By Seyi Babalola
Dino Melaye and Muritala Ajaka, the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party in Kogi State, have challenged the announcement of their All Progressives Congress counterpart, Usman Ododo, as the winner of Saturday’s poll.
Usman Ododo, the governing All Progressives Congress candidate in the Kogi State Governorship Election, was declared the winner on Sunday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission proclaimed Ododo the winner on Sunday after he received 446,238 votes to overcome his opponents, Ajaka and Melaye, who received 259,052 votes and 46,262 votes, respectively.
However, Melaye has called for the cancellation of the election due to what he termed “irregularities that marred the election.”
Melaye on Sunday in Lokoja said the irregularities that marred Saturday’s election in all three senatorial districts were unprecedented in the history of the state and should not be allowed to stand.
He described the exercise as “shameful and unhealthy”, regretting that INEC has not learnt any lesson to realise, ameliorate and palliate the problem it created for the democratic process during the general elections in the country.
He said, “Yesterday (Saturday) in the five local governments of Central Senatorial District in Kogi State, there was no election. Surprisingly, accreditation was done manually, the BVAS was not used, prepared result sheets surfaced even before accreditation and evidence is all over the media.
‘”The INEC, as a matter of urgency, must cancel the election. In many areas where I won, my agents were told there were no available result sheets to enter the result and we have evidence to back up these claims
“As I speak to you, it is shameful that this is what our democracy has descended to. INEC has manifested ever than before, that it cannot be trusted, it is biased, it is compromised and it cannot be a neutral umpire.”
Similarly, Ajaka, in a statement rejected the results of the poll, saying it was against the electoral laws.
The statement issued by his media aide, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, read, “Against all logic, laws and decency, the Independent National Electoral Commission is hurriedly progressing with the announcement of the results of an election it has hitherto and voluntarily declared as dubious and compromised in Kogi State.
“The INEC has suddenly turned ostrich to pretend that the malpractices it uncovered can just be ignored and nobody, not even the victims of the electoral heist, is entitled to protest.
“In this regard, we are calling on INEC to immediately cease announcing the results forthwith until it has cancelled these areas that its criminal staff members colluded to rig the votes in favour of one candidate as exposed by I-rev.”