By John Ikani
The suspended priest of the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, Benue State, Hyacinth Alia, has defeated his closest contender, Barnabas Gemade, to clinch the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket in the state.
Alia was earlier suspended from carrying out his priestly duties on the grounds of the canon laws of the Catholic Church which forbids priests from participating in partisan politics.
He went on to contest against the former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mike Aondoakaa, and the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barnabas Gemade.
Alia polled over 7,000 votes, representing the highest number of votes cast at the primary election on Friday to win the party’s ticket.
In some of the LGAs, Gemade and Aondoakaa failed to get a single vote
The priest said he joined the governorship race to rescue Benue people from the “shackles of maladministration”.
“From the day I took the decision to answer the overwhelming calls of my people to contest the governorship of Benue with the aim to rescue our people from the shackles of maladministration, I was fully aware of the sacrifice I was going to make,” he had said.