Senate president says opponents plan to deface ballot papers

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The President of
the Senate, David Mark, has alleged that opposition parties in his
constituency plan to deface ballot papers after voting.

Mr Mark stated this while addressing the people of Ogwule at a campaign rally in Agatu Council, Benue State Monday.

Mr Mark, who is
facing a stiff contest for his return to the senate against Lawrence
Onoja, the senatorial candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria
(ACN), urged his supporters to protect their votes after casting their
ballots during the forthcoming general elections in order to check
excesses of politicians threatening to undermine the process.

“You should vote
PDP all through the elections and stand by your votes to avoid
destruction of the ballot papers by those who are planning to do that
because they truly cannot win,” Mr Mark said.

Lai Muhammed, the
spokesperson of the ACN, however, denied the allegations saying: “David
knows he is clearly going to lose this election and he is raising this
false alarm. Our party does not involve in under hand.” He added that
the senate president has never won any election in the constituency and
is jittery of his imminent defeat at the polls. “If he knows those that
are planning to deface ballot papers, he should hand them over to the

Reign of violence

Benue South federal
constituency has been thrown into serious pre-election violence since
January this year. Most of the reported violence is linked to rival
political parties contesting for the Benue South senatorial seat.

Some armed thugs
last week attacked the campaign trail of the Mr Mark on his way to
Igumale, the headquarters of Ado Council in Benue State. The following
day, a man identified to be the driver of Mr Onoja, the ACN senatorial
candidate, was beaten to death in Ibadan Street, Otukpo, by men
suspected to be supporters of the PDP over accusations of tearing off
the party’s posters.

Earlier in the month, Mr Onoja was attacked in his home and escaped with bullet wounds in his arm.

The National
Assembly election is slated for April 2, followed by Presidential
elections on Saturday, April 9, while Governorship and State Assembly
elections come up on Saturday, 16th April 2011 across the country.

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