From Suleiman Bello, Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yahaya Bello, winner of the Kogi State governorship elections.
Bello polled 247,752 votes to defeat the incumbent Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Capt. Idris Wada, who came second with 204,877 votes.
This followed the conclusion and compilation of Saturday’s supplementary poll, in which the APC polled 6,885 and PDP garnered 5,363 votes.
Declaring the results in Lokoja, the Chief Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha: “That Yahaya Bello, having polled the highest number of votes and satisfied the law is hereby returned elected”.
The collation of results was temporarily paused when an unidentified agent of the PDP asked about the status of APC running mate. But the Resident Electoral Commissioner said Faleke remains the running mate to Bello. The supplementary poll took place in 18 of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.
Immediately the results were announced, the streets of Lokoja, Kotonkarfe and Okene erupted in jubilation as people poured into the streets in hundreds to celebrate the victory.
But the PDP had described INEC’s declaration as “a waste of time, scarce national resources and ridiculous shadow-chasing.”
In a statement on Suday, National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Olisa Metuh, wrote: “The action of INEC in trying to transfer the votes earlier garnered by the dead APC candidate, Prince Audu Abubakar to another individual is completely impractical and alien to the nation’s Constitution and the Electoral Act.”
“The declaration by INEC that one Yahaya Bello polled the highest number of votes is an embarrassing travesty of the nation’s democracy and electoral process. Not only that this individual is not in any way a valid candidate in the election, he also did not score the overall votes declared against his name by INEC and cannot be declared winner under any circumstance within the provisions of our laws.
“The provisions of the constitution and the electoral act are clear to the effect that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu before the conclusion of the election, and the fact that the laws do not permit the replacement of candidates once the balloting has commenced, the APC crashed out of the race, leaving the PDP candidate, Governor Idris Wada as the clear winner, having garnered 204,877 votes to top all other contestants since, Prince Ababakar, the hitherto leading contestant died with his votes.
“It is therefore unfortunate that INEC disregarded the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, which left it with no other legitimate option than to declare Governor Idris Wada the governor-elect. Instead, it went ahead to preside over a charade, for which it is now attempting to illicitly handover the vote cast for a dead man to another person, who did not participate in the overall election.
“We all, including INEC and the APC know that nothing other than declaring Governor Idris Wada winner of the election fulfills the requirements of the law under the circumstance. APC cannot have two candidates in one election and the bitter in-fighting within their fold shows the absurdity of INEC’s decision in that regard. Indeed, we remain shocked that INEC could elect to create such embarrassing and inciting setting just to show its ‘friendship’ with the ruling government.
“Our advice to the APC, Yahaya Bello and their co-travellers in illegality is that theirs is a mere pipe dream as Governor Wada remains validly elected within the dictates of our laws under the circumstance.
“Finally, we charge all our members and supporters to remain calm and resist all provocations from the APC, which is now seeking the opportunity to trigger violence in the face of their misfortune, especially as the law will soon take the centre stage, right the wrong created by INEC and declare Governor Wada winner.”
Kogi Election Final Results
Ibaji: PDP 220 APC 369
Adavi: PDP 12 APC 878
Ankpa PDP 629 APC 562
Ajaokuta: PDP 12 APC 538
Omala: PDP 323 APC 317
Igalamela/Odolu PDP 434 APC 92
Ofu: PDP 484 APC 105
Dekina: PDP 1999 APC 2178
Kabba/Bunu: PDP 131 APC 201
Ijumu: PDP 102 APC 86
Lokoja: PDP 145 APC 301
Kogi/Koto: PDP 281 APC 406
Yagba West: PDP 73 APC 86
Okene: PDP 02 APC 208
Okehi: PDP 0 APC 108
Idah: PDP 70 APC 62
Bassa: PDP 114 APC 221
Olamaboro PDP 332 APC 167
Total: PDP 5,363 APC 6,885