*Bello: I’m looking forward to developing state

*Wada, aides keep mum

By Boluwaji Obahopo and Kingsley Fanwo

IF results from most of the 91 polling units where supplementary governorship poll was held in Kogi State, yesterday, are anything to go by, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, is as good as having won the election.

Bello, who replaced the late Prince Abubakar Audu, went into yesterday’s make-up election with about 41,000 votes lead over Governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

To cancel the APC’s lead, Wada needs  at least 46,000 votes. However, results from the supplementary election indicated that hurdle was insurmountable for the PDP candidate.

Apart from disruption of voting at Eti Aja 2 in Dekina Local Council where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office was set ablaze on Friday and some polling units in Kogi East where voting started late because of security and logistics hitches, the supplementary exercise was generally peaceful.

In Kogi East, card readers were not generally effective and electoral officials were instructed to use incident forms where  card readers failed.

There was low turnout of voters in Ankpa, Igalamela/Odolu local councils

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the low turnout was visible in Ankpa Local Government Area where results from nine polling units with 6,018 registered voters were cancelled in the Nov.21, election.

Faleke and Bello
Faleke and Bello

Although polling officers in various units visited confirmed that electoral materials arrived the polling units before 8:00 a.m., the officers were relaxed.

The situation was, however, different from what happened during the November 21 election.

An electoral official at RCM Primary School Polling Unit, Ankpa, who preferred anonymity, said “the materials were distributed at the early hours of the day”.

He added: “Although there is low turnout, the card readers are working perfectly and the exercise has been very peaceful; no security threat. You can see that the security men are relaxing,” he said.

Also, at Oforachi Ward 1, Unit 001, in Igalamela/Odolu local government area, the exercise recorded low turnout as only 10 eligible voters turned up for accreditation at about 10:30 a.m.

The Presiding Officer at the unit, who preferred anonymity, said he was hopeful that more people would turn out later, blaming the situation largely on the biting cold in the area.

Early results

In Odo Ape Ward of Kabba/Bunu Local Council, where election was taking place in one unit, the APC scored 41 votes against PDP’s 18. APC also won by a margin of three votes in the unit where election took place at Ayetoro Kiri Ward.

The APC was also  leading massively in some of the units in Kogi Central, the home of the party’s candidate.

Bello equally recorded victory in the only unit in Bariki Ward, Okene local council, where APC got 201 votes to PDP’s two.

At Ituwa Ipaja Unit, Ajaokuta local council, it was APC, 247 votes, PDP, eight.

Other results include:

  • Ajigi/Ofinran/Okedisin Polling Unit, Yagba West: APC 86, PDP 73.
  • Aiyetoro Ward I, the only polling unit in Ijumu LGA where the election held: APC-86, PDP 102.
  • Oboroke Ward II, Okehi LGA: APC 110, PDP 0
  • Apanko polling unit, Okehi LGA: APC 212, PDP 2
  • Oboroke Uvete II Polling Unit 10, Okehi LGA: APC 108 PDP 2.
  • Ituwa Ipaja, Ajaokuta zone: APC 247, PDP 8
  • Ikende, in Bassa Local Council: APC 52 PDP -14.
  • Eforo Ward, Bassa: APC: 169 PDP 100

I’m looking forward to developing Kogi – Bello

Ahead of the declaration of the winner of the poll today, Bello said he was already looking forward to developing the state.

The APC candidate who disclosed this while speaking with journalists on the supplementary election, also said the tussle for power between him and Abiodun Faleke (the APC deputy governorship candidate in the November 21 election) is a family affair that will be settled amicably.

He also promised to use his office when he assumes power to bridge the sectional gap in the state.

He expressed satisfaction with the organization of the election, urging the people of the state to eschew violence.

Exercise free and fair – PPA

The Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, in the state, Hon. Simeon Ojonuba, hailed the process and INEC’s near perfect organization. He said the party decided to participate in the supplementary poll in recognition of the rule of law.

Wada, aides keep mum

The PDP candidate, Wada, and his aides were not forthcoming with comments on the poll. The governor’s efforts to be declared re-elected and stop yesterday’s supplementary election were aborted by the court on Friday.

How thugs disrupted voting at Eti Aja II, Dekina

Meanwhile, thugs disrupted the voting process in Eti Aja in Anyigba, the commercial nerve centre of Igalaland.

Trouble started when thugs stormed some polling units in the area, shooting into the air after accreditation.

However, normalcy was returned by security agents. But as soon as voting started, the thugs stormed the place again and chased voters on queue away, disrupting voting. Electoral officers and prospective voters were seen scampering to safety.

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