*With victory of Alia, who occupies office of Benue First lady
By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja
The Catholic cleric made history as he beat the Governor Samuel Ortom's candidate and flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Titus Uba.
The Catholic priest won 473,933 votes ahead of his closest rival and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Titus Uba, who scored 223,913.
The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna declared Alia the winner.
Alia, who is a member of the ruling APC, is expected to take over from Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP G5.
The third position went to the candidate of the Labour Party, (LP), Hon Herman Hembe, who polled a total of 41,881 votes.
The total valid votes was 756,903, total rejected votes 11,499 and total votes cast was 768,402.
Declaring the result, Professor Kuta said INEC is relying on the electoral act of section 24 (1) and the INEC guidelines.
He declared therefore “That Hyacinth Iornem Alia, of the APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner of the elections and is returned elected.
Out of Benue's 23 Local Government Areas, the APC candidate, Alia, won 17 LGAs including Apa, Ado, Gwer East, Obi, Gboko, Ukum, Tarkar Buruku, Katsina Ala, Ohimini, Ushongo, Ogbadibo and Oju, Makurdi, Vandeikya, Otukpo and OKpokwu.
His closest rival, Titus Uba, from the PDP won in four LGAs including Agatu, Logo, Gwer West and Guma while the Labour Party won only in one LG which is Konshisha.
Responding to the victory, state chairman of the APC, Austin Agada, who appreciated the Benue people for their immense support and votes expressed joy at the victory saying it is victory for not only the APC but for the entire Benue state.
Agada urged the Benue people to be a little patient as the incumbent administration exits office saying the man whom they have voted will ensure that they get the much deserved dividends of democracy.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised on who on who will occupy the office of the first lady in the State.
This is not the first time a rev Fr has been Governor in the state. Recall that Fr Moses Oshio Adasu was the first Catholic priest to be names as governor of the state.
The people of the state are already saying that they do not mind that the office of the first lady is vacant.
According to them, all they want is good leadership.