*PDP, ADC, SDP Kicks
BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Haruna Isah the winner of the Saturday bye-election conducted for Lokoja /Kogi Federal constituency.
Announcing the result of the election, the Returning Officer Prof. Rotimi Ajayi disclosed that the candidate of APC polled 26,860 while the candidate of People Democratic Party (PDP) Engi. Bashir Abubakar scored 14,845 votes to come second at the end of the election.
Ajayi noted that out of tbe 153,470 total number of registered voters in the two local government areas where the election took place, 51,669 voters were accredited for the election.
According to him, “50,036 was the total number of votes casted while 48,165 was recorded as valid votes and 1, 871 votes was declared invalid.
He pointed out that 19,960 votes were cancelled as a result of violence in some polling units in the two local government areas.
Meanwhile, three political parties, PDP, ADC and SDP who participated in the election in a joint press statement signed by Bode Ogunmola, Ade Ismail and Ochedi Shaibu, State Publicity Secretary of PDP, ADC and SDP respectively rejected the result of the election, described the process as “A broad day robbery.”
“It’s now an obvious fact considering what is presently happening in Kogi state as regards the ongoing bye-election that democracy is dead in the state and it will be wrong of us if we did not bring it to the notice of the general public particularly the Ag. President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and all authorities concerned especially INEC, The Nigerian Police, DSS, Civil Defence and other security agencies as well as civil society groups, local and international observers.
“This is indeed a black day in the state as we witnessed a broad day rape on democracy, human right violation and neglect of rule of law through a wanton destruction of electoral materials, snatching of ballot boxes, physical assaults on innocent electorate as well as destruction of private and public properties of perceived enemies of the APC led government in the state under the watchful eyes of the security agencies especially the Nigerian Police who are obvious conspirators in this unholy alliances.
“In line with this obvious facts and to restore people’s confidence in our democracy, we therefore call for total cancellation of the entire exercise and also bring to book all perpetrators of this criminal acts.”
But the state governor, Yahaya Bello has congratulated the winner, saying the victory reflects the feelings of the people for the APC.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Petra Onyegbule said, “We played by the finest democratic traditions. We fielded a credible candidate, we worked hard to sell our candidate, we carried everybody who was willing along, we campaigned ward by ward and from door to door. I thank the Almighty God for crowning our efforts with success. I humbly appreciate Kogites for trusting the APC and voting so overwhelmingly for our candidate.”