frederick Ikyaan, the state legal adviser of the party, Fidelis Mnyim among others, noted that “it has personally become an obligation on me that where we are is not in a very palatable place and we need to put in place things to bring our people out of the slavery of non proper education, poor commerce, non freedom, insecurity among others and this is what the victory is all about.
Also speaking, the state legal adviser of the APC and one of the lead counsel, Fidelis Mnyim, said based on the work done by the team, they are focused and trusting God that they will come out victorious
He faulted social media reports which described the APC primaries in the state as “Yahoo yahoo” primaries saying “yesterday, for the first time, the law made pronouncements that the primaries was valid, free, fair and credible and that the winner, Revd Fr. Hyacinth Alia was actually the winner having scored the highest valid votes cast at the said primary election.”