24 March 2019
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that one of its officials was shot in Benue State, as a (s)election rerun was being held yesterday to determine who will govern the state for the next four years.
The race for the governorship of the state has been pretty heated, pitting incumbent Samuel Ortom, who defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the APC candidate, Emmanuel Jime.
Comfort Tuleun is from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi and served as the Returning Officer in charge of Ushongo Local Government Area of the State in the original governorship (s)election on 9 March.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Benue, Nentawe Yilwatda, said in a statement yesterday:
“At about 8:30pm on Saturday, an attack was launched on a convoy of INEC personnel returning to Makurdi Collation Centre from Gboko Local Government after the close of the governorship and State Assembly supplementary polls by unknown gunmen.
“In the course of the attack on the convoy that included INEC’s permanent and ad hoc staff, as well as security agencies at Tarka LGA, Prof. Comfort Tuleun, the Gboko LGA Collation Officer for the governorship election, was hit by bullets and she is currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
“The wounded collation officer is from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
“INEC regrets this unfortunate incident and calls on security agencies to work tirelessly to apprehend these miscreants and bring them to judgment.
“Meanwhile, as a result of this incident, the commission has no choice but to appoint Dr. Joseph Mom also of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi to replace the wounded official.”
It was not clear at the time of writing how serious Tuleun’s injuries were or who the perpetrators of the act were.